Hybrid Solutions

7 December 2023
Language: Hebrew

Guest: Daniel Milo, Electra FM
Dive into the future of work with Electra FM group’s CEO, uncover the evolving trends shaping the modern workplace, and discover how Electra FM Group is crafting customized hybrid solutions to meet the needs of today’s businesses. Join the conversation on building the future of work, where flexibility and quality are the new norm.


Idit: In the changing business environment, it is very important to feel the movement of the ground and know how to move forward. Therefore, in this episode we will talk about innovations in the perception of the workplace, with an emphasis on hybrid solutions. To talk to us about it, we invited a special guest, Daniel Milo, the group's CEO for the past 12 years. In recent years, Daniel has been leading the group and the market the entire field of IFM with a long-term perspective that looks at the trends and all the changes in the IFM field in the business environment. Leading the change reminds me very much of the quote from Professor Robert Quinn's book: "Walk on the bridge while building, or rather build the bridge while walking on it." So, hi Danny, how are you?

Daniel: Hello, nice to be with you.

Idit: It's fun to have you here. So, tell us a little about the innovations and trends in the perception of the workplace.

Daniel: The perception of the traditional workplace or work from the offices, the cubicles, in all the semi-modern and modern configurations that people come at eight in the morning to the office and work for eight and a half hours or more and then going home, it has disappeared, or has not disappeared, let's say, it has changed, and dramatically in the last two years. And a number of additional work configurations have been added, which of course the coronavirus has also affected significantly, in the sense that people are now working more from home or in other configurations called hub and club. A hub is actually a type of wework where the person or employee can go and work from a place close to where they live, in a rented area, in a modern work environment.

Idit: Can anyone who wants to is able to work in such a place?

Daniel: For companies that are high-end companies, such as pharmaceutical companies and companies that deal with IT, development, startups, it's very, very suitable. It is less suitable for companies that are engaged in face to face interactions, where the interface with a client to a roaming address is impossible.

Idit: Yes.

Daniel: The second issue, the second model is called club, it's the same hub we said before, only the place is branded.

Idit: More affiliated.

Daniel: Itis affiliated with a certain company, branded and there they practically work at a remote branch of their workplace that is close to where they live. This way saves commute, allows flexibility for employees and on the other hand employees do get out of their pajamas and do not stay to work from home. So to sum up, we actually have four modes here: in the office, at home, in the hub and in the club.

Idit: Interesting. What actually does it take for companies to produce this hybrid model?

Daniel: The hybrid model is a bit at odds with the approach where the employees who come to work are not only coming to do their tasks they are also part of the workplace community. They need the interaction among themselves, of course if we are talking about work teams, it is also work teams that have a common task. Also interaction between them and their subordinates or between them and their managers. Remote work, hub, club or home, they distance people from both their professional environment and their social environment. And in order to mitigate this, we need to continue to create the opportunity to meet by the coffee machine with the virtual coffee machine as well.
This can be mitigated by creating processes that are joint work processes, and of course creating a lot of technology and opportunity for people to meet each other.

Idit: So, what are the challenges ahead? How do we create this employee engagementin this new environment?

Daniel: If until now our main objective was to provide services in the workplace, to make sure there is a clean work environment for the employees and the kitchenette will be full of all the products needed, and of course the AC will work. It belongs to yesterday's world. All of that have to work, but it's definitely not enough in the new age. Today we need to make sure that the employee has a real experience. We no longer make services accessible, we make experiences accessible. And the experiences are much more diverse than they used to be.

Idit: We want them to actually choose to work here, to choose us as the organization in which they want to take part and work.

Daniel: It's a very correct statement that folds within another word in psychology. We want them to feel something emotional for the workplace, because the workplace will give them such a strong experience, that they feel positive things about the place where they work around that experience. This, of course, gets complicated if it needs to be made accessible on club and hub as well. We have never felt, for example, that we have some responsibility to make services accessible to an employee in his home. As modern FM people looking five years ahead, we will provide certain services on behalf of the firm for people working from home, such as maintenance services, through catering services, and other things that are within our hybrid workplace solutions package. Hybrid work means that the experiences should be felt wherever they work, starting from the moment they use parking when leaving home, to the moment they arrive to the workplace, and of course the whole set of experiences they have in the workplace. The second thing that I think is very important to emphasize is the issue of community. We need to make a series of services and experiences accessible, as a result of which, no matter where the employee will work from,  they will feel that they are a part of the community, even though they are at home.

Idit: Even if they take a call from home, and they are completely in their living room and not in the usual work environment, the office with all the employees around them, they'll feel connected, they'll feel like they are now in the office.

Daniel: That's right, and that would be a multiple of two things. One, of what technology we give them. Today's zoom, or today's zoom model, tomorrow in morning will be ICQ.

Idit: Yes.

Daniel: And technology should make it so that the person can have an interactive conversation, including writing on white walls or glass, as is customary in the hi-tech space, and still have everything within the technology on the desktop, or on the laptop they use. The second thing is that you can create daily social interaction, like coffee together, like a joint yoga practice, broadcasted from Electra FM, from one of its gyms, into this space where people meet, which is actually a virtual space, and they will have an experience of relaxing activity for twenty minutes together. If we do a multiplier of good technology, some of which is still under development, with all these services, the experience between home and work will be very, very similar to the workplace itself.

Edith: Beautiful, interesting. So how can the Electra FM Group help its customers make this change? With emphasis on customer experience?

Daniel: So, if we go back to the story of building the bridge while walking on it, then that's exactly the situation we're in. Today we are writing the hybrid concept of Electra FM. We have a very articulate concept of what we want to provide our clients. Some of it are dreams, and some of it will come true. We're testing out those dreams right now with our clients.

Idit: I assume that not every client is the same in terms of the package or product they want to receive.

Daniel: Yes, that's a great comment. It is tailor made. The less generic the services we provide, the more they are tailored to the customer's needs, the more complicated the business becomes. Because there is a customer who will want us to cater their employees in their private space, and there are those who will only want maintenance, to fix something at home. There are those who... They are all for animals in the workplace, and there are those who are not. For each of them we will have to tailor a dedicated solution. What we're doing these days is actually the whole big package, maybe 20% of it is dreams and 80% of it will come true. But once what could come true, comes true, we will have an experiential product for clients that is currently unparalleled in Israel, and possibly in the world.

Idit: Definitely an added value, something unique. What do you think the world will look like, the work spaces five years from now? Eight years?

Daniel: I think there will be three main things in the work spaces. One, they will be very, very flexible. They will be designed for far fewer people than they are designed today. And on the other hand, the thing, the second feature is that they will be personal. So this is seemingly contradicting. How can a person who does not have a fixed desk enjoy personalization? The idea that technology will make the work environment look very, very personal. The board with pictures of their children and family hanging of today, tomorrow will become digital. And once they put their laptop on the table, the position they ordered in advance will be arranged exactly how they like, with the screens they like.

Idit: Personalized, actually.

Daniel: And the third thing is that the workplace will be part of the employee's lifestyle. That is, everything they love to do and anything that gives them some kind of pleasure or some kind of positive emotional experience, like a workout, like caring for a dog, like special food, or like medical care. Each of these things they will be part of their work environment tomorrow. These are the three big things that will affect our future work environment.

Idit: Beautiful. Very interesting and enriching. Thank you very much for taking the time to be here with us.

Daniel: Thank you for inviting me.

Idit: We were happy to have you with us.

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