The Future of Work at ByteDance: Transforming Spaces with Lark

The Future of Work at ByteDance: Transforming Spaces with Lark

Author Swathi Bhat
Author Swathi Bhat

Swathi B.

March 5, 2024

3/5/24

Mar 5, 2024

3/5/24

5 min read

The Future of Work at ByteDance: Transforming Spaces with Lark
The Future of Work at ByteDance: Transforming Spaces with Lark
The Future of Work at ByteDance: Transforming Spaces with Lark
The Future of Work at ByteDance: Transforming Spaces with Lark

"We utilize Lark Base a lot from a day-to-day operational perspective. We're able to have a very clear picture of what's happening in each of the 14 regions that we oversee. The biggest benefit is utilizing Base to create a dashboard that lets us monitor operational performance of our wide portfolio. You can visualize the data - see what the problem is, identify what the abnormalities are from the numbers and charts and that really helps us make certain decisions." - Li Jingtao (Administration's APAC Region Lead)

Consider this: you have meetings with clients across continents, but thankfully you have offices in each of the regions you are visiting. You have access to amenities but now you need to figure out how you can get a desk, book a meeting room, connect your laptop to the audio-visual system or just get a locker to stuff your things. Typically, employees would have to go through the company's organization chart, figure out whom to email, and request services like booking meeting rooms or seek standard operating processes for each office.

Across ByteDance's office locations, the story is completely different. Stepping into any office in the Asia Pacific region, employees can expect the same process and services. Be it Japan or Singapore, the process for booking a locker or a meeting room is the same. Taking a meeting in the office is a similar, unintrusive and a smooth experience anywhere. Says Alan, a ByteDance employee "When I'm in Hong Kong or Singapore or Tokyo, the office looks and feels familiar. I don't even give a second thought to booking amenities. The process is exactly the same. The system intelligently knows which office I'm in and when I book a meeting on the Lark calendar, it automatically surfaces local options for booking rooms."

To create this standardized experience and run efficient operations across offices in not 1 or 2 but 14 regions including Singapore, Japan, Korea, India, Australia, and Kazakhstan, the ByteDance Administration team uses Lark.

Executive Summary

Standardizing Services at Scale: About the ByteDance Administration Team

The ByteDance Administration team has the goal of improving workplace efficiency across offices in 14 regions and oversees a range of utilities such as greenery, pest control, food and catering, facilities booking, and internal comms, among others.

From forecasting how many support staff to hire to how much food to cater day-to-day, this team ensures that the workplace is conducive for productivity and employee services are standardized while constantly pushing the boundary on efficiency across all offices.

The Administration team at ByteDance is a power user of Lark. As its portfolio widened, the team was constantly rethinking workflows and experimenting with Lark features to digitalize processes, reduce manual intervention and drive more automation.

As workflows became digitalized and processes automated, it became far simpler to scale a process across multiple regions. Additional staffing did not have to be trained on SOPs, and making certain services accessible was as simple as giving employees access to a Lark App that was already being used in other offices.

In managing such a wide scope, the ByteDance Administration team overcame 3 challenges with Lark:

  1. Providing innovative services: The Administration team wanted to apply technology to provide services quickly and smoothly to employees, regardless of where they were located, using as little staffing as possible.

  2. Monitoring service standardization with efficiency: During day-to-day operation, the Administration team aimed to deliver consistent services across various regions while ensuring the process remained efficient and free from becoming overly laborious or monotonous.

  3. Managing a wide portfolio of services with effectiveness: With offices dispersed across regions, the leadership team wanted to maintain oversight while ensuring that operations ran smoothly.

(1) Innovating Across Dimensions: Digital Solutions for Physical Locker Services

In the modern office environment, physical spaces like desks, meeting rooms, and lockers are essential. However, the Administration team has revolutionized the way we interact with these spaces through Lark Base, making amenities more accessible and processes more efficient.

Traditionally, booking a locker is a cumbersome process. An employee would have to request a locker from their local Administration team, followed by manual assignment of a locker by office staff, who would then communicate the locker's default passcode and provide usage instructions. This system was not only time-consuming but also labor-intensive.

Enter Lark Base, which transforms this process into a seamless digital experience. Now, an employee simply scans a QR code to request a locker through an online form. Instantly, a workplace bot confirms the locker assignment and sends the employee detailed instructions on how to open the locker and set their own password. This automation extends beyond convenience for the individual; it also updates the locker's utilization status in real-time on Lark Base, ensuring operational efficiency. Using Lark Base has shortened the entire process from days to minutes.

Furthermore, this digital transformation provides an overview of locker utilization through real-time dashboards. This means that a single action by an employee —filling out a form—initiates a domino effect of automated processes. Lark Base not only simplifies access to office amenities but also enhances the management and utilization of office resources, marking a significant leap forward in how we envision and interact with our physical workspaces.

(2) Navigating Management: From High-Level Insights to Ground-Level Details

In the complex world of administrative operations, leaders face the daunting task of overseeing extensive activities ranging from budgeting and bill payments to managing workplace operations. The reliance on spreadsheets, while useful for tracking, significantly hindered the ability to gain real-time insights due to the necessity of manual updates.

With Lark Base, the Administration team has automated and streamlined operations such as batch tracking, financial data management, and budgeting. By centralizing data from offices in 14 different regions into a single Base, the team unlocked a new level of operational visibility and efficiency.

This centralization enabled leadership to gain a comprehensive view of performance across all offices. For the first time, they could easily identify which services were most in demand and where costs were escalating, all through dynamic dashboards. This not only allowed for more informed decision-making but also significantly improved stakeholder management by showcasing the Administration team's scope and performance with clarity. Jingtao, Administration's APAC Region Lead says, "APAC is a wide portfolio which makes it difficult to give people a holistic view. With spreadsheets, it's all just numbers. But with Base, I can give a clear and direct view that lets important stakeholders grasp how big the portfolio is and what's happening each month."

(3) On-Call to Automated: Transforming Service Delivery with a Lark App

In the past, the ByteDance team utilized an on-call service for handling employee workplace requests. For instance, if an employee wanted more snacks in the pantry or a foosball table on their level, they would communicate directly with a representative via Lark chat. The representative would then manually relay the request to relevant colleagues and provide updates back to the employee. This process, while functional, was labor-intensive, clunky, and inefficient. Moreover, all employee requests would be recorded primarily on chat, making it difficult for leadership to derive insights on frequency and types of services being requested.

To supercharge the efficiency of collecting and responding to workplace requests, the Administration team decided to deploy a Workplace Ticketing System as a Lark App. Employees now submit requests through the App, which automatically populates a centralized ticketing system. Based on the request category, the system automatically assigns the relevant people in charge and notifies them. Employees receive automatic progress and resolution updates, closing the loop swiftly and efficiently.

By using a ticketing system, ByteDance's administration team eliminated the traditional manual switchboard model, freeing up the time of 3 employees. The automated ticket allocation process has improved efficiency by 15%.

More than just automating request assignments and updates, the new ticketing system offers powerful data analysis capabilities. Leadership can now easily spot trends, identify outliers, and understand demand patterns across the workplace.

Specifically, Lark's advanced permissions allowed leadership to maintain granular access control. For instance, if there was an issue with a meeting room in the Manila office, the Philippines Administration team could be given access to only that issue, and be prevented from seeing information about issues in say, Singapore.

This data-driven approach enabled proactive management, allowing leaders to delve into specifics, assign tasks to address issues, and ensure timely follow-ups through automated reminders. This workflow not only enhanced the speed and responsiveness of the Administration team but also empowered leadership with tools to make informed decisions, share targeted information, and take immediate action to maintain a productive and efficient workplace.

Conclusion

The APAC Administration team's adoption of Lark's functionalities such as Base and App to increasingly digitalize its operations has empowered the team to manage an impressive portfolio of offices across 14 regions. What's even more impressive is the team's ability to standardize existing services and provide innovative ones to maximise efficiency and convenience. All in all, by becoming power users of Lark, the team has achieved:

  • Enhanced Decision-Making: With real-time data and visual dashboards, decision-makers can now access crucial information effortlessly, making informed decisions faster than ever before.

  • Operational Efficiency: Automated processes and centralized management have eliminated tedious manual tasks, allowing the Administration team to focus on strategic initiatives and service excellence.

  • Insightful Analytics: The ticketing system's ability to record trends and analyze pain points has paved the way for proactive service improvements and customized solutions.

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