Leah Walters is the head of Global Communications at monday.com, managing all external, internal, and digital communications for the company together with her team. Previously, she was a director at the public affairs firm BLJ Worldwide in New York City, where she built strategic communications campaigns for various foreign governments and non-profit organizations.
The rise of remote work has changed not only the way businesses operate, but also the way workers collaborate. While this setup grants workers more flexibility and adaptability, virtual communications and forging strong professional relationships remain to be a challenge.
A study from Buffer reveals that while 98% of remote workers would recommend remote work to others, 9% experience difficulty with focusing, 8% have trouble with collaborating and communicating, and 11% have a hard time staying motivated.
Enter monday.com, a user-friendly platform with a unified workspace built to adapt to any workflow.
Leah Walters, monday.com’s head of Global Communications, gave us her insights on the impact of remote work on teams and project management, as well as how monday.com has adapted to the growing needs of the industry.
Spotlight: With the rise of remote work, what impact do you think this will have on project management?
Whether teams are sitting together in an office or across the globe collaborating remotely, the challenges they face are the same: communication, getting stuck in silos, celebrating each other's successes, understanding how their work contributes to the bigger picture, measurement, and beyond.
With the rise of remote work and the subsequent transition we’re now experiencing to a hybrid work model, these challenges are only exacerbated. In 2020, as the realities of the pandemic set in, some of the biggest challenges employers faced were around how to provide employees working remotely with the tools needed to work effectively.
Now, the conversation is shifting to how to bring people back to the office and reduce their tech stacks. No matter where you’re working from, the goals remain the same. We want employees to be happy, fulfilled, and productive.
How is monday.com adapting to support remote teams?
Monday.com’s Work OS is at the forefront of the shift to this new world of work, providing teams with a unified workspace that can manage and track any work process or business operation seamlessly on an amalgamated, user-friendly platform.
Our no-code and low-code platform consists of modular building blocks that are simple enough for anyone to use, yet powerful enough to build solutions that fit their desired use case and evolving needs.
There are a lot of project management tools on the market, what sets monday.com apart from its competitors?
While many players in our space focus on specific verticals like project management, CRM, or otherwise, monday.com is the only comprehensive no-code/low-code platform customizable to suit any workflow. It’s a work operating system developed to be entirely flexible for our customers in various industries.
In fact, 70% of our customers are from non-tech industries like real estate, banking, and journalism, and we also serve traditional tech use cases, including IT management and software development.
The company is trusted by 180,000+ customers worldwide including notable brands such as Nissan and Canva. Can you share one success story worth talking about?
We’ve been lucky to work with some of the world’s most recognizable brands across some of the most interesting industries. One customer story that stands out for me is with Hulu.
In 2019, the company’s ad-supported viewership jumped by 67% to over 100 million viewers in just two years. The sudden influx brought in more interest from brands seeking to advertise on the platform, which was great for business but put extra pressure on the teams behind the scenes. With so many new requests, Hulu’s communication and collaboration tools weren’t enabling them to work as efficiently as possible. The Ad Analytics Team couldn’t keep up with the demand, so they brought in an external agency based in India to help build the audience segments.
However, bringing on an external agency added another layer of complexity. Since the workflow challenges were not yet resolved, the Ad Analytics Team still acted as the go-between for this new agency and the sales teams. It was clear to Hulu that they needed to find a way to connect the sales teams with the external agency directly.
Hulu knew they needed a platform that would allow the Ad Analytics Team to collaborate with their external agency in one place while still allowing the sales teams to use email. The platform they chose would have to provide: a place for centralized work, standardized templates for easily scalable segment requests, and email integration so the sales teams can continue using their preferred systems.
Ad Analytics turned to the monday.com Work OS, which covers all three criteria with Email and Activities integration for the sales teams and centralized, shareable boards, standardized templates, and progress tracking for the Ad Analytics Team.
Can you talk about your measures to ensure that data is kept safe and secure?
Monday.com Work OS manages the data of over 186,000 companies worldwide, so we are committed to providing our customers with the highest security and data protection standards.
We earn the trust of our customers by making data security our top priority. monday.com security and privacy programs are developed according to several industry-standard compliance standards to achieve the highest level of data protection. This includes an annual SOC 2 type II audit demonstrating our commitment to meeting the industry's most rigorous security, availability, and confidentiality standards.
How does monday.com approach product development, and how does the company ensure that new features and products are aligned with customer needs and feedback?
We’re constantly innovating to fulfill our customers’ needs by deepening how they interact with our software and supporting their ever-growing work processes.
For example, we recently launched monday AI in April, giving monday.com customers even more ways to customize their personalized workflows that were not possible before. We also recently launched monday dev out of beta, which equips product and development teams with the tools to seamlessly manage all development processes and achieve their goals faster in one easy-to-use platform.
With monday.com Community Forum, our customers have the opportunity to engage not only with each other but monday.com employees, and vice versa.
For example, we’ve identified a huge opportunity within the community to improve our user experience by making it easy for our customers to suggest new features that could be implemented into monday.com.
With the “Feature Requests” function, monday.com customers can directly address pain points by suggesting new features they want to see on the platform. Once a suggestion is uploaded to the forum, other customers can vote on the ideas they want to see come to life.
We always strive to ensure that monday.com enables our customers to work in a way that makes the most sense for them, so it is only natural that we allow them to voice their opinions on what they love about the platform and where we can possibly improve.
Can you tell us about your Digital Lift initiative?
monday.com is committed to closing the digital divide within nonprofits with Digital Lift, our philanthropic arm. We founded Digital Lift to help nonprofits more seamlessly adopt the technology they need to manage their organizations better and reach their maximum potential.
It provides a robust digital transformation toolkit for nonprofit teams so they can make a greater impact on the causes they serve. The toolkit includes access to the monday.com Work OS, direct product support, digital infrastructure funding and grants for qualifying nonprofits, educational programs, relevant training, and volunteer support to aid digitization.
Digital Lift is an integral part of our organization because we are committed to using our software for good. For every $1 of revenue, we provide $1 of subscriptions to nonprofit teams, and through monday.com’s equity fund, 10% of the company’s equity will be donated over time to fund projects that will help nonprofits.
We also encourage our team members to support the work of Digital Lift, with the company providing the opportunity for them to commit 1% of their paid work time toward supporting nonprofit initiatives. In 2022 alone, Digital Lift equipped over 20,000 nonprofits globally with $820,000 in grants and 690,000 volunteer hours to accelerate their impact.
Your company originally started as daPulse back in November 2012. What was the reason behind Monday.com’s rebranding in 2017, and what steps did you take to make this project successful?
They named the company Dapulse in reference to how the platform helped teams keep a finger on the pulse of their team. As the platform continued to grow, it became clear that the name didn’t encapsulate the full vision for the platform.
We needed a name that was easy to spell, pronounce, and remember - one that represented what our product was here to accomplish and how it impacts real people’s lives on a day-to-day basis. For billions of people worldwide, Monday means work and everything it encompasses - good, bad, or difficult. Those very challenges are what the platform is here to solve.
Like everything else at monday.com, we relied on the power of data to guide us through this transition. We incorporated user feedback, we rolled it out slowly and thoughtfully, and it was a comprehensive effort across the company. We then announced it to our customers and the world with a video, among other forms of communication, explaining why.
Your company has over 1,500 employees to date. What are some strategies you've employed to keep everyone connected and engaged?
It's always been extremely important to us to create an environment of a global, collaborative team. As we transition back to the office, it’s more apparent than ever why in-person collaboration is part of our foundational values.
In the past year, monday.com has opened multiple new offices, including our North American HQ in NYC and outposts in London, Denver, Chicago, Miami, and more. We’ve intentionally created unique, community-oriented spaces to make teams feel comfortable and inspired to work together.
Fortune recently ranked monday.com as one of its “Great Places to Work in New York” for its excellent company culture. In your opinion, how does culture impact project management, and what tips would you share for better work management within organizations?
Simply put, happy employees are productive, and when they are productive, they are happier. We recently commissioned a global survey, and it revealed that 76% of workers believe improving productivity helps prevent employee burnout, and 92% of workers say productivity is key to business success. When work processes become too convoluted, employees can experience information overload.
Companies should prioritize eliminating corporate humdrum and creating an environment where leaders continually provide ways to improve access to new technologies and processes that can increase productivity. Transparency and collaboration should be prioritized, workflows should highlight flexibility, and unnecessary information should be eliminated.
Looking ahead, what are Monday.com's priorities for the future, and how do you see the company evolving in the coming years?
It truly feels like we’re just getting started, and we’re so excited about what we have in store for our customers. We’re continuously blown away by the incredible ways they utilize our platform to build and grow their businesses, and we use these insights as guiding motivation to keep building. Some exciting announcements you’ll be hearing about shortly include new AI developments, a comprehensive enhancement to our core database, and some significant appointments to super-senior positions.
We’re well into our evolution to becoming a multi-product company providing people, teams, and companies powerful products to help turn their work visions into a reality.
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