For teams operating remotely, new strategies for frequent in-person meetings and events have been put in place to enable connection in any location.
With this trend, the role of the workplace teams has changed drastically, transforming into in-house hospitality partners.
We'll cover what this new role entails and how Reddit is leading the way for the reinvention of employee experience.
Workplace management becomes hospitality management
As the workplace changes, so does that of the team that ensures its efficient operation.
Michelle Lozzi, Senior Director of Experience at Reddit, explained that workplace teams are increasingly positioned as hospitality partners.
It is a trend being recognized throughout the industry, where the responsibilities are less so with organizing and content creation, and more so with providing quality organization tools to optimize use of the workplace or enable in-person events elsewhere.
Lozzi explained at a recent workplace community event:
Reddit has 12 global offices, and an employee experience team of six people. The team oversees everything from utilization data, in-office events and sustainability, to company-wide celebrations, hybrid engagement, culture and more.
With a broad spectrum of responsibility, an efficient workflow with streamlined planning is essential.
The workplace team: A work in progress
The pressure has been on workplace for a while. Playing a key part in aligning remote teams on a professional and personal level, the role is clearly critical. The question becomes how to incorporate strategies and tools that support workplace in their efforts and prove their impact on the company at large.
Advice from Lozzi:
One way Lozzi has elevated the role of the workplace team is with a very successful project, a strategic mix of marketing and interior design.
Project Atelier was the repurposing of Reddit's offices as a lively event and collaboration space. It's the same four walls, revitalized with the design employees are looking for in the hybrid working world.
Since some employees don't know the ins and outs of the office, hotel-like listings were created with photos for easy booking. Calendars located in the spaces are colour-coded according to teams to enable engagement across the company.
The outcome of the office upgrade was “a consistent uptick in daily utilization of 20%+ week over week and their employees are acknowledging they feel more connected to their fellow employees as a result of the time in office,” according to the recap.
In-person events enable efficient remote teams
No longer are one-off, impersonal conferences capable of creating the connection employees seek. Instead, increased frequency with smaller groups provides better opportunities for building relationships, and better suits the needs of remote teams.
With that comes the challenges for employee experience teams:
- limited budgets
- overwhelmed teams
- creating momentum within teams
- ensuring adequate attendance
In the planning process, challenges arise when there is a lack of data available. This issue makes for a lot of manual work in understanding how far people are from the office, what the space utilization rate is, what the satisfaction score for the office is, and more.
Access to whereabouts of employees can inform simple but important decisions such as whether to organize local events, or fly people to the office.
With teams across cities and countries, there are strategies for organizing frequent events so that teams feel connected, and workplace teams aren't overwhelmed.
💡 When it comes to event technology, Planned differentiates itself from the sea of planning tools by enabling true centralization through ease-of-use for each stakeholder.
When everyone enjoys using the same tool, collaboration happens faster and more efficiently. Employees plan successful events with greater savings, while workplace and procurement get the visibility they need in real time.
3 ways to create impactful in-person events
These are some key tasks in creating impactful in-person events, simplified with the use of event technology platform: Planned.
When people are commuting to the office, the job of employee experience teams is to make it more than worthwhile. By finding the appropriate space in the office and elevating the experience with the right suppliers, workplace teams can ensure a memorable experience for attendees. It can be anything from onsite catering to a nearby team building activity at night. With centralized RSVP and reporting, teams will have constant oversight of their internal events to enable the highest possible return on investment.
- Location: find the right office space through internal listings
- Agenda: create a shared event agenda, collaborate with stakeholders
- Suppliers: receive recommendations, source preferred vendors, compare pricing
- Attendees: send invites to employees with RSVP function, keep track of important information such as food restrictions
- Reporting: use detailed reporting to deduce ROI of the event
When choosing a venue for off-sites, a curated marketplace ensures no bad choices. Along with the comparison tool, planners can easily navigate options, including preferred suppliers and available deals from past credits. Quick communication in one platform with suppliers and event stakeholders minimizes time wasted on mundane tasks. With every expense in one place, the real-time reporting enables easy justification of an event.
- Venue: search through the curated marketplace, receive custom recommendations
- Suppliers: communicate with suppliers, receive quick responses and compare quotes side-by-side
- Accommodation: book group accommodation and hotel room blocks
- Payment: pay in the platform with customized approval flows
- Reporting: track expenses in real time
For recurring events from town to town, event planners can use duplicated templates and swap out suppliers. Access to a global marketplace of verified suppliers makes sourcing a breeze for this use case. For example, a happy hour in different cities would traditionally require a ton of moving parts with scattered expenses. With modern event tech, the similar events can be streamlined for ease of planning, better negotiations, centralized communication, tracking of payments, and comprehensive reporting.
- Templates: repurpose event briefs for similar events in different locations
- Suppliers: filter for relevant suppliers based on event details and previous partnerships
- Communication: manage threads for various events in one platform
- Payment: pay in the platform to centralize expenses for separate events
- Reporting: gather insights from multiple events to establish success of the roadshow
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