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Fever-Tree makes the switch from an assigned to flexible workplace strategy

Industry
Food & Beverage
employees
150

You may know them for their all natural mixers; we know them for their growing flexible workplace strategy. Fever-Tree, based in the UK with offices in London, Germany, and New York, along with satellite offices in Australia, Canada, and Hong Kong, started their journey to flexible work in 2020.

Before using Robin, every Fever-Tree employee had their own assigned seat. As the company grew and the London office remained the same size, the company realized quickly they needed more space. 

When COVID-19 hit, Mayur Mistry, IT Operations Manager on a one-man team, said that experience expedited the transition to flexible work. Luckily, Robin was there to help. 

Challenges

As demand for the Fever-Tree product grew around the world, the company needed to grow their team in response. As their London office spiked in headcount, Mayur needed a space and desk management solution to maintain a productive, flexible environment where employees could move freely throughout the office.

It wasn’t until COVID-19 hit that Mayur realized he needed not only a solution for the short-term but also looking at long-term flexibility.

“We quickly ran into a situation where our office was becoming way too small for the amount of people we had in the UK in an assigned desk scenario. Before the pandemic, we had 110 seats for 115 employees and counting. Since the pandemic hit, we’ve reduced that number to 75 seats for social distancing."

"Robin was imperative in helping us handle the reduced capacity in a safe and organized way.”

The biggest issues with prior tools:

  • The experience for employees was clunky and not user-friendly
  • Booking a space took longer than it should have
  • Meeting room scheduling was difficult and confusing for employees
  • Desk booking capabilities weren’t robust enough
  • Customer support was unreliable
  • Admin views lacked important space usage context

Robin had exactly what they needed: a collection of tools to manage a safe return to the workplace, simple meeting room and desk booking capabilities to support a flexible work environment, access to the office map on mobile for better wayfinding, and flexible desk options so people could work as efficiently as possible.

Solutions

It wasn’t long after Mayur and his team chose Robin that COVID-19 hit. Their long-term plan to move to a hybrid, flexible work model was exacerbated and they used Robin to help manage the entire transition.

“The pandemic made us move quicker than we wanted to, but because Robin was so easy to implement, it took that stress away immediately. It was simple to set up on the admin side and sharing it out with employees required no extra work. It was easier than other solutions to administer to the wider business.” 

Fever-Tree + Robin during COVID-19

Better insight into how space is used

One key functionality Mayur prioritized when moving away from assigned seating and going flexible was having an accurate view of space usage over time. 

Using our workplace analytics dashboard, he now has a comprehensive view of how many desks are in use on any given day, how desk and space usage compares week over week, and which days of the week are the busiest. 

He also identified areas of the office (rows of desks, for example) that went unused and repurposed them into different, safe flexible work areas. These new insights aren’t unique to desks, though. 

With space management, Mayur learned that what was once a popular trend in meeting room booking has changed dramatically since COVID. Before the pandemic, the larger six to eight-person conference rooms were near 100% usage rates. Today, it’s the smaller spaces that are most often booked due to safety reasons. In the short-term, Mayur is able to use this data to rework their existing meeting rooms to get more out of their space and meet the needs of his employees. 

Contact tracing

In an effort to keep everyone safe and instill continued confidence in working from the office, contact tracing was a must. With Robin, Mayur can confirm current and past individual and team use of conference rooms, desks, and other bookable spaces throughout the office with exports. He can determine who was in the office when and take action in the event of an emergency.

“This capability has been massive. People feel safer coming into the office and we’ve seen everyone’s mood change as a result. Anxiety spiked being home full-time. Splitting the time up eases those feelings and gives us all more determination to get work done.”

Socially-distanced floor plans and easy desk booking

Bringing Robin to his team was “dead easy” for Mayur. Using social distancing capabilities, Mayur built out a map of the London and New York office floor plans to safely enable desks one meter apart from each other.

Once employees downloaded the mobile app, they were free to book open desks on the days they chose to come in. Rather than requiring everyone to come in, Fever-tree is keeping the option open to employees, encouraging collaborative face-to-face time in the office and heads-down time at home. 

“Onboarding was very easy. It was one email to the employees and that was it. Right away, they appreciated that we were taking the steps to ensure that it was safe for them to work in the office.”

Instilling confidence in their employees was a priority for Mayur and his team. Robin did just that and as a result, employee adoption was immediate. For different teams, using Robin meant supporting cross-collaboration more than ever before. 

The finance and supply chain teams are a great example of this. They may not work together on a day-to-day basis, but as the month comes to an end and they need to work together, they’re able to book desks in the office near each other (while safely distanced) to get their work done more efficiently.

“It’s changed the mindset of how people work. They can now see who they’re going to be sitting near when they go to book a desk. Now, more individuals are cross-collaborating."

Better customer support

Justifying the decision to implement Robin came down to one critical piece: the support and guidance Mayur received from the Robin team during the uncertainty that came with the pandemic. For a smaller company like Fever-Tree, investing in tech is a selective process. 

It was the 24/7 support he received from early research through implementation and ongoing product feedback that continues to justify Mayur’s decision to move forward with Robin. During COVID when employees were in and out of the office, having access to the Robin team at any given moment when requests or questions came up was invaluable.

“It’s not just about the product, it’s also the service. Our product requirements were fully met and the support was always there 100% of the time.” 

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In the coming months, Fever-Tree expects to get closer to 300 employees. In just the United States alone, they’ve hired 15 people within the last six month. Their goal is to continue to expand offices and fully open back up, depending on the future of the pandemic and timeline for an upcoming vaccine.

They’re looking to Robin to continue to manage a safe workplace today and continued growth tomorrow.

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