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How the fin-tech frontrunner MX uses Teem to cultivate an amazing Workplace Experience and put their people first.

WX at MX

MX— one of the world’s fastest-growing fin-tech providers — has intentionally selected talented people, curated technology, and built spaces to reach their goal: making finances as they should be. To ensure their people are getting the most out of the technology and physical surroundings, MX partnered with Teem to streamline internal collaboration.

Watch the video below, then join us as we dig into how MX has carefully crafted its Workplace Experience (WX) in their Utah headquarters— and how Teem helped along the way.

 

Bold Goals Need an Even Better Approach

Whether it makes the world go ‘round or causes more problems, we tend to have strong feelings about money. In reality, those strong feelings are just a symptom of something deeper: a fundamentally flawed relationship between people and their finances. The relationship is opaque, confusing, and seriously problematic — not just for the individual, but for society as a whole.

One of the primary ways a person interacts with their finances is through online banking or mobile apps. If you haven’t noticed, some online banking interfaces tend to leave a lot to be desired by the end user. These friction-filled interactions only worsen the tension between the individual and their money.

At the forefront of mending our monetary matrimony is the financial technology company MX. Their mission is to make finances as they should be, through humanizing the technology used at financial institutions for their customers. MX’s technology suite enables financial institutions to collect, enrich, present, and act on data to give their users a “5-star digital experience.” With $70 million in total funding and 1,700+ signed clients, MX is already making strides towards its core mission — and that’s not by happenstance.

Every aspect of MX has been purposefully designed to create the best environment possible for attaining their bold goal. They’ve cultivated an infectious culture focused on ingenuity, uncompromising quality, and, quite simply, getting things done.

 

 

The passionate employees of MX spend a lot of time in the office collaborating with their teammates. This tendency led MX Founder & CEO, Ryan Caldwell to rethink the typical approach to a work-life balance. Instead, Caldwell advocates a work-life blend, where life and work can coexist and happen simultaneously.

“At MX, we have a pretty clear set of values, and one of our values is a founder mindset,” Caldwell explains. “We want all of the team members to feel empowered, we want them to feel that they have a say and they can be able to solve things on their own and be able to operate independently.”

Part I: Building the Workplace with Intention

Inadequate collaborative and working spaces coupled with poor resource management can lead to inter-office squabbles and politicking that put a damper on collaboration — something MX’s leadership isn’t willing to entertain. Rather, they think that the office space should enhance everyone’s ability inside of it to get work done. It’s obvious to them — to be productive, employees need easy access to useful, engaging spaces and technology.

 

 

The physical spaces where work happens are as much a part of our daily lives as the work itself. Individual workstations, conference rooms, huddle rooms, and lobbies — and how they’re managed — are huge influences on everyone in an organization.

Productivity Powerhouse

MX carefully selected specific kinds of workstation layouts suited to the needs of the individual department. In Engineering, desks are arranged in open pods and it’s kept fairly dark, lit with offset lighting and the glow of a 40’ curved system monitoring display. While Marketing and Product Design have more sparse groupings organized in pods and chains.

 

 

Workstations in Sales are spacious and separated by full-height walls to maintain sound quality and privacy on calls. They’re arranged in groups of four and each group is located near a small conference room for ad-hoc collaboration. While Executive, Accounting, Legal, and the like have private offices because of the nature of their work.

MX is ahead of the curve in creating an office space that adapts to different work styles. Rather than opting for a cheap and trendy on-size-fits-all benching approach, MX invested in the health, happiness, and productivity of their employees… and it’s paying off, in big ways.

   

 

Beyond the work areas, collaboration spaces are set up for success. Conference rooms of different sizes along with informal “conversational nooks” are scattered liberally throughout the entirety of the space. Screens of all types are everywhere — most displaying contextual information for a specific department or playing custom video content.

Channeling the Chaos of Fluidity

“Fluid” is an apt term to describe the collaborative culture at MX. The team would sooner eliminate meetings than trudge through them. In the early days of MX, accelerated growth had the team struggling against a tightening space. As a result space allocation became frustratingly hierarchical and opaque. More senior employees or those courting a big client would need a meeting space that was occupied, so whoever was currently inhabiting the space would be booted.

Kameron Bascom, Facility Manager at MX, explained the chaos regarding meeting room reservations, where Post-It notes were stuck to conference room doors to serve as reservations.

Kameron Bascom, Facility Manager at MX working in one of the many conference rooms at the Silicon Slopes located HQ.

New problems arose when the team began utilizing custom Outlook accounts for each meeting space to help conference room scheduling. Whenever a meeting space was sent an invite by an employee, Bascom had to manually accept each individual meeting request on behalf of the room — for every meeting in the company.

Bottlenecks inevitably ensued and frustration grew. Managing collaboration spaces and meeting rooms was “a mess” according to the Enterprise Director of IT, Brett Hill. All in all, there was simply a lot of confusion created by the inherent fluidity of the team opposed with the rigidity of how the space was managed.

Part II: Solving Common Collaboration Problems

“The antithesis of collaboration is siloing,” explains James Dotter, CFO of MX. “Everything is connected — and without the flow of communication and collaboration cross-functionally, the company can’t achieve success.”

 

Brandon Dewitt, CTO and Co-Founder of MX, explains that the key to solving big problems — like siloing — is to take the same approach as with software design. It requires breaking down the most complex of interactions into fundamental pieces, and recomposing user behavior based on those pieces.

In practice, this means understanding the different verticals of the organization, how they work, and then provide the spaces and tools that allow the company to work together to create a more optimal outcome — and, as a result, what’s created inherently holds more value.

Technology enables much of the collaboration essential to solving problems at MX. At the same time, activities like meetings and visitor check-in are necessary for collaboration as well. As Dewitt explains, these naturally synchronous interactions become more efficient by offloading some components of collaboration — space scheduling for example — to technological asynchronicity.

“The more we, as an organization, can push synchronous forms of communication into the asynchronous realm, the more and more we’re going to be able to execute in parallel.”

— Brandon Dewitt, Co-Founder, CTO | MX

“The more we, as an organization, can push synchronous forms of communication into the asynchronous realm,” says Dewitt, “The more and more we’re going to be able to execute in parallel, without dependencies influencing the outcome of putting those pieces together.”

Some parts of a meeting will always be synchronous (e.g. speaking and writing). But Dewitt knew finding a way to make the meeting’s “on and off ramps” asynchronous was critical to making the office a more effective and enjoyable place to work.

Asynchronous Collaboration

Instead of continuing to view meetings as a huge time-waster, MX opted instead to utilize technology to turn meetings into workshops so execution can happen in real-time. Employees can sync, collaborate, execute, and move on to the next item. Serendipitous hallway encounters can quickly turn into productive working meetings, making employees more effective with the time they have.

 

 

A primary goal for MX, is to provide an environment that helps their employees create more. To achieve this goal, MX needed a solution to help simplify how employees interact with the office space.

Implementing Teem

MX started by implementing Teem conference room displays outside of a handful of their main meeting spaces. The displays were visually striking and furthermore served as clear visual indicators of space occupancy — quickly resulting in reducing scheduling conflicts.

The addition of Teem technologies made Bascom’s job in facilities easier, too. Instead of manually accepting individual meeting invites for a conference room, the displays were integrated with the company’s Outlook calendars — automating this once manual process.

 

 

Teem’s software also allowed MX administrators to fine-tune the amount of time in advance in which employees can book a room. MX only allows meetings to be scheduled 180 days in advance at the most. This avoids room hoarding and allows for a more fluid and on-demand approach to meeting spaces. Instead of injecting rigidity, Teem adapted to MX’s agile approach to collaboration.

Instead of injecting rigidity, Teem adapted to MX’s agile approach to collaboration.

It could go without saying, but MX employees were considerably happier with Teem, and were happy to move on from the Post-It note approach to space management. What started as a handful of conference room displays quickly spread to an integrated deployment of Teem throughout two of the three floors MX occupies.

With Teem connecting their physical spaces, technologies, and employees, the entire organization gained visibility and transparency into how and when different spaces are used. Which meant that every employee carried the same clout: everyone from the CEO to an intern had the same access to the spaces they needed. Bascom said that the new technology had a measurable positive impact on employee productivity and happiness.

Uncovering the Data Treasure Trove

Data is critical not only in the products MX provides, but also in how they run their organization. Reporting on a variety of metrics, therefore, becomes the primary means by which the individuals within the organization know how the whole is performing — and how they’re performing individually.

 

 

Teem helped MX uncover the data behind space utilization and facilitated easier, more informed decision-making around real estate and furnishings. Should conference rooms be reallocated to individual or shared offices, or visa versa? The data MX now has via Teem makes it easier to make these critical decisions, as it gives visibility into space analytics for the first time.

The team at MX understands the broad impact technology can have on the world’s biggest problems. They aren’t just focused on solving the financial problems that plague so many individuals, but they’re also committed to solving problems inherent to collaboration in the workplace. Solving these problems demands an agile workplace to match an even more agile workforce.

Learn more about the Teem technologies MX uses to power their world-class workplace experience.

 

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Here are a few photos from our day spent at the MX offices with our gracious hosts. Read more about MX and their vision for finances at MX.com.

 
   
 

 

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