Customer Interview: Suddenly our meetings end earlier than planned

Written by Andy
timeqube uniqa tb

Thomas Brustbauer – IT Manager at Uniqa Slovakia

I had a privilege to talk to one of our returning customers – Thomas from Uniqa Slovakia. Here’s the questions I asked him and what he had to say about 4 Timequbes that found new home at Uniqa.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Thomas Brustbauer, I’m working in Uniqa Insurance more than 30 years already, in Slovankia. In IT department since 15 years ago.

How important is time in your job?

Very important because time pressure is always on. Especially for me and for a lot of people, the day consists mainly of meetings. If you’re inefficient you’re killing a huge percentage of your time during the day. I also see, I have to admit, that people are often wasting time.  This drives me a little bit crazy, because I’m a mild autistic person, so I need order.

What was the underlying problem you were trying to solve?

In meetings we have agenda points with time slots assigned. But nobody was caring about the time. It’s not the fault of the people. They didn’t recognise when they were speaking, that they stepped over the time line.

Practically when you’re first or second in the agenda, you’re lucky. You would get through with your topic.  Others though, would simply run over time.  So people were assigning time slots but there was no tool to keep the time.

Did Timeqube help you solve the problem?

We’re using it now for 3 months. It is very visual. It’s just a small cube, but when you place it in the middle of the room, 50-60 people can still see it.

It’s only visual. I first tried some Chinese imported timer that made a loud beep and only had a small indicator light. So the light was too small and the sound was too aggressive.

That’s why I really like the green, orange and red in Timeqube. Nothing more is really needed.  I’d say orange is very important because it gives an early signal, like: Hey hey ! 50% of time is used.

Timeqube is also great when time’s up. There’s no alarm, it’s quiet, pulsating red light, so it’s alarming enough. Not too aggressive and very easy to use. Just press one of the six time buttons and there you go!

Whom would you recommend Timeqube?

For everybody that has meetings. I can’t imagine that  people are having very disciplined meetings. It’s in the interest of the presenter  to have as much time as necessary and you’re just losing track of how much time you have consumed. So it’s natural that people need some sort of assistant that helps them keep time.

[Timeqube] is not a thousand dollar investment. It’s quite affordable. It’s also totally simple.

My principle here is less is more. And Timeqube really fulfills this promise. Simple, easy to use and you can use it in the first minute. No need for a manual.

That’s why we’re stepping up from One Timeqube to Four. It’s quite widespread and people see the effect. Now suddenly we have meetings that end earlier than planned. That’s great!

Do you have any tips on how to run effective meetings?

We preassign time slots. Before it was just the agenda but we didn’t know how long the agenda would take. We also assign a maximum time slot for any meeting that is 5 minute shorter than planned, because we need to still make it to another meeting.

And there needs to be a moderator, a captain in the room who will remind people, they’re running over time or step out of scope of the agenda.

Thanks Thomas and all the best!