The return to the office has been going smoothly and with great care since June 9. Some employees have widely practiced telework for over a year, and have completely changed their habits. More flexible hours, greater autonomy but also time saving by avoiding often long and tiring journeys between home and work …
Teleworking has shown its advantages in times of health crisis, but it also has its limits. Stretching, or even cutting off the link with his colleagues, increased psychological distress in some, loss of meaning… The solution that emerges is a mix between face-to-face and distance in an attempt to keep only the advantages of each.
Eight out of 10 employees would like a hybrid way of working with 1 to 3 days of teleworking per week, according to an OpinionWay survey. These new organizations require adjustments, and the invention, or improvement, of tools to establish themselves permanently. So many opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Semana optimizes the flex office
Consequence of regular teleworking in a company: workstations remain empty one or two days a week. For a company, reorganizing the workspace by reducing the number of workstations and surfaces can result in cost savings. This is the principle of the flex office or flex desk, in other words the unassigned office.
Sensing that the trend would generalize quickly, Albert Reynaud (CEO) and his associates Nicolas Cosme (CTO) and Valerio Volpati (CPO) put aside their start-up project in employee mobility, during the first confinement in March 2020 Instead, they created Semana, a flex office optimization tool. “Employees will spend more and more time outside the company. The challenge is both to optimize the allocation of office space in their absence and to know who is where and when ”, summarizes Albert Reynaud.
Operating on a subscription model, Semana has been on the market since November 2020 and already has several dozen client companies. The start-up of 10 employees raised 600,000 euros from Entrepreneur First – a venture capital fund that operates an incubation program at Station F – of business angels and Bpifrance to accelerate its product and commercial development.
aKagreen green offices
The telework-office mix seems to be the preferred solution for most companies. Employees will therefore always need a physical place to meet. The whole point is to make them want to go there. For this, improving the working environment is essential. And why not bet on plants?
Since 2016, aKagreen has vegetated office spaces to increase the well-being of employees. “It’s proven: plants increase inspiration and creativity by 14%, reduce absenteeism by 10% and fatigue by 30%”, says Sabrina Ananna, co-founder and CEO of aKagreen, supporting studies . The greening of the offices also makes it possible to reconnect with nature while being at work, “an innate need for all human beings”, recalls Sabrina Ananna.
With the return to the office in the spring of 2021, orders have exploded at aKagreen. The start-up of 9 employees is expected to triple its turnover this year to exceed the symbolic mark of one million euros, after a financial year already showing strong growth at 15% in 2020. The Paris-based company also has environmental commitments and strong social. She is B-Corp certified.
Glowbl virtualizes meeting rooms
The deployment of remote working tools has considerably facilitated the adoption and development of teleworking. And if, for ease, the tools of the big American players like Team’s (Microsoft), Zoom (Facebook) or Slack are first imposed, little by little, French start-ups intend to make a place for themselves.
Glowbl creates virtual meeting spaces, workspaces shared by videoconference around a graphic concept of a table around which participants are gathered. “We offer virtual tables, a bit like being in the office. You can walk from one table to another, personalize your workspace, work in project management mode … All while rediscovering that orality that is so lacking when working remotely ”, explains Sophie Lazard, President of Glowbl .
This collaborative platform was founded in 2011 in Lyon by Frédéric Lasnier, today Managing Director of the software publisher Pentalog. The company has 20 employees. The health crisis has been a tremendous accelerator since its turnover has multiplied by 7 in 2020. And it is not over! Glowbl is looking to raise 5 million euros to target the international.
La French Cabane brings a natural touch to the office
The return to the office is accompanied for many companies by a reflection on the layout, between respect for sanitary rules and the need to create a soothing, even reassuring environment. And why with a touch of nature. Not easy when you stay at home, especially in big cities.
French Cabane is the story of a successful rebound for Thibaut Mervoyer, event entrepreneur for whom everything stopped or almost in March 2020. Last year, he created French Cabanes to offer wooden pergolas for the House. This spring, the range was enriched with French Cabines for the office. “These wooden mini-spaces are designed to be collaborative with 3 to 4 places, or to work alone, while reconnecting with nature,” explains Thibaut Mervoyer.
Installed only in business premises for the moment, these “French Cabins” are also intended to be deployed in public places: theaters, stations, hotels and even shopping centers. “We want to become the Airbnb of the teleworking booth and deploy 500 booths by 2023 in cities like Paris, Lyon and Bordeaux. The start-up of five people achieved a turnover of more than 200,000 euros in 2020. It seeks to quickly raise 1.5 million euros to accelerate its development.