Case Study: Ceros

This mid-size global tech firm implemented Upflex because they wanted to empower their employees to collaborate in person. The result: more employee engagement, and office costs reduced “by an order of magnitude.”




Series D software company


Interactive marketing content software




This mid-size, global software company’s design and marketing platform enables brands like including NBC, Redbull, BuzzFeed and McKinsey to design, manage, and distribute multi-channel, interactive content to global audiences.

Pre-2020, Ceros had a million-dollar-a-year lease on an eye-catching office in New York City. But then the COVID-19 pandemic forced Ceros, along with nearly every other employer in the world, to reassess and transform their workplace strategy. Ceros engaged Upflex to assist with their workplace transformation strategy, generating solutions for the business and their teams.


For Ceros, the pivot to remote work was initially disruptive to their core values and company culture. Before the pandemic, Ceros’s 20,000-square-foot New York headquarters was an Instagram-worthy space with design themes hinging on the 1960s (with vinyl records and a lava lamp), an authentic British pub with a 12-stool bar, vintage arcade games and leather club chairs, as well as a light-filled hidden meeting room accessible by way of a secret door.

This eye-catching headquarters was designed to reflect the company’s creativity and culture, and to help make sure the office would always be a destination for inspiration, fun and collaboration. And it worked: the space raised the company’s profile, drawing “best workplace” and “coolest office” praise from publications including Business Insider, Fortune and Inc. Ceros CEO Simon Berg told the BBC in 2020, “I was an everyday-in-the office kind of guy, and it felt like that was how I’d build culture and connectivity between myself and the team.”

But, as he relayed, spending more time with his own family during the first year of COVID-19 shifted his perspective on the workplace. He now understands that a hybrid workplace supports Ceros’ culture in that it gives employees more, “autonomy, mastery and freedom in their life.”

From fall of 2020 forward, Berg imagined Ceros’s destination office would be a space for “hyper- impactful and very focused” collaboration. Ceros then enabled employees to live anywhere they wished, a major pivot from requiring them to be close to the New York City office.

This, in turn, enabled Ceros to expand their hiring policies and criteria to recruit top talent anywhere in the world. As Ceros realized remote work was a permanent dimension of the workplace of the future, they began working with Upflex to develop an all-in- one solution for remote-first and hybrid work, comprised of:

  • A seamless, simple and secure booking platform
  • A dashboard full of utilization data to allow managers to see and understand workspace needs and manage spend
  • A global network of third-party flex workspaces, from some 1,200 brands in more than a thousand markets


As Ceros realized remote work was a permanent dimension of the workplace of the future, they began working with Upflex to develop an all-in-one solution for remote-first and hybrid work.

As New York City’s pandemic restrictions were rolled back and the sublease market perked up, Ceros found subtenants to take over the lease at Ceros HQ. The million-plus spend that had gone to rent there could now go into workspace needs — and employee experience — in other ways.

Upflex’s workspace strategy advisors worked with the Ceros team to design a custom workplace strategy that reflected company culture and creativity, championing the office as a place for fun and collaboration, regardless of whether it’s in-person or online.

Ceros came to Upflex with three key requirements for a new flex-based workplace solution:

  • Reservation process to book space has to be
    seamless and intuitive
  • The physical spaces have to be safe
    and appealing
  • These work spaces must available all over
    the world

With Upflex’s customized solution, Ceros was able to satisfy all of these criteria and more. Ceros now uses Upflex’s On Demand solution — a flexible, scalable offering that allows employers to pay for only the workspace they actually need — to book desks, meeting rooms, and private offices where and when needed.

In switching to a remote-first company with the help of Upflex, Ceros can hire top talent without boundaries, and their employees were even happier with the flexibility to choose where they worked than they had been commuting every day to one of New York’s coolest offices.

Proof in Results

Ceros enjoyed several benefits from leveraging Upflex for their workplace transformation, including:

Seamless transformation

“COVID was the catalyst that drove our company into a remote-first workplace for all employees,” Ceros CFO Rob Bender told Upflex. “In 2020, we proved that Ceros could not only survive while employees worked remotely, but we could thrive in that environment [as well].”

Cost savings

According to the CEO, in the two and a half years since shifting to remote work, the company’s leadership came to understand that impactful, focused, collaborative work didn’t need to cost the company “well over $1 million per year” in rent. According to Bender, “It became apparent, quite quickly, that we no longer needed the N.Y.C. office.”

Bender said, “Now, nearly every Ceros employee has reasonable access to an Upflex location, and we’ve reduced our office expenses by an order of magnitude.”

“Now, nearly every Ceros employee
has reasonable access to an Upflex
location, and we’ve reduced our
office expenses by an order of magnitude.”
-Ceros CFO Rob Bender

Easy access

As of the start of 2023, the Ceros team has booked at nearly 200 different workspace locations in more than 65 cities. Favorite spaces include high-design, boutique coworking spaces that aren’t so different from the company’s former NYC-based headquarters.

Actionable data

Ceros also gained access to actionable utilization data via Upflex’s management dashboard. Equipped with this data, they were able, for the first time, to gain line of sight into which teams and individuals are using what kind of space, where and when. “We looked for concentrations of employees in cities and states, usage patterns, and whether employees were looking to work alone or collaborate with colleagues,” Bender added. This empowered leadership to proactively plan and budget while meeting workspace needs.

Employee experience

Entering the third year of their “remote first” model with Upflex, the response from Ceros’ workforce has been overwhelmingly positive.

Leadership notes that Ceros employees love being able to book a conference room to meet and collaborate face-to-face with colleagues when and where they need it. And, after several years of working from home, Ceros employees are happy to now have a comfortable, connected place to work independently outside the house as and when needed.

“These last few years have been trying for all,” Ceros CFO Bender said, “and sometimes a change of venue for the day can make all the difference.”

Attracting and retaining top talent

According to Ceros’s CEO, the company’s commitment to a remote-first work environment has been instrumental in retaining and attracting the best employees, and is featured prominently at the very top of their list of company benefits.

Collaboration and team-building

Ceros is seeing employees utilizing Upflex bookings for in-person collaboration. “Quite frankly, there are certain processes that don’t translate well to video conferencing,” Bender said of remote work. “Brainstorming, group problem- solving and creative idea generation are far better in-person. We are excited to see our employees utilizing Upflex bookings for those activities.”

  • Now, nearly every Ceros employee has reasonable access to an Upflex location, and we’ve reduced our office expenses by an order of magnitude.

    Rob Bender
    Rob Bender CFO, Ceros

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