When the pandemic shut down office life in 2020, most people assumed it would only be a matter of months before in-person work would resume. Even as recently as last summer, a return to those water coolers and communal kitchens seemed imminent. But with the public health forecast looking more uncertain, and employees increasingly embracing the flexibility of staying remote, companies that cater to the physical workplace have had to come up with innovative ways to remain relevant.
One of them is Envoy, the office-services startup that, in the past two years, has transitioned from managing things like IRL visitors and daily dollies of deliveries to helping businesses tackle the logistics of hybrid work.
In this episode, Quartz CEO Zach Seward speaks with Envoy founder and CEO Larry Gadea about the unique challenges of post-covid office life that his company is attempting to address. Among them are how to coordinate employee vaccination verifications, health-driven guest check-ins, meeting-room bookings, lunch orders, and hot-desking schedules for an employee roster that changes daily.
But Gadea also points out the much bigger issue that between WFH and the growing shift from one big HQ to multiple smaller ones, it’s becoming harder than ever to keep employees feeling connected to each other and to a company’s mission.
If we’re able to keep track of who will be sitting in the seat next to us and when, he argues, it might just put us on the road to building back the sense of community we’ve lost.