Chicken ❤️ Remote Teams

Chicken is a new product for ambient connection we’re testing at Good Enough. This is a quick explainer so you can see if it’s right for you.

Shared physical spaces, like offices, provide an environment for many light-touch ambient interactions and connections. A quick glance up from your desk can tell you who is around, who’s busy, and roughly what people are doing.

These subtle connections are important. They help a team feel like a team.

Working remotely, on the other hand, brings a lot of its own benefits to a team, but you lose access to those important subtle connections.

Chicken is an exploration to bring that kind of ambient connection to remote teams. We’ve been experimenting with it, and think it’s time more teams got involved to help us make it better.

Our current approach focuses on two things:

  1. Who is around.
  2. What they’re up to (approximately).

There’s no chat—this isn’t Slack or Teams. There are no channels, projects, tasks, or threads. It’s just the people you’re working with, with a quick note about what everyone’s focusing on at the moment.

Chicken’s main window

Let’s say I’m going to step out for a quick errand. I update my status to let my team know, and change my presence to Be Back Later. If I was in an office, you’d probably see me step out of the door, or even just notice I wasn’t in my chair next time you looked up. This is that… but in Chicken.

(This, of course, can all be done with keyboard shortcuts too. Hit ⌘+S to start typing a new status, and any change in presence can be made with ⌘+1..6.)

Updating Chicken

Throughout the day, as everyone communicates what they’re up to and you can see it all in one quick place, that team connection that is missing from remote work begins to creep back in. It’s nice!

We don’t see Chicken as another status app.

While chat apps like Slack and Teams do have status (what you’re doing right now) and presence (whether you’re around or not), they have some pretty big gaps Chicken attempts to fill:

Slack and Teams are too focused on chat and productivity to consider the team connection angle. We believe those ambient connections are pretty important to making a team feel like a team, and that’s why we’re exploring it with Chicken.

Here’s what we think:

Sharing helps establish a connection with the group, and sharing together helps us all feel connected. Like a team.

Chicken puts everyone’s status and presence front-and-center, so it encourages you to share, but you can set your status to whatever you like—what you’re working on, thinking about, watching… etc. One of our hunches is that you’d be surprised what is interesting to other people.

Chicken is not about tracking or logging work and tasks—save that for your project management tools. Chicken doesn’t want you to feel like you’re always being watched. Instead, it asks you only to share what you’re up to, at whatever level of detail you’d prefer. Chicken wants to be the wink you get when you catch a friend’s eye.

Some more things:

If this sounds like something that could be interesting for your team, please get in touch. We’d love to have you on this journey with us.

🙋 I’m interested in Chicken

Chicken is made by Good Enough.