When this Upflex client built our network and offerings into their flexible work strategy earlier this year, they achieved the sought-after combination of flexibility for employees, and sustainability for leadership. Here’s an inside look at how many workspace bookings they’re making, how many of their employees are getting out of the home office, and what benefits it’s yielding for them.
I was just catching up with our team on the progress of a 2,700-employee global tech company that’s using Upflex (via one of our white-labeled channel partner apps) to realize the new flexible work strategy they implemented in early 2023.
Upflex is allowing this company’s employees to book any of 10,000+ Upflex network hot desks and meeting rooms in 135+ countries around the globe.
Here’s how it’s going for them, including all the gritty details and — according to the company’s Director of Change Management — the four biggest successes that have so far come from this new way of working.
Are employees actually taking advantage of the offering?
According to this new flex work policy, this company’s employees are permitted to work from home whenever they want. But, in a survey this summer, they found that even still, at least one in five people at the company were opting for shared workspace outside the house.
In that survey, employees reported that they wanted to get out of the house for work at least some of the time, in order to have quieter space to work and focus, and/or more opportunities to meet and collaborate in person with their colleagues. That one-in-five ratio has likely kept climbing over the course of this year, as people get increasingly hungry for social and professional interaction during the workday. As of now, 28% of employees are actively using Upflex to book workspace — more than one in four.
According to our data, this company’s people managers have created more than a dozen regional workspace teams for the company, in Canada, the U.S., Australia, Japan, Singapore, Turkey, the UK, Sweden and across continental Europe. Employees have made more than 5,600 on-demand workspace bookings this year.
How are employees using the offering?
Most of these bookings are hot desks, helping team members get out of the house, change their scenery, meet up with colleagues, or work from the road (including airport and rail lounges via Upflex’s partnership with travel hospitality space provider DragonPass. An increasing share of them are meeting rooms where employees can meet with each other for group problem-solving, creative idea generation and collaborative work.
What results is the company seeing?
According to this company’s Director of Change Management, the company’s new #flexwork strategy powered by Upflex has allowed the company to:
- rebalance spending to compensate for fewer people coming to the office;
- stay competitive in the tech talent marketplace;
- attract talent the team couldn’t previously reach “because of office locations;” and
- reduce carbon output associated with office usage, which has become “very important for all our employees.”
What are they loving most about Upflex?
Exclusive WeWork access: Upflex and its channel partner is connecting this company’s employees with some of the world’s most attractive and high quality workspace, without the financial and operational investments of the traditional office. Of the >4,200+ bookings made between January and June, employees chose from more than 90 providers, and more than 1,900 of these bookings have been in premium WeWork locations around the world, to which Upflex users have exclusive third-party access.
Manager-level insights to help them iterate, budget and plan: Each team has its own budget and managers can review booking data and trends company-wide, by team, and at the individual level. These insights help managers understand how employees are engaging with their new flexible work strategy, and it sheds light on utilization and evolving space needs, which helps leaders determine, iterate and budget for real estate costs, which is essential to a sustainable long-term workspace strategy.
Improving the employee experience and building company culture through collaboration-friendly workspace: This company’s employees are frequently booking meeting rooms. For its Singapore team, meeting room bookings are a near weekly occurrence. From Milwaukee to LA, Chicago to London, teammates are convening in meeting rooms. Private offices are also in use. In these spaces, teammates can convene and collaborate per the preference for minimum-one-day-per-week teamwork outlined by the people team.
Acquisition and retention are improved by a strong flexible work policy: The change management director cited the flex strategy as key to the company’s ability to “stay attractive and competitive” in the tech talent marketplace as well as to draw the interest of job candidates the company wouldn’t previously have been able to consider hiring due to geographic constraints. In courting job candidates and onboarding new hires, the director of change management said the flex workspace policy, including the ability to extend access to thousands of workspaces from top providers like WeWork and Mindspace — “has become a must-have for talent, definitely.”
Flexibility in a workspace management arrangement: According to our workplace solutions team, this company isn’t interested in signing agreements on shared or private office space that lock them into set periods of obligation — no leases or leases or traditional hub arrangements. They’ve seen how fast workspace needs can change, and they want to stay nimble. Rather, my VP of Workplace Soultions tells me, this company wants their people — including larger groups of employees at one time — to be able to access certain workspaces on the regular, without these longer-term financial commitments. To solve for this need, Upflex works with broker partners to find hub-like solutions in choice markets where 20 to 30 employees can regularly book workspace on demand, without the limitations of a conventional space membership or a long-term contract.