For Uber employees in 2017, upheaval is an everyday occurrence.
After former Uber engineer Susan Fowler made allegations of sexual harassment in February, she kicked off an internal investigation that caused the company to fire more than 20 people and eventually forced Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to step down. On Sunday, Uber’s board voted to have current Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi take the helm that Kalanick vacated and restore order to the company.
In the midst of these crises, thousands of Uber employees were turning to an app to gossip about these comings and goings anonymously. Blind, an exclusive app to certain tech employees, allows Uber employees to dish dirt about their company anonymously. And these employees are taking advantage of this private space. TeamBlind, the creators of the app, told Ladders that at least 4600 Uber employees are verified users on the app.
Blind: Uber employees spend up to four hours on our app
TeamBlind told Ladders that after Fowler posted about her experience at the company, the average Uber employee was spending close to four hours a day on its app. After Khosrowshahi was announced as Uber’s new CEO —promising some stability —Uber employees were spending nearly three hours a day on this app.
That is an unusual time for users to spend on any app. For some perspective on how crazy these numbers are, consider that the average U.S. consumer spends up to five hours per day on their mobile devices, according to a 2017 report. Facebook has built a social media empire and its Facebook, Instagram and Messenger platforms got 50 minutes of our attention everyday in 2016 —an impressive number that pales, however, in comparison to the number of hours Blind alleges that Uber employees are using its app.
Perhaps the reason for Blind’s success with Uber employees is that it serves an unfilled need —a way to engage with your co-workers and tech colleagues without fear of reprisal.
Alex Shin, TeamBlind’s Head of Operations, told Ladders that the anonymity and its independence are what has helped the app succeed.
“Most tools for employee engagement today are just that —tools. They measure employee productivity, they measure employee engagement, or they are some feedback loop with very few layers of transparency, and no trust from the employees,” Shin said. “We wanted to create a community app that was truly anonymous and completely neutral from company interest.”
We have contacted Uber to see what they think of this and we will update when we get a response.