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  • Marc Curtis

Challenge: Managing a hybrid workplace

One of the key trends that we've been tracking over the last few years is the changing nature of how and where we work. We call the trend Liquid Work.

Unsurprisingly, the last 2 years has seen a massive acceleration of this trend with many office-based workers having to work remotely.

Now that some of the restrictions are being lifted, companies are trying to understand what the new normal looks like, whilst workers are having to adjust (again) to a new way of working.

Many companies recognise that the workplace has now changed. Workers have realised the benefits of working from home (a short commute, more time with family etc), but have also found that teams tend to work more effectively when they can spend time together. This has led to development of the so called 'hybrid workplace'.

With the hybrid workplace, employers normally set some kind of policy - in Lyreco for example, many staff are able to work from home 20% of the time, with the rest of their week at the office.

This, however creates challenges.

  • How can we ensure that company policy is being followed?

  • How can hybrid workers optimise their time to ensure they are spending time with colleagues?

  • In a flexible office, how can desk allocation and maximum occupancy be managed?

At Lyreco Group Innovation, our policy is to test new products and services on ourselves before we recommend them to the wider company or even our customers.

We decided to test out a very new start-up called Deskare. Deskare is a platform that enables workers to indicate where they are going to be working from up to three weeks in advance.

Users of the platform can also see what days their fellow team members will be in the office, and even what desk they have booked.

Managers are able to see a wide variety of stats - for example, what days are most popular in the office, percentages of individuals days in different locations and a whole load of other useful charts. Maximum occupancy or different office zones and remote working policy can also be set in the platform.

We've been testing the platform for around 6 weeks and the feedback so far has been good.

Staff find the process of updating their schedules quick and intuitive, and managers are enjoying the overview and data the dashboard provides.

We've really enjoyed working with the Deskare team, and have been really happy to have been able to help them craft their product. During the course of the trial we've seen a number of UI and functionality updates.

In the words of Vianney Goater, Co-founder of Deskare:

"At the time we were contacted by Lyreco, understanding and identifying the challenges of the implementation of hybrid work at Lyreco forced us to sharpen and fine-tune our approach. It was a pleasure to work with Marc's team/Lyreco's Innovation team, as we were able to deploy Deskare quickly and gather regular feedback on this early version of Deskare. Seeing what Deskare is now versus what it was at the time makes us really proud, and we're happy that Lyreco benefits from this evolution."

We've now decided to broaden our trial to include other departments and are excited about some of the enhancements on the Deskare roadmap (MS Teams integration for example).

To find out more about our experience of working with Deskare or any of the other start-ups we partner with, please contact


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