How Expereo started working hybrid
Expereo is a global provider of managed internet access and hybrid networks, SD-WAN, and cloud-connectivity solutions. Until the coronavirus turned the world upside down.
Expereo is a global provider of managed internet access and hybrid networks, SD-WAN, and cloud-connectivity solutions. Until the coronavirus turned the world upside down, Expereo's employees worked primarily in the office. COVID-19 changed that. Now that we are allowed to go back to the office, working from home will continue to be a part of the company culture. Inge Strating, the Executive Assistant at Expereo International, explains how Ciao's solution helps shape working hybrid at Expereo.
"If you want to go hybrid, you do need the right tools for a smooth operation"
Working from home has become part of the corporate culture
Until March 2020, we hardly worked from home at Expereo; it was not customary until then. From one day to the next, the world was a completely different place. Everyone worked from home, and that went well. It will continue to be part of our corporate culture.
We believe it's essential to continuously pay attention to the creative and social aspects. When creating new things and orchestrating changes, it's valuable if you can look each other in the eye. Meeting each other physically is part of our company culture. We are a very diverse company with more than 20 different nationalities in the Netherlands alone. For some of Expereo's employees, colleagues have become friends rather than colleagues.
Meeting each other regularly is vital
Working from home is not easy for everyone. Working without having your own workspace at home can be a challenge if you live with a family. Working from home may seem amazing for more introverted people or those with extended commutes, but it can pose a threat. It is vital to see your colleagues regularly, not only your team members but also other colleagues. Seeing each other enables discussing things, lessening the risk of misunderstandings, which can sometimes happen with online interactions. Two days of working from home is now the guideline.
Changing the role of the office
The role of the office will no longer be the same as it was before the COVID-19 period. After all, if you want to do focus work, the home workspace can be very suitable even if we have also set up phone booths in the office, to make phone calls in peace. In addition to providing a good place to work, experience shows that an office is a distinct place for creativity and social interaction.
Looking for the right solution
If you want to go hybrid, you do need the right tools for a smooth operation. Besides experiencing that working from home is a success, we have also recently made a number of acquisitions. This has resulted in additional employees who require to work in the office. However, we can no longer offer a fixed workplace to all of them. It makes the move to hybrid working even more logical for us.
We started looking for an excellent solution and found three potential candidates. One system offered too few possibilities. For example, it was not possible to book desks, which we believe is essential. The other solution was far too advanced, offering all sorts of features we don't need at all. Ciao's platform was the perfect middle ground for us. It is relatively simple and yet offers enough possibilities. Moreover, the team behind Ciao is very flexible. When we make suggestions, they really appreciate our contributions. They are easily accessible, and the relationship is very pleasant.
A different way of thinking
Hybrid working is a change for our employees. We went from a situation where everyone had their own workstation with a drawer unit to a flexible work environment, including a desk booking system. The drawer units have made way for lockers, and the desks have nothing more than monitor arms so that people can work comfortably and healthily. Of course, that implies a different way of thinking, but for the time being, it works very well. The implementation of the Ciao platform has also been satisfactory. We have included our colleagues in the changes and communicated about these via e-mails and flyers. We have also approached colleagues personally.
Reserving desks and checking in are essential functionalities for us. Booking a desk is important to secure your workplace, and it also allows you to see who will be in the office on which day. The check-in, for example, is necessary so that when someone tests positive for corona, we know who to inform. Ciao helps us with this.