The Office Is Getting Automated, Are You Ready?

SparkAmpLab Editorial Team
June 2, 2020

Not so long ago, working from home was a highly desired perk that most employees could only dream of. Now, because of the COVID-19 outbreak, remote working is no longer a perk. It’s a fact of life and companies are adapting fast. They have little choice – allowing employees to work from home or otherwise has been shown to benefit the bottom line. 

According to Gallup, remote working has proven to be effective, leading to increased employee engagement when they spend 60 - 80 % of their time working remotely. Research has also shown that there has been a 44% growth in remote work in the last 5 years. This number will have jumped significantly with the current global health crisis and this trend is likely to continue. 

Startups like Klaxoon, Beekeeper, and Workable have made it possible for companies to keep running their businesses optimally even though their workforces are distributed. 

Like other European startups, Klaxoon is also doing its bit to support companies during the COVID-9 health crisis. Klaxoon is offering companies three months free trial of its tools after experiencing a 90% rise in demand. For its part, Beekeeper has created a crisis communication checklist and also offers companies 14 days of free access.

Klaxoon

Klaxoon, a French remote collaboration software startup founded in 2015 by Matthieu Beucher, is aiming to solve the age-old problem of boring meetings that waste company time and keep employees away from the work that they have to do. One of the company’s main aims is to increase engagement in meetings.

They’ve done so by developing a SaaS platform “Klaxoon” that enables the creation of virtual meetings and incorporates quizzes, surveys, challenges, AI-augmented brainstorming sessions, and live messaging. The software has been adapted for iOS and Android devices to allow employees to join via mobile devices.

Not surprisingly, even virtual meetings don’t escape employee disengagement. According to a survey by Klaxoon, almost a quarter of Americans feel that most meetings are a waste of time, and almost half either daydreamed or watched TV during a virtual meeting.

One of Klaxoon's popular products - interactive Meetingboard

Workplace meetings are also becoming increasingly complicated as people on different projects in different geographical regions on different schedules within the same company need to work together.  

The Klaxoon Teamplayer is a device that seems to accomplish this seemingly impossible feat. As partnerships and alliances director Matthieu Poupard explained to ZDNet: "Teamplayer is designed as a teamwork and visual management console that will allow you to easily connect to screens around you -- in the office, in a hotel, at home -- and turn them into a collaborative workspace."

For collaboration, Teamplayer like the Klaxoon platform itself will be linked to Microsoft's Teams and Dropbox.

Funding

According to Crunchbase, Klaxoon raised $50 million in a Series B funding round led by Idinvest Partners of Paris in 2018, after a Series A round of $5 million in 2016.

Beekeeper

Beekeeper was founded in 2012 by Cristian Grossmann and Flavio Pfaffhauser based on a social communications platform the two friends established while they were at university. The platform worked so well that different groups started asking if they could adapt it to make it useful for different business needs. 

In response to this and other user feedback and requests, the pair developed Beekeeper, a mobile-first communications platform for frontline workers who need to communicate with fellow workers out in the field who are not necessarily desk-bound. The platform is built especially for industries like hospitality, retail, manufacturing, construction, transportation, and food industry where timely communication is important to the overall operations.

“We wanted to help geographically distributed workforces and non-desk employees feel as if they were sitting right next to each other and to keep everyone in the company aligned,” states the company on its website. According to Beekeeper, 80% of the workforce are non-desk workers in some industries. It’s Beekeeper’s ultimate aim to connect the world’s two billion non-desk workers.

Beekeeper’s secure platform for communications can be customized for the company’s needs, like scheduling automated messages, distributing employee surveys, file sharing, onboarding materials for new team members, multi-language support with translations when needed and more.

Funding

Beekeeper has closed its Series B funding round raising a total of $45 million. The round was co-led by Thayer Ventures and Swisscanto Invest, with participation from previous investors. They previously raised $8 million in a Series A round. 

The latest round will enable Beekeeper to continue to expand its teams throughout Europe and the U.S.

Workable

Recruitment can be very time consuming and can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in agency fees if a company lacks the infrastructure to manage recruitment internally.

This is where Workable’s talent acquisition software comes in. Workable uses AI-powered search and advertising as well as links to job postings on more than 200 sites to help companies hire the best person for every job opening.

Workable wants to automate time-consuming administrative tasks allowing recruiters more time to do what they do best: assessing qualified job candidates and building great relationships with hiring managers. The platform’s Hiring Plan feature automates approval workflows and captures all requisitions and budgets in one centralized workspace.

Workable has so far received hundreds of positive reviews from customers for its intuitive and easy-to-use platform and collaboration tools.

There is no clearer proof of a solution’s success than its positive effect on the bottom line. Alexander Dennis has saved a whopping $300K in agency fees in just the first year of using Workable. Alexander Dennis is the largest double-decker bus manufacturer in the world. The company employs 2,600 workers and does 483 hires per year. 

Other data points that illustrate Workable’s success include the more than 20,000 companies that have used it to source and evaluate 50 million job candidates in 100 countries around the world.

Funding

Workable has raised a total of $84.2 million in funding. Most recently the company raised $50 million in a Series C funding round led by private equity firm Zouk Capital and participation from previous investors.

Workable was founded in 2012 by Nikos Moraitakis and Spyros Magiatis, and currently has offices in Athens, Greece, Boston, and London.

Conclusion

From remote collaboration software and mobile-based communication platforms to talent acquisition platforms, the office is changing fast and irrevocably. Automation is transforming businesses and making the workplace more productive.

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