Imogen Birch places 1st at the CoreNet Global Future Workplace Hackathon

IA Design Interior Designer Imogen Birch placed 1st at the renowned CoreNet Global Future Workplace Hackathon presenting a solution to improve productivity in the workplace. Meet MyHalo.

IA Design - Imogen Birch wins the 2017 CoreNet Hackathon

Imogen Birch attended the CoreNet Global Future Workplace Hackathon last week. What is a Hackathon you ask? A Hackathon is an internationally used and recognised term for a competition where people come together and make a tangible product or solution using technology over a compressed time period. As a part of the CoreNet Symposium the competition was held on Monday & Tuesday before the finalists had a chance to present their idea at the Conference on the Wednesday.

There were three current workplace problem statements presented on the Monday morning which were Productivity, Efficiency and Safety. Teams were then formed before selecting which problem statement they were going to attempt to solve. Imogen’s team consisted of five members being Sue Leak (BGIS), Devi Obbineedi (Melbourne University) and two high school students Aamna Syed & Sewon Yoon (Suzanne Cory High School). Together the team took up the challenge of finding a solution to the following problem:

Problem #1: Productivity

Understanding the impact of the office environment on “knowledge workers” and how it affects their productivity in the workplace has been the holy grail that has eluded workplace specialists.

Only 13% of the workforce globally are engaged at work. The rest are either not engaged or actively disengaged.

How do we increase motivation and engagement to increase productivity in the workplace? How can we measure productivity? 

Only 13% of the workforce globally are engaged at work. The rest are either not engaged or actively disengaged.

For the next two intensive days, the team worked collaboratively to come up with ‘My Halo’. The program they built was Siri for the workplace, with a difference. The difference is that it doesn’t just benefit the employee in their day to day tasks, but also benefits the employer through a more engaged workforce, resulting in higher productivity.

For example, by logging into MyHalo on the way to work, you could have MyHalo reschedule your meetings, book your flights and undertake some research.

For the employee, MyHalo takes away the pain and hassle of everyday administrative tasks, provides an interactive angel and offers benefits for personal growth and development. MyHalo will deliver for the employer: measured company metrics and productivity allowing early intervention and informed strategic decisions.

The control is then given to the employee, reward points called halos are collected through activities in MyHalo which can be redeemed for personal development, access to conferences, time spent on community initiatives and so on.

MyHalo is a market disruptor, a complete solution with in-built rewards, measurable results and tangible employee engagement. The effects of disengagement bring substantial costs to an organisation through staff turnover, absenteeism and presenteeism.

In Australia alone every year, businesses lose $34 billion dollars in ‘presenteeism’. This is when workers turn up to work, but are not 100% productive, and $48 billion dollars is wasted on non-core tasks. If we can improve productivity by just 10% for those companies that use MyHalo, that’s potentially an $8 billion boost to the economy.

Our research showed that in Australia alone every year, businesses lose $34 billion dollars in ‘presenteeism’. This is when workers turn up to work, but are not 100% productive, and $48 billion dollars is wasted on non-core tasks. If we can improve productivity by just 10% for those companies that use MyHalo, that’s potentially an $8 billion boost to the economy.

Within a team there needed to be three different roles. They were a Hustler (Sales, marketing, project coordinator), Hipster (User experience, designer) and a Hacker (programmer, engineer). Imogen’s role was to be a Hipster.

The judging criteria for the Tuesday night consisted of the following

  • Business Potential- Addresses a need, Business Model Scalable
  • Creativity- User Experience, Design thinking process
  • Usability- Functionality, Does it work? , Use of technologies

Imogen’s team ended up winning the category for Problem #1 which saw her team present the idea and solution at the CoreNet Annual Symposium the next day at the Sofitel Melbourne. At the Symposium, the crowd of approximately 350 C level executives then had the power of voting for the winning team through an app which projected the live tally onto the screen. At the end of the count down the ‘My Halo’ team took out the top prize.

The experience was not only rewarding but provided access to industry executives that obtain a wealth of knowledge and passion for the property industry and the future workplace. It was fantastic to be able to collaborate with members of my team that are either currently working in the industry, studying or in high school.

Special mention must go to Aamna and Sewon who I have no doubt will be future leaders within any industry they choose to enter. To win the competition when you’re up against 12 other teams (70 participants) is very gratifying but nothing will beat the exposure to new ideas and ways of thinking. The whole experience has been invaluable to my own personal development and growth with the industry.

I would like to thank CoreNet for running such a successful and valuable competition. I would also like to say thank you to all the major sponsors- BGIS, Qube and Serraview just to name a few. I will be encouraging my colleagues to get involved next time the Hackathon is in Melbourne.

– Imogen Birch

IA Design - Imogen Birch

Imogen is an experienced interior designer with an established track record of creating and delivering socially and environmentally conscious projects. Since joining the IA Design team, she has been an integral design lead on numerous projects, working with a broad portfolio of corporate and government clients across Australia.

Studio: Melbourne

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