Since its creation in 1979, Action contre la Faim has been striving to provide an effective and sustainable response to food crises. This humanitarian organization, present in over 45 countries, implements programs to prevent, treat and eradicate malnutrition with a global team of thousands of dedicated professionals.
In an ever-changing world of work, Action contre la Faim has redesigned its work environment to meet a dual objective:
To achieve this, in collaboration with Deskare, the organization opted for a flexible working approach known as flex office, a situation in which employees no longer have a dedicated workstation. This mode of working promotes organizational agility, resource efficiency and optimization of office space.
The following case study looks at Action contre la Faim's successful transition to a flex office, with feedback from Mejda Ben Slama, Quality of Life at Work Referent, and Céline Vermersch, IS Project Manager.
Action contre la Faim is an NGO that is evolving from an associative model to that of a multinational company. In recent years, its working methods have also been transformed:
A flexible (tele)working policy: employees can request up to 100% remote working and return to the site for a few days a month
A better work-life balance: quality of life at work is understood in the long term
Ambitions in terms of work environment: simultaneous relocation and switch to flex office
The perpetuation of remote work and the end of the lease on the former headquarters enabled Action contre la Faim to acquire new office space while reducing its surface requirements. By moving from central Paris to the inner suburbs, the aim was to make savings by adapting the space to the new practices associated with hybrid working.
Action contre la Faim moved to a flex office with an ambitious overcrowding rate of 0.5 (i.e. 1 workstation for every 2 employees). The new headquarters had to offer optimized spaces adapted to the activity. But how could the whole company be involved in such an ambitious project?
"With the flex office, it's necessary to look after the collective to avoid splintering teams and maintain good communication. We have adopted a risk prevention approach and a hybrid work logic based on on-site presence to see each other and be together." - Mejda Ben Slama, QWL Representative
Clear and transparent communication on the objectives, benefits and modalities of the flex office is essential to ensure common understanding and minimize resistance. The involvement of employees, HR managers and executives is crucial from the earliest stages of the project. Active participation will foster acceptance and commitment to the change.
NB: Flex office is not yet widespread, but it's appreciated.
Benefits according to employees who use it (source: Parella):
The expansion ratio of 0.5 is a mixture of three elements:
In the end, Action contre la Faim halved the number of workstations, except for those services that are not 100% teleworkable.
To go further: visualize your office traffic with Deskare
Action contre la Faim took the time to prepare the transition to a flex office. Prior to the project, needs were identified and risks anticipated, taking into account the different functions and working methods of each team. This essential step determined the resources and space required (more on this in the next section).
"Teams, regardless of the department to which they belong, all work together. We therefore chose to favor a hierarchical rather than functional zoning, in order to maintain the link with its primary team while taking into account the interactions of the departments in relation to each other." - Céline Vermersch, IS Project Manager
Employee representatives were involved at every stage, from the search for premises to the implementation of the flex office. The CSE was reassured by the risk prevention approach to the project.
To create a common framework for this new organization, the project team and the CSE co-constructed a flex office charter. With all stakeholders aligned, this crucial step facilitated the deployment of a flex management solution.
Confidentiality, storage, equipment... Each department completed a questionnaire on the layout of the desired space. This made it possible to allocate space requirements according to activities.
Employees were involved in the evolution of practices through various direct solicitations:
"We were sufficiently aware of the impact of this type of change to anticipate it properly. We were very careful to involve employees at all levels. It paid off!" - Mejda Ben Slama, QWL Representative
The needs assessment enabled Action contre la Faim to meet the teams' expectations in terms of work activities, limit their fears and guide the rest of the project. The challenge lay above all in managing the mandatory twice-monthly return visits to the site by each department, given the halving of the number of places available!
"Deskare has great feedback on how easy it is. We avoided all the pitfalls we could fall into with flex office!"
A multidisciplinary team worked on the project to find the tool that would meet all the requirements:
Such a change in office organization needs to take into account the need to support managers in adopting new hybrid team management practices. In addition to our chat to help managers in difficulty, we regularly make resources available.
Discover our 9 tips for good hybrid management!
Deskare's management of office reservations reduces the mental workload on General Services. The tool manages allocation conflicts, leaving them more room for higher value-added tasks.
Employees now have access to an interactive map where they can reserve a space and settle in for the day. It's a real time-saver when it comes to getting to the office.
"Deskare saves us a lot of time and energy, especially when it comes to change management. It represents 2 days of full-time work per week." - Céline Vermersch, IS Project Manager
More agile teams, fluid exchanges, adapted workspaces: flex office improves office organization. With Deskare, everyone can see at a glance who's on site and how much space is occupied. No need to go out or fill in an Excel file to see who's on site.
The flex office project ensures better management of the working environment and optimization of real estate costs. Reducing unoccupied workspaces can cut costs by up to 30%.
The transition to a flex office involves changes in the way teams work and interact, making change management essential. We support our customers throughout the transition:
Advice : support from our experts in the early stages of the project to ensure a smooth transition to the flex office
Acceptance and buy-in: stakeholder involvement from the outset of the project (information, response to concerns)
Communication: anticipating resistance, identifying factors of concern and implementing strategies to address them (practical demonstrations, videos, chat, workshops, webinars).
Ongoing evaluation : monitoring the impact of flex office on employees and the organization, identifying any adjustments to be made, gathering feedback from employees and administrators and proposing improvements to optimize the adoption and benefits of flex office.
"Deskare's total integration with Microsoft Teams ensures smooth adoption of flex office. With the automatic reminders, it's quick and practical, and people know what space to reserve. That's what was expected of the tool, so it's a success. We met our target on time, even ahead of schedule, so it's perfect!" - Céline Vermersch, IS Project Manager
Various aspects of the office are impacted, but managed with Deskare :
The employees of Action contre la Faim responded to a satisfaction survey on the flex office and gave Deskare a score of 4.49 / 5!
Find out what they think:
"Deskare is getting great feedback on how easy it is. I'm happy we've avoided all the pitfalls we could fall into with this new organization and the user feedback is good, that's especially what gives me the temperature!" - Mejda Ben Slama, QWL Representative
But also :
Anticipating risks and taking the time to study remote work endorsements to find out what the rules are for each will help you to size your offices efficiently. It's also important to take into account the possibility of relocation, which could change the way offices are used.
"How do you reserve a workstation when you only have 1 for 2 people? We realized a little late in the project that we'd need a management tool, but we quickly caught up with Deskare. The key remains anticipation!" - Mejda Ben Slama, QWL Representative
Step 1: Assess needs (flexibility, collaboration, space utilization) and determine objectives (productivity, real-estate costs)
Step 2: Analyze existing space, meeting room and equipment utilization data to identify team needs
Step 3: Research and select a flex office management tool, evaluating its functionalities (HRIS and Microsoft Teams/Google integrations, space reservation, schedule visualization, social aspects, data).
Step 4: Inform teams about flex office operations (flex office charter, training on using the tool, reserving space, etc.).
Step 5: Deploy the tool (with or without a POC), monitor and evaluate the system's effectiveness, and make any necessary adjustments.
Step 7: Regularly monitor and analyze the data collected by the tool to regularly optimize spaces
The roll-out of the flex office project and the move to the new head office were decisive steps for Action contre la Faim, which saw a significant improvement in collaboration.
The flexibility offered by the flex office enables us to maintain a flexible remote work policy, work more autonomously and manage schedules more efficiently.
Employees can now choose the workspace that best suits their current tasks. The practicality of the flex office has enabled us to optimize space utilization and costs.
Action contre la Faim's ambition is to continue analyzing the data provided by Deskare in order to refine the organization of its workspaces to respond ever more precisely to the needs of its employees and their actual use of offices.
We're delighted to be supporting Action contre la Faim on its journey towards better management of its working environment. If you'd also like to find out how Deskare can improve the efficiency of your spaces, we'd be delighted to discuss your specific requirements. Please do not hesitate get in touch with us to explore the opportunities available to you!