BARK, the world’s most dog-centric company devoted to making all dogs happy, adopted a hybrid workplace model in the wake of COVID-19.
But, they needed a systematic way to bring employees back to the office, manage visitors, and keep everyone safe—while reducing manual work.
New York, Ohio
Internal Ticketing, Desk Booking, COVID Team Safety, Visitor Management
Even before the pandemic, BARK was no stranger to workplace flexibility.
“We've always had a flexible work schedule,” says Dana Rosenkranz, Senior Manager of Real Estate and Workplace. “But, it wasn't ever really formalized. We didn't have a lot of remote employees, though.”
As offices closed due to COVID, the BARK teams were forced to adapt. However, many teams found it challenging to work exclusively from home.
“Since we are a physical business—we do dog toys, treats, and all things dogs basically—we do have designers in-house who need to be in person together,” says Dana. “They are working on samples. They need to kind of touch and feel. And it's just a lot easier to do that in person.”
It was difficult to manage the return to office process—knowing who wanted to work in the office when, documenting the comings and goings of employees and office visitors, and keeping track of sensitive health information so that everyone felt safe.
“We were actually keeping track of everyone who came in—keeping track of their wellness surveys via a Google sheet,” says Dana.
“It was a really heavy lift on my team to say, ‘Okay, who's coming in today? I have to go and approve their Google form that they don't have COVID and that they don't have symptoms.’ It just took a lot of time each day.”
BARK was also planning to expand their offices, and are relocating their NYC headquarters to a new 50,000 square foot office—which is double their current square footage. “We need collaboration space, meeting spaces, things like that, that we're just missing at our current office,” says Dana.
The team needed greater clarity around how employees were using the space—something they couldn’t get from manual attendance tracking and visitor management.
BARK needed a tool to manage desk booking, visitor management, and wellness surveys. They also used internal ticketing for IT, Workplace, and People Ops teams, and saw the value in using a single tool for multiple functions.
Ultimately, they were looking for a cost effective solution that allowed them to complete multiple workplace management tasks under one roof, in a one-stop-shop.
Since Eden Workplace offers desk booking, visitor management, customizable wellness surveys and health document tracking, and flexible internal ticketing, it was a natural solution.
With Eden Workplace, BARK has been able to easily manage the transition to hybrid work, and build a safer office environment.
“It really took a burden off of my team.”
Before using Eden Workplace, Dana and her team had to manually check who was coming into the office (whether an employee or a visitor), approve COVID documentation and wellness surveys, and spend time entering data manually and communicating back and forth. “Even if it was only 15 or 20 people, it took a lot of time that my team really didn't have,” says Dana.
With Eden Workplace, employees are able to book desks themselves, and upload their own health documentation. Visitors can complete wellness surveys easily on their own, and Dana and her team have a log of everyone who has been in the office each day.
Dana and her team no longer have to reach out to each person to ask for their test results or vaccine cards, check which desks are open, log office visitors, and manually record and organize all of this information.
“It's helped us tremendously. We've been able to focus on other things which has been really appreciated.”
BARK also uses Internal Ticketing for their IT queue, Workplace team, People Ops team, and Finance team. This has helped formalize processes across departments, making it easier to share information with new hires and onboard new vendors.
“It's very easy for a new person to come in and say, ‘Okay, I know what I need to do. I know all the sub-tasks I need to hit.’ That's been helpful as well for keeping things very simple and process oriented,” Dana says.
Internal Ticketing has also helped BARK keep thorough documentation for key stakeholders outside of the company—which was especially helpful when BARK went public.
“Eden has been helpful with just keeping really tight documentation of all the things that happened throughout the process.”
Beyond cutting down on manual administrative work and creating a one-stop shop for desk booking, visitor management, ticketing, and team safety measures, using Eden Workplace enables Dana to get all the data she needs easily and in one place.
“I'm really leaning on Eden to give me all the information that I need, without having to write and pull multiple reports.”
Eden Workplace has also made it easier for BARK to make decisions about office usage, and to begin bringing back in-person office events.
“It’s been helpful to say, ‘Look, all of these people are starting to come into the office—we really do need more desk space,” says Dana. “It was a good way to kind of say, ‘We do need to move our office sooner rather than later because we have run out of space.’ And so that was a really helpful metric to use just to get buy-in from my leadership team.”
Dana also turns to Eden Workplace’s reporting and data analytics to plan for the return of in-office perks, like lunches and events, once COVID permits.
“I want to bring back lunches and snacks and all of the fun things that we used to do,” she says. “And so if I'm easily able to show like, look at all the people who have been coming in, people are feeling more comfortable, and I can show the increase over time, I think that will be really helpful to get more budget for perks like that.”
Ultimately, using Eden Workplace is helping BARK build the foundation for a successful, productive hybrid workplace, where employees feel safe and happy working in the office.
“Some things are just easier to hammer out in person than they are over the computer.”
Dana and the BARK team understand the value of in-person collaboration, and want to build a workplace culture that supports employees working in the office when it meets their needs.
“I think people like to have a home base,” says Dana. “They still feel they have a place to go. And so providing that feeling, as well as all of the different types of spaces where they can do different types of work, is super important.”