2020 in reflection: What we learned and what we achieved

2020, what a year it has been. We reflect on what we’ve learned and what we’ve achieved as a workplace experience startup during this challenging year.

3 things that we learned:

People are resilient

Firstly, we learnt that people are resilient. When the first lockdown went into place back in March, people utilised technology in novel ways to socialise, workout, work and live their lives. Amidst the isolation and uncertainty, people displayed a sense of togetherness and resilience that mustn’t go unnoticed. If this year taught us nothing else, it taught us that we are much better equipped to deal with adversity than we might have imagined.

Engaging remote teams has its own set of challenges

People quickly adapted to this huge shift that happened and we fared pretty well under the circumstances. But, 2020 did teach us that engaging fully remote teams has a whole set of challenges that we weren’t quite anticipating. From managing and training remote teams to driving engagement and productivity, employers have had to pay extra attention to ensure their remote teams are supported. A remote working report by Buffer identified that collaboration & communication, loneliness and not being able to unplug were the top three biggest struggles for employees when working remotely. Employers have had to tackle these hurdles to engage their remote workforce, ensuring employees are productive and satisfied in their roles while remote.

Covid highlighted inadequacies in the traditional workplace

Covid highlighted inadequacies in the traditional workplace and office set-up, with the shift to remote and hybridised ways of working that is now anticipated to stay in the long term as a result. In Buffer’s report, employees stated that the three biggest benefits of working remotely was the ability to have a flexible schedule, the flexibility to work from anywhere and not having to commute. That being said, most employees do not want to work from home full-time on a permanent basis and would like to spend some of their time in an office, but the benefits of working remotely highlight the yearning for flexibility that the traditional workplace did not offer. As we move forward, we anticipate that the central office will be utilised quite differently than before, becoming a place for collaboration and connection as opposed to a traditional 9-5 office setup.

New call-to-action

4 things that we achieved:

We were selected to join Google’s Immersion Program out of thousands of applicants

District Tech was selected as one of the 11 high-potential European startups led by women founders to join Google Startups Immersion Program. The program offered support from Google specialists, products and connections in Google’s efforts to support women leaders and the particular challenges they face. Matt Brittin, President of Google Europe, Middle East and Africa said: “If we want technology to work for everyone, it needs to be built by everyone—and that’s why we’re supporting founders from under-represented groups to help with a faster recovery and better technology and tools for all.”

The program kicked off on September 7th, where the cohort virtually came together. Marta Krupinska, Head of Google for Startups UK, and former Co-Founder of Azimo and FreeUp gave an opening talk before the cohort delved into a pitch session giving them an opportunity to learn about each other’s businesses and the challenges they face.

The lineup of women selected from the thousands of applicants included our very own Lee Butz from District Technologies, Blanca Vidal, Co-Founder & CMO of Deplace, Francesca Hodgson, Co-Founder & MD, GoodBox and 8 other women founders.

The program came to an end at the start of December, you can check out Google’s 2020 yearbook, that we’re delighted to be included in, right here.

Google for startups immersion: women founders

We were selected as one of the 50 fasted growing startups

District has been selected as one of the 50 fastest growing UK based businesses to join the 2020 cohort of SVC2UK’s Scale Up Club. The programme matches mentors with the business leaders, working together to remove barriers to scale.

As part of the programme, they introduce globally successful entrepreneurs and investors to the businesses in order to help them build connections to fuel future success.

Since the inception of the programme in 2006, the Scale Up Club has helped 740 CEOs in their business growth. SVC2UK’s aim is “to better fuel the global ecosystem for tech entrepreneurship” SVC2UK pride themselves on diversity and inclusivity, and last year 40% of the cohort were women leaders. “Our ambition is to deepen relationships between Silicon Valley and Europe, inspire and grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem – specifically the female founder community, ultimately building growth that sustains our purpose and economies.”

We were delighted to also make it into City AM’s write up about the 50 highest-growth startups in the UK.

We built and launched our analytics platform – the Insights Explorer

We’re delighted to have released the Insights Explorer earlier this year – our analytics platform that helps companies improve their tenant and employee experiences.

The new dashboard, which has been built bespoke in-house by the new Data services Team, is included as part of the package for both new and existing clients at no additional cost. Companies seeking technology to help their employees return to work and landlords for their commercial tenants can take advantage of new insights and features that help them to understand their community and measure the success of the platform. The dashboard enables you to monitor everything from the number of active users and new sign-ups to more granular detail including engagement levels of events and articles.

Lee Butz, District Technologies CEO, said: “The analytics dashboard gives you insight into your community services meaning that you can constantly monitor, test and iterate to provide the best experience. It’s also a great way to visually showcase to stakeholders and investors the value that your building has beyond just renting out office space by measuring how your tenants are engaging with events, content and services. Reflecting on this year, we’re proud of releasing the Insights Explorer and look forward to future iterations to add additional value to our clients.”

The analytics dashboard allows you to track various metrics that not only prove the success of the platform but also engagement levels from the number of event bookings to article views. 

New call-to-action

District Analytics dashboard

We built arrange of Covid-specific features to aid workplace re-entry 

We developed a range of Covid-secure workplace functionalities, adapting to the needs of the fast-changing workplace. In our efforts to help companies return to their workplace safely, we focused on operational safety and communication.

Lee Butz, District Technologies CEO, said: “Landlords will need to boost confidence in their tenants and companies will need to communicate with their employees more than ever before. People will not want to return to their workplaces unless they feel safe, so increasing communication and adjusting workplace operations will be key to addressing these pain points. That’s exactly why we’ve developed a workplace re-entry solution that addresses both of these points to help companies return to their workplaces safely and with confidence as we move into 2021.”

From health check-ins to desk bookings – the range of Covid features are specifically designed to aid workplace re-entry.

New call-to-action

So, there we have it! 2020 has been an unforgettable year, many of which for reasons we would rather forget. But, as we reflect, we know that we have achieved a lot and learnt even more. As this year comes to a close, we hope that you are able to enjoy some time with loved ones wherever possible. Stay safe, and here’s to turning over a new leaf.

District Technologies is a workplace experience platform that allows communities to navigate the workplace and stay connected from anywhere. Workplace communities can use the platform to simplify their on-site activities from checking into the building, booking a desk or ordering lunch. The app is also a workplace social network which keeps your community connected wherever they’re based with news, resources, events and communications.

District Technologies is the go-to workplace experience platform that delivers to landlords and companies. A snapshot of some of our clients include; WPP, Investec, CEG, Elmpark Green, Cushman & Wakefield.If you would like to find out more about District Technologies, simply book a demo or get in touch.

- Share this post -