In the past three years, workplace has changed dramatically.
According to a recent McKinsey survey, 98 million American workers now have the option to continue with their jobs remotely. And 77 percent of respondents to a recent Deloitte survey cited greater workplace flexibility as a top reason to switch jobs.
Yet another 77 percent told Deloitte that they had felt burnout at their current job. Another study found that about half of the fulltime employees surveyed felt disconnected from their coworkers.
“Most employees want flexibility, but they also want the ability to meet with coworkers and connect,” said Liza Mash Levin, co-founder and CEO of Gable, a San Francisco-based company having office in Tel Aviv.
“Meanwhile, companies find it hard to provide workspaces across locations, stay on top of budgets, and have insight into how the spaces are being utilized. That’s where Gable comes in,” Levin told ISRAEL21c.
Gable enables employees to search and book from thousands of available workspaces within a predetermined budget. The custom portal allows anyone from the team to invite others to join them at any location and to see where every employee is working that day.
About 40 enterprises currently use Gable, meaning some 5,000 employees are on the platform. Levin said the client base was growing rapidly.
Co-working spaces benefited greatly from the pandemic, as corporate offices closed and greater flexibility became essential. But although Gable was launched in September 2020, in the thick of the worldwide health crisis, Levin and Israel-based co-founder Omri Haviv had the idea before “coronavirus” became part of our vocabulary.
“Everyone is surprised to hear that Gable was a pre-Covid idea,” Levin said. “Little did we know what was going to happen in the world.”
Raised in Israel, Levin served the Israel Defense Forces’ 8200 intelligence unit and then worked for Microsoft in product management and engineering. This is where she met Haviv, a software engineering manager at Microsoft Tel Aviv.
Levin began developing the Gable concept as a student at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business almost four years ago.
“The goal is to connect people wherever they are, leveraging existing space to help them work together and collaborate whether they are traveling or working remotely,” Levin said.
And because Gable’s clients lately report increased employee interest in coming into the office at least on a hybrid basis, Gable just introduced new features extending the ability to reserve and manage events and book a desk at the company’s permanent offices as well.
“There is no one-size-fits-all approach,” Levin said. “So we’ve distilled the core values that companies really need into innovative solutions for this new workplace strategy. Those values are culture, cost and control.”
Culture is about maintaining employee connections in a flexible way. Cost is self-explanatory; if a company is seeing, say, 20 percent of its capacity in the office, it is overspending on real estate. Control is about helping companies with a remote distributed workforce stay on top of spend and enabling data-driven decisions on the employee, department or company levels.
When Covid hit, Levin and Haviv doubted the timing of their start-up. “It didn’t seem like the best venture because it was about working together,” Levin confided.
But as every company began shifting to somewhere on the spectrum of remote, hybrid and flexible work situations, Levin and Haviv tuned into workplace leaders’ pain points and knew their solution for navigating the evolving workplace was more needed than ever.
Employees can use a web, mobile or Slack version of Gable to book a desk or meeting space in more than 2,000 co-working spaces across the globe. They can see where teammates booked and send invitations for co-working days or meetings. They can even use Gable to invite clients to meet them at the booked space.
“Two clicks, and you’re in,” said Levin, who uses her own product when she’s traveling for work. “You don’t need to think about payment because we send one unified bill to the employer.”
Gable data showed most users booked an average one to two days a week, reflecting the continuing work from home trend.
“It’s a win-win for co-working spaces, which can market only to their local area. But now, if a New York-based company has employees in Japan, a co-working space in Japan will get New York users,” said Levin. “That’s how we were able to grow so fast.”
Industry 4.0 company Augury, which went remote during the pandemic, has employees using Gable in 17 cities, leading to a 50 percent increase in workspace usage.
“With Gable, I steer the ship of the workplace experience. It feels like I am the mothership since I control the budget, usage and limits,” said Tiffany Millar, director of workplace experience at Augury.
“But I can also give my employees their own smaller ships, so they have the freedom to book spaces, invite coworkers, and create an environment they need,” she added.
Gable has 17 employees. “Our entire US team works flexibly, and we have a small engineering and product team in Tel Aviv,” Levin said, explaining that “this was where we could find the best talent”.
The start-up recently closed a $16 million funding round co-led by SemperVirens and Foundation Capital, with participation from Tishman Speyer Ventures, Ulu Ventures and January Ventures.
“The world of work is changing rapidly, and there is a growing need for creative, and powerful solutions that help companies build connected and engaged teams, while supporting flexibility,” said Colin Tobias, partner at SemperVirens.
“The Gable team has built a differentiated, people-focused solution, and we’re excited and proud to support them in powering the workplace of today and tomorrow.”
Produced in association with ISRAEL21c
Edited by Bhujaya Ray Chowdhury and Virginia Van Zandt
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