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How Lark Helped Xiaomi Expand to 40+ Countries With a Unified Tool
Collaborating effectively in the workplace can be a challenge, and it can be even more difficult for teams with members located in different parts of the world. Fortunately, Lark has helped Xiaomi create a hybrid work environment that allows employees to contribute and communicate efficiently, no matter where they are located.
"Xiaomi has been using Lark for a while now. With Lark, document creation and information sharing are much more efficient. Collaboration between teams is easier than ever."
Founded in 2010, Xiaomi is a leading consumer IoT platform and the world's second-largest smartphone manufacturer. It operates in over 100 countries and regions and is the youngest company on the Fortune Global 500 list.
Unite and conquer
"Developing hardware is just a part of Xiaomi’s businesses. The driving forces behind those devices are its software and Internet content" - Lei Jun
Unlike traditional technology companies, Xiaomi offers a wide range of products and services, including consumer electronics, software, and household items. However, these diverse product lines initially resulted in the use of multiple, siloed collaboration tools within the company.
For example, different teams used different communication tools and relied on email and offline document management tools to coordinate projects. This fragmented system hindered productivity and efficiency within the organization.
Xiaomi's team was also bogged down by the need to log in and check multiple internal systems with separate notification channels, leading to reduced productivity.
To ensure smooth integration and collaboration among its various business units, Xiaomi needed a unified workplace solution that enables the efficient exchange of information, streamlined workflows, and quick access to knowledge and information. By using a single tool that aligns with Xiaomi's business strategy, the company can boost productivity and drive innovation within the organization
Lark became the unified hub for Xiaomi's internal collaboration
Xiaomi was drawn to Lark for its comprehensive tool integration, user-friendly interface, and commitment to fostering effective collaboration.
More than just a communication tool
Previously, employees had used personal chat software for workplace communication, which required them to add their colleagues as "friends" before being able to communicate with them. It was difficult for employees to connect with colleagues from different departments, and conversations often got lost in numerous chat groups.
Lark's contact feature helps Xiaomi users easily find and connect with relevant stakeholders within the organization, and keep relevant conversations organized in threads.
In addition to its communication challenges, Xiaomi struggled with inefficient information flow, as most documents were stored locally in individual employees' computers. This made it difficult to locate documents, track revisions, share them with the appropriate permission levels, or send them out on time.
With Lark Docs, Xiaomi's team was able to streamline their communication and improve their productivity. Since all Lark Docs live in the cloud, they are always the latest version, eliminating the confusion created by multiple versions. They are also easily accessible and searchable, on all devices. The comment function enabled them to exchange information quickly and follow up in real time, with notifications sent directly to their chat.
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Lark improved the team's ability to manage their knowledge and achieve better business results by streamlining their communication process with a single tool.
The hidden cost of meetings
Meetings were a significant overhead cost for Xiaomi and often wasted valuable time that could have been spent on high-value activities. Many meetings were one-way, lacking feedback or input from attendees, making them ineffective.
Additionally, employees often spent more time formatting presentations in PowerPoint rather than focusing on the content. Sharing large presentation files was also a challenge.
Too many of such ineffective meetings can hinder innovation, contribute to employee burnout, and even increase employee turnover. To address this issue, Xiaomi turned to Lark Docs to streamline meetings and improve productivity.
"Lark helps keep everyone on the same page in meetings, regardless of time zone or location. In one meeting with the internet department alone, the company was able to reduce meeting time by 5%, which is equivalent to adding 5% of productive time back to each employee." - Wang Chuan, Co-founder, Vice President
Very often, inviting too many people to meetings can be unproductive and waste time. When meetings get too large, rich debate is often replaced by shallow comments, and people may be less willing to share their ideas.
Using Lark's SamePage Meeting method, Xiaomi ran a brainstorming session with 90 people to create a new avatar for their AI digital assistant, Xiao Ai. The result? 200 comments in a single one-hour meeting, with over five topic groups generated afterwards.
Lark Docs helps transform Xiaomi meetings into productive working sessions by enabling the entire team to collaborate on the same document in real time, saving time and ensuring that everyone's contribution is valued.
Navigating time zone differences in a global workplace
Since Xiaomi's team spans multiple continents and time zones, it's often difficult to find a time to meet that works for everyone. To address the challenges posed by time zone differences, Xiaomi uses Lark Calendar to facilitate coordination and communication with local teams.
Lark calendar simplifies scheduling by comparing colleagues' local times side by side.
However, due to the narrow window of overlapping time between regions, opportunities for synchronous meetings are scarce. To address this challenge, Xiaomi has adopted the use of asynchronous meetings. Rather than scheduling meetings in different time zones, team leads send out a Lark Doc with project information and all relevant stakeholders are able to collaborate on the same document asynchronously. This allows team members to work on the project at their own convenience and avoids the need for scheduling meetings across time zones.
Project lead sends out a group message and a Lark Doc for everyone to put in their inputs
Everyone contributes at their own time before the stipulated deadline
Lark supports over 100 source language translations, allowing you to work comfortably in your native language.
This approach allows meetings to be used only when they are most necessary, giving people more time to contribute in their preferred language and enabling access to information even if people cannot meet at the same time.
In summary, Lark has proven to be a valuable resource for Xiaomi in establishing a hybrid work environment that allows for effective collaboration and communication regardless of team members' locations. Through its ability to drive more efficient meetings, facilitate better cross-border collaboration, and provide unified workplace solutions, Lark has helped Xiaomi overcome the challenges of working with a distributed team and has contributed to the company's success. If you're looking to improve collaboration and communication within your own organization, we highly recommend giving Lark a try. You can learn more and get started with Lark here.