Why a flexible working solution was a no-brainer for Managing Director Ourania Odermatt.
Optimising collaboration and workflows are not new concepts for cloud communications company Avaya. Ourania Odermatt, Managing Director of Avaya Switzerland and Austria, says the company had registered the need for hybrid working well before the Covid-19 pandemic struck in 2020. “It’s why we developed Avaya Spaces, a tool that unites video, events, workshops and collaboration in one app that’s available on all devices,” she explains.
Odermatt says Avaya chose to downsize its office space when it failed to offer the flexibility the firm needed. The company’s decision to base its HQ at a Spaces location in Zurich means that the team can work together in situ when needed, and can also invite clients, partners and new teammates to an elegant, modern office space.
“With our new hybrid model, employees can choose if they want to work side by side with the customers, meet the partners in one of our meeting rooms, spend a day with colleagues in the office… or focus on a specific subject at home,” Odermatt explains. “The pandemic has shown that hybrid collaboration and home offices are here to stay,” she adds – and new research from McKinsey supports her point, showing that 52% of workers would “prefer a more flexible working model” post-pandemic.
Named in the Forbes 2020 list of World’s Best Employers, ensuring employee satisfaction is one of Avaya’s key priorities. “At Avaya, we talk about ‘hybrid happiness’. Employees are happy when they can choose where to work,” says Odermatt. “Their happiness leads to productivity, which is beneficial for the company. Our employees enjoy the flexibility of working from different locations… They can book a room in an office in Basel, Geneva or Lugano or even internationally for meetings with clients or prospects. As a global company, this is an important benefit for Avaya.”
Another motive for delivering a flexible working environment at Avaya is the talent it attracts. “Young [professionals] ask for, and sometimes demand, hybrid collaboration and ‘working from anywhere’ policies,” explains Odermatt. “They embrace the freedom to choose where they can work most productively. For team collaboration [or client meetings], it might be… a nearby IWG workspace, or for processing an offer or tender it might be their home. With our flexible workspace and communication tools, we prove that we are a modern and innovative employer.”
And it’s no coincidence that Avaya chose IWG as a flexible workspace partner. “IWG offers the flexibility we were looking for, with office space plus meeting rooms across Switzerland and globally,” says Odermatt. “The office we’re now based at in Zurich Opfikon is called ‘Spaces’, like our communication and collaboration app. I’m not superstitious, but that’s a good omen.
Another good omen was the ease with which Avaya was able to make the transition. “In one word, it was effortless,” says Odermatt. “The local team was very helpful, quick in their responses, flexible and friendly. Everything went smoothly, even though we were in the middle of the pandemic.”
The welcome they have received from IWG has helped employees quickly settle in and feel at home. Odermatt has been particularly impressed by the lively community spirit at Ambassador House, the Spaces location where Avaya is based. “We appreciate [that] once a month, an apéro is organised, where members can introduce their companies, products, services or innovations,” she says. “This promotes collaboration as well as the community spirit and is beneficial for us all.”
“We are prepared for the hybrid future,” concludes Odermatt. “We deliver the infrastructure, communication and collaboration tools needed for working from anywhere. IWG delivers the flexible workspace – it’s the perfect match for the future.”
Looking for office space that can meet your business needs? Explore IWG’s flexible work solutions.