We spoke with Dor Lev, who’s in charge of basically everything related to keeping Mindspace locations running smoothly. He told us about his responsibilities (wait till you see this list), his favorite part of the job, and some of the green initiatives Mindspace is working on. Read on…
What’s your job?
Operations Lead. I’m based at Mindspace headquarters and I’m in charge of 4 markets: Israel, Romania, Poland, and the Netherlands.
What does that mean? What do you tell your mother about what you do?
It’s a lot. Basically, when I describe what I do, I break it down into 3 areas:
Ongoing day-to-day operations at different locations: this covers everything from maintenance to the reception desk, anything related to invoices or expenses for operating our sites. I’m in charge of the budget for the site — kitchen supplies, major vendors, IT/internet, electricity, and the staff that covers operations — office managers, maintenance teams, the IT team (but not Community Managers).
Process improvement: because we’re a fast growing company, it’s important for us to always improve the operations of our sites. So, I’m focused on improving the processes, procedures, and how everything is done. I work on creating a global standard for how we operate and maintain our facilities, so that it’s cost efficient, energy efficient, and that we are improving all the time. I’m always thinking about how we can do what we do even better.
The third area is related to construction and launching new sites. I oversee any modifications we do at our existing sites, and I take care of all the small-to-medium sized construction projects. For example, if a large company wants to transform half of a floor at one of our locations into a single big suite — I’m in charge of that. For new sites, we’re in charge of buying the kitchen appliances, the kitchenware, the meeting room supplies, whiteboards and such. I’m also in charge of multimedia and the IT and security systems.
How do you do all this?
With the help of my amazing team, who’s dedicated to making everything run smoothly, down to the last detail. I work with teams of Operations Managers, Facilities Managers, Office Managers, and Maintenance Managers across all our locations.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I love that it’s dynamic, versatile, and working with different people from all different cultures and countries. I get the chance to impact a lot, and I feel like I have the ability to create changes across the company and help our teams everywhere. People turn to me with challenges and problems, and most of the time, I’m able to solve it quickly and help them out.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Juggling all the balls without dropping any.
What did you study?
Business Management, with a minor in sociology.
How has it helped you in your job?
I manage a lot of people, so it has helped me drive and influence them and motivate them to be their best. Prior to Mindspace, I actually didn’t have any facilities experience — I learned everything on the go, on my own. And I’m still learning.
What part of Operations do you like best? Are you a renovations guy? A process guy?
I’m more into the technical part of the job because that’s where it’s the most challenging and where I learn the most. For example, IT and building systems. Construction is pretty technical.
Tell us about some of the green initiatives you’re working on at Mindspace.
We’re working on a range of issues, both on the backend and those related to members and employees. It’s interesting — a lot of green initiatives actually come from the ‘bottom up’ where we hear from staff and members about things they’d like to change. These are good complements to some of the initiatives we’re working on from our end. The projects are a good balance between addressing our largest environmental impact (energy use) and those issues that touch the members directly. Here are a few highlights:
LIGHTING — as we’re always working on improvements, I consider upgrades and efficiency to be a core part of our company mindset. And efficiency and green go nicely together. For example, in Tel Aviv, I noticed that our light bulbs were burning out very often. This had a couple of implications — first of all, it was inefficient and wasteful. We were spending money buying a lot of bulbs. Also, it was taking a tremendous amount of time from our maintenance team — we were replacing about 1–2 bulbs a day. This adds up to serious work hours.
So, I started to look into this more and learn about different types of lightbulbs, their efficiency and energy usage. I learned that while our corridor lightning looked very nice, they were really not energy efficient at all. And with lighting technology rapidly evolving so quickly, there were other options out there that looked just as nice, and would also be energy efficient. So, I showed the design team several options, and they approved one of them. We went from bulbs that were 60 watts each to bulbs that were 4.5 each. This made a huge difference — it not only saved us electricity, but they also lasted much longer (they come with a 2 year warranty). Now, we change 1 bulb every few months. I consider this a win/win solution all around.
ENERGY — this is definitely our biggest climate impact. It’s also one of the top 3 line items in a site’s operational budget. We’ve found a great, practical solution for the HVAC systems at our existing and new sites (HVAC = the heating, ventilation, air conditioning technology in a building). In many of our locations, we were able to upgrade our existing HVAC systems to more efficient systems, with smart timers that can be controlled for the backend. We’re able to do this without impacting our customer experience — if someone is working late at night, it’s no problem. They can control their own AC or heating.
At some locations, it hasn’t been possible to install these systems because of the existing building system or infrastructure, but where we can — we’ve done it. And we’ll do it at all new locations where possible. Again, this is a win/win — we reduce our energy consumption, and reduce our energy costs.
DISPOSABLE CUPS — this was an interesting situation. At all Mindspace locations, we only use reusable glasses and mugs. Except for our older sites in Israel. This initiative came from our employees and members — they wanted to get rid of the disposable cups because it was just too wasteful. People are starting to become more aware of these issues in the workplace. So, we started at the Herzliya location, and we’ve successfully eliminated all the single-use plastic and paper cups.
It took quite a bit of coordination on the backend — we made the necessary adjustments to our supplies, the cleaning staff, etc. And we made the change. In this instance, the initiative was more expensive and actually cost us money. But we chose to do it because it’s just the right thing. We’re moving forward with the remaining locations in Tel Aviv now, and then we’ll be done. Our new location that recently opened up in Israel (Ramat Gan), by the way, was launched only with reusable cups.