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Jun 27

How AppNexus is Avoiding Another “Cold War” this Summer with Comfy

The extended summer months are some of the most dreaded for facilities teams, office managers, and other folks responsible for optimizing the workplace. The perpetual challenge of temperature control in commercial buildings gets even more difficult, leaving those responsible frustrated, and their employees woefully uncomfortable. Many of us have experienced the summer “shoulder season”—those sweltering days before the building’s AC kicks on—quickly followed by the big chill of chronic over-air conditioning. HVAC systems go on full blast, forcing employees to rely on a host of ridiculous tactics to deal with discomfort and stay productive at work.

Meanwhile, facilities teams are left fielding tickets and complaints, trying to do their best, but inevitably falling short of meeting occupants’ needs. This was the case at AppNexus until they got Comfy.

AppNexus is an internet technology company that enables and optimizes the real-time sale and purchase of digital advertising. Ranked #21 on the Forbes Cloud 100 list (2016), AppNexus’ powerful, real-time decisioning platform enables publishers to maximize yield and marketers and agencies to harness data and machine learning to deliver intelligent and customized campaigns. Their state-of-the-art headquarters in New York’s historic Flatiron District is designed to “facilitate innovative thinking” with agile workstations, activity furnishings, and amenities throughout the space. Yet despite all the bells and whistles, thermal comfort was a problem they just couldn’t solve.

"Someone complained about it being so cold, they were using blankets and wanted space heaters..."

Cadi Withers, Senior Manager of Global Office Operations at AppNexus, recalls a time when her team would get so flooded with hot/cold calls and complaints that it became hard for them to even leave their desks or work on other projects. “I remember one, hot summer day, an email thread started where someone complained about it being so cold that they were using blankets and wanted space heaters,” she notes. “The email thread exploded into about 50 or so responses and we just thought, ‘this is out of control.'"

Finally, Cadi had had enough and started looking into alternative solutions. When she heard about Comfy, she immediately saw the value in empowering employees to adjust their own space according to their individual needs.

Now, whenever an AppNexus employee finds their space uncomfortable, they can simply open the Comfy app, make a request, and get instant relief. Meanwhile, through Comfy Insights, Cadi and her team have visibility into where and when Comfy gets used, so they can keep abreast of how the building is performing in response to requests.

"Now [employees] can just make those changes themselves…immediately."

Since deploying Comfy in 2015, the number of hot/cold calls the facilities team receives has been reduced to nearly nothing. Employees at AppNexus headquarters have made a whopping 62,348 Comfy requests over the last two years, which Cadi considers a measure of the HVAC complaints that her team would otherwise have had to address individually. “Now [employees] can just make those changes themselves…immediately.”

With summer encroaching on New York City, Cadi’s team is currently preparing for “the cold war" by conducting a second-annual campaign to re-educate employees about their access to Comfy. Last year, the campaign was so successful that they saw over 12,000 requests in Q3 alone, which translates into fewer complaints for Cadi’s team, and happier employees overall. With Comfy, AppNexus has not only been able to tackle their ongoing temperature challenges, but increase workplace satisfaction, maximize building and operational efficiency, and gain insight into how their employees are utilizing office space. Now that is what is called a triple-bottom line.

Is your office prepared for summer? If not, it's time to get Comfy.


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