What do you do when you have 29 offices in 17 countries and all locations are facing unique challenges, differing mandates (federal and local government), and unique risk factors when you start to think about employees returning to their offices?
Local HR representatives, as well as legal departments, pour over government requirements, and safety issues and, are keen to focus on the comfort and choice for employees to manage the process to their own comfort levels within local guidelines.
Axway’s Griffin App
At Axway, employee safety comes first. We strive to give employees clear communication and a choice in using our offices. But it proved complex.
To start, office capacity is restricted differently by location. Desk arrangements require changes or that some be closed on alternating schedules.
Policies and procedures need to be shared. Federal mandates require forms to be filled out, and even daily responses to health questions need to be answered.
Did I mention this differs by all offices… all 29?
At Axway, our mantra is to do more than survive in business through COVID but to thrive through it is the “Open Everything” platform.
It’s about being digital and being “digital” FAST and being digital is about delivering experiences. We even have a platform for that — it’s called Amplify.
As the pace and complexity of returning to the office have changed in waves like everything in our lives right now. Here is a bit of our story.
First, the simple, straightforward way ahead for local representatives is to manage on paper and spreadsheet… but no, that is too short-sighted and too complex to manage.
Of course, the obvious answer was to build an “app.” After all, as said, we are THE digital company.
We started with a concept — and – in two weeks, we had an app. We had over 900 downloads in the first few days as we prepared teams with this tool. The goal again was to empower employees with a choice on when and how to return to their offices with real data on utilization and capacity limits.
On June 7th, we rolled this out globally. Downloads in the U.S., France, and Bulgaria were in the lead.
And then came the second wave, increasing concerns, and new regulations. The requirements started jumping all over the whiteboard from every region. It became clear the app needs to be REALLY flexible and we could not stop and go back to the drawing board for each new office.
So, we paused and took on important updates. A few weeks later we introduced, version 2.0. With 2.0 we put the power in HR’s hands to manage local requirements — locally.
This means not only managing office capacities for the 27 offices but being able to present users with mandatory videos and/or policies they need to view and agree to use the office space.
This means HR can manage questions that would pop up for users in their region, as well as have their recorded responses to comply with regulations.
Furthermore, it means each office’s HR representative and local legal counsel can manage their own requirements and their implementation without having to go back to our developers.
This is important because these policies are changing and evolving just life is right now through COVID.
Where are we now?
Where are we now? We are like many companies, navigating the complexities of return to the office. We have NOT mandated utilization of our 29 offices, but we have given tooling to HR to manage local requirements in all 17 countries.
We have put the power in our end users’ hands for the choice and visibility into office utilization to return safely and comfortably when they are ready.
We did not stop there. Our users have asked for more. We have responded and now version 3 allows our employees to opt into sharing their use of the offices with peers.
With this ability, other employees can view who is in the office on any given day to help in their choice of which days to come in. We are all Griffins here, so we called it the Griffin App.
It’s not just about the return–to-the-office. We now have news feeds, and this is becoming part of all of our lives as Griffins. Best of all, it was done in a few weeks and as requirements changed, the app changed at a pace to follow.
And that was key. We were experiencing the power of being digital. The critical nature of being nimble in both APIs and apps came to life in this experience.
The intricacies of designing, developing, and troubleshooting through the relationship of the backend APIs and the front-end App allowed for the pace and changes that were needed.
Sure, COVID was the catalyst. But there is much more — longer term — to come.
Interested in the benefits of Employee Experience? Listen to The Happiness Model: How happy employees create customer satisfaction.
Learn how APIs power agility and success in unprecedented times
Learn how we built the Griffin App in this Devblog post by Brenton House.