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Brief Published: 6 Jul 2021

Humu Nudges Positive Remote Work Habits

Humu helps companies promote positive work behaviours

With 73% of employees wanting flexible work options to remain post-pandemic (Microsoft, 2021), companies are implementing virtual tools to foster internal culture. Enter Humu, a US tech start-up that sends personalised behaviour nudges to staff. These nudges don’t just address company culture – they also help individuals refine their own remote work habits.

As we first discussed in Work Rewired, the switch to remote working introduced new wellbeing and career development challenges. Humu addresses them by giving employees daily tips on implementing constructive routines. These tips are informed by science-backed behavioural economics research and correspond to a company’s culture and productivity goals, as determined by managers or human resources. They can encompass everything from effective remote management and hybrid working, to fostering inclusive and healthy work environments. It’s a format akin to what we describe in our Three-Minute Trend Can Technology Make you a Better Person?

Rather than distracting pop-up notifications, nudges are sent via email and combine actionable advice with insight into why they’re proven to work. “If you're working on inclusion, you need to create an atmosphere of psychological safety," Humu’s co-founder Laszlo Bock told US news site Axios. "So an employee might get a nudge that says, 'You've got a meeting this afternoon – try speaking up in the first 10 minutes'." Meanwhile, a manager might be directed to praise people in groups of three, which makes recognition seem “elusive but attainable”.

Humu’s focus on embedded personal development could be pivotal in helping companies retain employees, especially ambitious Gen Zers – 47% of whom want entrepreneurship education to help them transition to the workforce. Yet companies should also make sure that these virtual nudges are backed by peer support to avoid work cultures where employees feel isolated from their colleagues – a global challenge, as we report in Work’s Flexible Future.

For more on evolving workplace culture, see The Future Office.