The Power of Workplace Productivity
Keeping your employee’s mobile battery life charged, can actually supercharge their workplace productivity. To learn more we sat down with the one of the founders of ChargeSpot. ChargeSpot provides wireless charging technology that allows a person to charge their phone by placing it down on their desk.
Mark Goh is the CEO and co-founder of ChargeSpot. ChargeSpot provides wireless charging for phones in offices and other commercial buildings. Mark tells us how his inspiration for founding ChargeSpot came from his own need.
MG: I’m a business graduate from the University of Toronto and I came out of school into private equity. I worked in Toronto for a bit, moved to London to help open up an office for my firm there, and then eventually repatriated back to Toronto to start ChargeSpot with my best friend and co-founder, Pat Laureano, a robotics engineer.
Both of us were office workers in large corporate environments, and at the time we we both used phones that had wireless charging built into it. We saw technology and thought “if this technology exists today, how could it not exist everywhere in the future?” Yes, it will exist in cafes, restaurants, and airports, but in corporate office space your mobile phone is a productivity tool, it’s so critical. Wireless makes power convenient and accessible to ensure battery life never impacts productivity.
ChargeSpot, which was launched just over three years ago, is now used by many large corporations, like Capital One, CIBC, TD, Google, SAP, Cisco. We asked Mark to tell us about his company’s trajectory.
MG: Pat and I started ChargeSpot in January of 2014. The first year was really about product development and ensuring we had a solution that fit the needs of the corporate workplace. We launched our product at the end of 2014. Google was actually amongst one of our first customers. They are very forward thinking about how they design their workplace and how the experience in the workplace contributes to employee happiness. If we can help an employee stay productive just a few minutes longer every day it’s a clear ROI.
Thinking about incorporating wireless charging into your workplace? Mark tells us the most common workplace use cases.
MG: The number one place where ChargeSpot is adopted is in corporate meeting spaces: boardrooms, touchdown areas, conference rooms. The reason it’s so popular in these settings is because that power is so binary. If you’re stuck there for four hours and you’re a lawyer going through a long contract negotiation, power becomes really critical. You either have access to it and or you don’t, and most people don’t carry chargers.
What’s really interesting is, if you look at how power is distributed in a meeting room, it’s usually in the middle of the table. This means that if you have to plug in your phone it stops being private and everyone can see when a notification goes off. We’re the perfect solution for that problem. People can access power right where they usually place their phone…beside them! So, there’s no change in habits which is what makes our product so sticky.
The second place this works is we see ChargeSpot used in workstations. It makes sense to drop your phone and charge when you’re at your desk. If you’re planning a new space, this is where your should be specifying ChargeSpot.
But are there challenges managers face when adopting ChargeSpot?
MG: The most challenging aspect around wireless charging today is managing expectations. We put it in, people love it, and then they start asking about the future of the technology – when can I charge my laptop? People want wireless charging everywhere. As simple as our product is to use, there’s a lot of engineering behind it and there are industry and safety standards that we need to comply with. This technology is in the pipeline and we hope to be able to offer it soon.
Mark tell us about the benefits of ChargeSpot and how longer battery life can heighten workplace productivity.
MG: When ChargeSpot is is installed, workers that leave the office at the end of the day have about about two extra hours of useful battery life. That can be the difference between disconnecting early or having access to your work later into the night. It’s extremely valuable for high salaried knowledge workers.
What is next for ChargeSpot?
MG: I personally sit on the board that manages and mandates wireless charging standards internationally. What we’re seeing in the market right now is tablet charging and fast charging. The next generation of our products will allow the phone to go from zero to seventy percent in less than thirty minutes.
Laptop charging is next, but probably won’t be commercialized until late 2018 early 2019 because it’s a very complex technology. Finally, people really want everything in their office to be wireless. We talk to facility managers and IT managers and they say removing wires is a huge priority. It’s unsightly for clients or visitors who come in, and it detracts from the workable surface area on any table, desk, or workstation.
We asked Mark what was his favorite part of being CEO of ChargeSpot.
MG: Our team is undoubtedly my favorite part about ChargeSpot. We have a fantastic team, super bright, super hardworking, and teamwork is one of our four guiding principles – we really take it to heart at ChargeSpot. We’ve created a culture where people are happy to come to work and that’s something that I’m proud of.
To conclude, we asked Mark what has been the most surprising aspect of ChargeSpot’s journey.
MG: As an entrepreneur, I’m always surprised by how much longer everything takes than you actually think it will. To do something right takes a lot of time. To put out a quality product takes a lot of time. Understanding your customers and making sure you’re serving them correctly takes a lot of time. And even though everything takes a lot a time I’m always surprised by how quickly time flies!