For over 100 years, Steelcase Inc. has helped create exceptional workplace experiences for the world’s leading organizations. With over 12,700 employees worldwide, Steelcase leads the way in creating great experiences by offering a range of architecture, furniture, and technology products and services designed to help people reach their full potential.
Stephen Goetzinger is the chief product owner of Steelcase’s Workplace Experiences team. He leads the group responsible for all electronic communications systems within Steelcase, from video conferencing hardware to project management software and everything in between.
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted Steelcase’s ability to collaborate in person. With everyone working remotely — and later, transitioning to a hybrid work model — they needed to adapt the way they communicate and work together.
This was especially challenging because so much of Steelcase’s work is visual. Teams needed the ability to collaboratively brainstorm, ideate, design, capture, and present information in a visual way, even when they couldn’t be in the same physical space.
Stephen and the Workplace Experiences team observed these collaboration challenges across the organization, both with client-facing projects and internal collaboration. To overcome these challenges, Steelcase needed a way to:
We went from collaborating on whiteboards in person to working remotely, and our customers, partners, and internal teams don’t always share a common set of tools. We needed a flexible, easy way to collaborate visually among all parties — and we found that with MURAL.
That’s where Mural comes in. Some teams at Steelcase were already using Mural's digital collaboration platform, but the pandemic accelerated adoption across the organization. Today, they use Mural to create a flexible environment for collaborating with remote and hybrid teams. Here’s how.
For teams at Steelcase, Mural provides a flexible space to work visually. They use murals to organize research and data, brainstorm and problem-solve, lead client meetings, facilitate design reviews, visualize their processes, and more.
"Mural makes it easy for us to communicate visually and get aligned with other teams. Instead of just explaining what we’re working on or how we got to a particular solution, we can show them," explained Susana Cantú, senior designer at Steelcase.
Visual thinking is so important, especially for designers. We used to use slide decks and spreadsheets to communicate and track our projects internally, and it was so much slower and less flexible. Now, we use MURAL to collaborate and generate new ideas. I don’t know how we managed without it.
Facilitation Superpowers™ features
Steelcase employees use Mural's Facilitation Superpowers™ features to keep everyone engaged and aligned during meetings and design reviews. For example, they can facilitate anonymous voting sessions, timebox activities, and use the summon feature to focus attendees’ attention.
Steelcase teams use Mural's library of 300+ templates to jumpstart collaboration with proven methods and activities, from icebreakers to Agile workflows. They can customize these templates and create their own. Templates are also an easy jumping-off point for teams that are new to visual collaboration.
Physical whiteboards are challenging in a hybrid work environment. Mural allows us to collaborate in a visual workspace that’s persistent, flexible, and easy to use. Then, we can go a step further to templatize what’s working and scale it across the organization.
Money saved: Mural's flexible nature allows Steelcase employees to use it for a wide range of use cases, from facilitating design reviews to OKR planning and beyond. This eliminates the need to purchase dedicated platforms for every use case.
Productivity: Mural allowed team members to work asynchronously and use templates to eliminate redundancies in their work, saving time and money. "At the beginning of the pandemic, we ramped up new industrial design solutions by close to 10x," Stephen explained. "The team managed the work seamlessly, all without coming into the office and meeting face to face. Being able to communicate visually with Mural was instrumental in making that happen.”
Product adoption: Teams across the organization use Mural for work of all kinds, with the number of members organically increasing by 122% between January 2020 and January 2022.
The adoption of Mural has been remarkable at Steelcase because it’s been completely organic. It started with the Design teams, and now we use it across the board for visual collaboration.
Global teams at Steelcase use Mural's digital workspace to do their best work together — even when they can’t be in the same room.
Follow their lead with this selection of icebreakers designed for meetings and workshops that have a mix of in-person and remote teammates. Use this template as your go-to resource of icebreakers and strategies for hybrid collaboration when planning meetings and workshops.