Wrike happy it chose thriving Irish hub

Patricia DuChene, Vice president of sales and general manager EMEA, Wrike

Name: Patricia DuChene

Occupation: Vice president of sales and general manager EMEA, Wrike

Background: The company’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) headquarters, based in Dublin, opened in June 2015. Wrike has since added 80 jobs and increased revenues in the region by 347%.

WHEN Wrike was looking at prospective locations in the EU, Dublin found itself competing with Amsterdam, London and Berlin.

Ireland’s capital city eventually won out as the company’s top choice for its Europe, Middle East and Africa headquarters for a number of factors; these included the availability of talent as well as the supportive ecosystem for technology companies.

Wrike’s collaborative work management platform helps organisations align work with key business objectives and create increased efficiencies through a single digital workplace complete with tools, features and integrations needed to manage, automate and complete work at scale.

Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Silicon Valley, it is the partner of choice for more than 19,000 organisations, including Google, Tiffany, and Edelman, and two million users across 140 countries.

“We have had incredible success since opening the first Dublin office, and it gives me great pride to say that EMEA is the company’s fastest growing region,” explains Patricia DuChene.

“When we were deciding on where in Europe was best for us, the draw was about who was already there and where could we pull from. Dublin was the best match for us.

There is still tremendous opportunity here, in terms of talent and market share, and we are just getting started in EMEA,” she adds.

Having increased its workforce by 44% in 2018, Wrike currently employs 84 in Dublin, with plans to expand that number with a minimum of 50 more jobs over the next three years.

Given the uncertainty that has since grown around the issue of Brexit, the company’s successful four years so far in Dublin have underlined its correct location decision.

“While many tech companies locate in London, we are pleased in having had the foresight to plan on Dublin. Brexit will obviously result in some companies migrating to Dublin and Ireland, and we will be tracking those firms that are choosing to move here, and to compare candidate pools and see what talent is coming in.”

Since Wrike opened in Dublin in 2015, it has increased its customer base by 532%, and achieved annual recurring revenue by 347% in the EMEA region. The company has tripled its worldwide headcount over the last three years and aims to double in size over the next 36 months as more companies adopt collaborative work management tools to help overcome the challenges presented by digital transformation.

“The definition of the word ‘workplace’ is changing, and I expect we’ll start to see some very real differences in how Dublin and EMEA offices operate in 2019,” she explains.

We’re going to see a tremendous uptick in the number of people working remotely on at least two or three days a week. Remote work and at-home work are fairly new concepts in Ireland, the UK and continental Europe, but they are catching on very quickly.

Companies should embrace this change and provide secure technology that enables and supports both, she says.

“Today, tools such as enterprise-grade instant messaging, video conferencing, and collaborative work management platforms are vital. Offering employees the option to work from home and the flexibility to create their own work schedules provides a number of benefits to companies, ranging

from increased employee productivity to the ability to attract and retain an expanded talent pool. Nearly all of the applicants I have interviewed in the last few months have asked about working from home part-time and about flexible work hours,” she adds.

In a recently commissioned Wrike ‘Happiness Index’ survey conducted in USA, UK, France and Germany across 4,000 gender-balanced respondents, over half of UK employees had taken a pay cut to accept a job that made them happier. In addition to accepting less money in exchange for happiness, they were also largely uninterested in perks.

“The results suggest that work perks should be replaced by measures that increase happiness, productivity and flexibility, including working from home and flexible hours. It should also serve as a wake-up call for employers — if your staff isn’t happy, they will go elsewhere, no matter how good their salaries are.”

If the traditional 9-to-5 is no longer realistic in today’s digital work, it does not necessarily mean the sacrificing of a life-work balance.

“Companies that provide their employees with technology that enables more efficient processes and increased productivity will be able to offer the kind of flexibility and balance people are truly looking for and, in turn, will reap the benefits of having a happier workforce,” she says.

The new world of flexible and remote work arrives just in time to help solve Dublin’s growing accommodation problem, Patricia believes.

“It should come as no surprise that Dublin is in the midst of a real estate crisis, both residential and commercial. Ireland — and particularly Dublin — has done an amazing job of attracting companies from around the globe, but we are now tasked with accommodating everyone that wants to be here. In one sense, this is a great problem to have. And one that has pretty straightforward solutions — remote and flexible work, micro-offices, and commercial development outside Dublin.”

She predicts an increase in remote work options and flexible work

schedules in 2019, helping to reduce city congestion and make living outside the city centre more feasible.

It should be stressed that interest in remote and flexible work isn’t just a fad, it is about people exercising control and about making work fit into their lives rather than trying to fit life into their work. Companies should support this emerging preference if they want to retain top talent.

The future of business will be marked by an increase in satellite offices and the rise of micro-offices just outside the city, with companies opening two or three smaller locations, rather than one large office space.

“It often feels as if those who don’t live near a Luas or Dart line might as well be living in a different city. By taking advantage of these smaller offices, companies can get the space they need while becoming more appealing to a geographically dispersed talent base. And they retain all the benefits of calling Dublin home,” she adds.

Patricia also sees a branching out into less populated suburban areas or fast-growing cities throughout the country, such as Cork and Limerick.

“Ireland’s economy is booming and we can anticipate an influx of international companies looking to move their EMEA headquarters here after Brexit.

“I think 2019 will be the year in which we finally throw out the antiquated

9-to-5 model — it just isn’t realistic anymore. Workers have been sacrificing their lives for work for too long. We now have the tech to automate routine tasks and help us plan, manage, and execute work at scale. It’s time to take advantage of this.”

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