Meet Larry Gadea, Founder and CEO at Hybrid Workplace Platform: Envoy

Larry Gade

Envoy’s transforming how people think about hybrid workplaces. We build software that safely brings employees back to work, and automates the otherwise mundane tasks of hot-desking, finding meeting rooms, accepting visitors, and receiving packages.

We’re enabling over 14,000 workplaces around the world to operate their spaces in a much more data-driven and people-centric way so that employees can connect, collaborate, and thrive. Powering all of this is Envoy’s workplace platform, a system that brings together all workplace operations into one interface and mobile app for employees and administrators.
Envoy Releases New Hot-Desking Solution for the Hybrid Workplace | Business  Wire

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

As an early engineer at Google, I noticed something very odd. We had access to a lot of amazing internal tools built by people throughout the company. We had a tool to see the bus schedule, find nearby meeting rooms and printers, see a map of all offices, and someone even built an experience-focused kiosk for visitors to check-in when they arrived on campus as a way to keep visitors engaged. Even more interesting, other companies with a global presence —Apple, Facebook, and others—all independently ended up building very similar things for themselves.

When I later joined Twitter in 2009, when we were just a tad under 50 employees, we had none of these tools. Things that I assumed were available for any company to purchase and use were actually made by and for the companies themselves. It turns out nothing available in market was experience-focused, so companies passed. In 2013 when I started Envoy, it was clear I knew a secret that few noticed: Companies had a severe lack of employee- and experienced-focused tooling for their workplaces. We were going to change that. The opportunity was there for us.


How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

Our crown jewel back before the pandemic was Envoy Visitors – a way to check-in and manage visitors. It had spread to over 14,000 locations worldwide through word-of-mouth — people used it at an office, liked it, and decided to recommend it to their own company. This cycle was disrupted by COVID as workplaces shut their doors to visitors. But, what we noticed was customers coming to us saying, “Hey, we still need a limited number of employees to come in, but we need to keep track of who comes in and when for virus contact-tracing purposes. Can you help us?”

We innovate fast. That’s why customers come to us. And we’ve always aspired to be more than just a top-notch visitor solution that was the gateway to the workplace, so COVID was an opportunity for us to accelerate our employee-focused roadmap. We diverted all of our efforts to employee health surveys, capacity management, hot-desk booking, and all the safety-related things a workplace needs to be conscious about in a shared environment. Our experience-first approach that’s part of our DNA allowed our products, Protect, Desks and Rooms, to explode in usage.

What can we hope to see from Envoy in the future?

We’re only getting started in unifying everything about the workplace for everyone. Expect to see unified mapping (interactive maps for workplaces), more functionality focused on community-building between employees, and products focused on efficient space utilization with data to back it up. Plus, expect that we will expand our platform to enable all sorts of new innovations — either from us or third-party companies.

The world’s in a new era where the workplace needs to prove itself again, especially as hybrid work becomes a much bigger reality for how people are getting work done. Having the workplace optimized for all styles of work will truly give everyone the flexibility and focus they need to do and be their best.