Going hybrid # 1 - Hybrid work at L Marks (London, UK)

Future of work
June 29, 2021
Published by

How a London company organized its return to the office after more than a year of remote work

Daniel Saunders, CEO of L Marks:

For more than a year, our employees in several cities and continents (London, Manchester, Ohio and New York) telecommuted due to the global Covid19 pandemic.

As the end of lockdown approached in the UK, we realized that, like many other companies, all employees were eager to return to the office, but we were also aware of the benefits to many of being able to work more flexibly - at home and in other locations.

As a result, we have defined a new remote working policy, giving our employees complete freedom to choose whether or not to come into the office. In addition, we made a commitment that when employees do come into the office, social distancing measures would be put in place. Like many other companies, the existing platforms and systems were not designed to help us in this area. Using a shared Excel was more time consuming than expected and required constant monitoring.

We never knew who was in the office, and we ran the risk of people being left alone or Covid measures being violated. We needed something more practical, easier to use and more comprehensive.

Why did you choose Deskare?

Together with the HR team, we defined our hybrid work requirements. 

On the employee side: 

  • Know who is in the office today
  • Anticipate who is coming and when in the coming days

From the HR team and management side:

  • Ensure compliance with Covid agreements
  • Measuring the use of new offices
  • No more chasing employees to see if they are coming or not. 
  • Create a safe environment for teams to meet in person on a regular basis.

In addition to that, we had some constraints specific to our organization: in particular, the tool we chose had to take into account the differences in time zones between our different offices. 

One of my senior team members, Venetia Hulse, mentored Thomas, Victor and Vianney in the HEC-42 Startup Launchpad. She immediately understood that the tool they were developing could be useful in any office environment as we head back to work after Covid. Always eager to support startups at all stages, we offered to be their beta testers. 

How did the Deskare deployment go?

The team was very responsive, and within a week, the test was ready for implementation. Onboarding was done quickly with a csv import that saved the HR team from having to manually create each user account. Next, the learning curve was very simple, and user guides had been prepared to ensure a smooth adoption of the tool. Finally, within 20 minutes, the entire company was on board!

We then set up a weekly user feedback meeting with Vianney and Thomas, which we still do today: this allows us to give our suggestions to the Deskare team so that the platform can be improved. And the results are visible, week after week! 

How did the L MARKS team react?

The set up of the application and the integration with Slack was very quick and all employees were able to follow the very simple and well explained onboarding. The weekly reminder on Slack is a very good idea and encourages employees to organize their next work weeks. It's really helpful to get the process into everyone's routine.

Today, two months after the deployment, all the employees declare their planning on Deskare in two minutes. It has become a new habit for everyone.

The ability to see how teams are using the desks in the administration area is a real value-add, and the information provided by this section is valuable to our HR. 

As employees come and go, the user base is updated almost automatically and newcomers can be integrated very quickly without having to create their account by hand.

Any last words?

Now we find it easier to get together at the office and come in for the moments that really matter (brainstorming, group work). Deskare really helps us get organized and find ourselves, and I can't wait to check out the many new features they've told us about!