Payplug is building a Hybrid culture in a shared workplace

Person photo

Marine Caillot

Chief of Human Ressources Officer

  • SAAS B2B - Fintech
  • 400 employees
  • 3 offices
  • 3 countries
  • 10 teams
  • User since June 2021
  • Remote-first

Payplug is a French payment solution for commerce, ecommerce of all sizes, which has become one of the fastest-growing B2B payment solutions since its inception in 2012. In 2022, Payplug reached 20.000 customers and 400 employees, spread across France, Netherlands and Italy. 

In addition, since 2017 Payplug has belonged to the BCPE Group, the second-largest banking group in France with 100,000 employees and serving 36 million customers worldwide. The BCPE Group also has 3 other fintech and payment solutions and more particularly one, Dalenys, with which Payplug recently merged. With two close payment solutions for e-commerce, this merger enabled the two companies to join forces and create a bigger competitor in a very tense market: in September 2022, the BCPE Group announced the merging between Payplug and Dalenys, under the name of Payplug. 

But before being merged as one company, Payplug and Dalenys have spent 2 years as different entities sharing the same workspace, with a third BCPE-owned company, Xpollens. Three independent entities, 3 HQs, but one office in Paris.

The offices of over 400 employees of the 3 companies were thus spread out in the same building, with remote and hybrid work policies differing according to the companies, jobs or teams. 

Through this period and even more today with the merger, the 3 companies have been able to experience cultural, organizational and operational differences - leading to a very complex hybrid model to set up. While differences in work culture and policies can put an organization at risk, it is also a very good way to rethink the way we work, meet, and collaborate in a more flexible, hybrid era. 

In this particular organization with many challenges, Payplug, Dalenys and Xpollens have chosen to use Café as the common tool to manage their workspaces and build a remote-first culture. After 2 years using Café and after experiencing a merger, Marine Caillot - Chief of Human Resources at Payplug, shared her experience with us.  

Switching for Hybrid is a matter of culture

Among Café's customers and more generally companies with a hybrid work or remote-first model, the case of Payplug is quite particular. Indeed, for two years, three different companies shared the same offices - and thus the Café solution, while having different hybrid policies and company culture. 

Payplug, Dalenys and Xpollens sharing the same workspace in Paris

For the first two years, the employees of Payplug, Dalenys and Xpollens were first spread across two floors with a dedicated space for every of the three companies, before recently being merged as one workspace. Today, the group has nearly 400 employees who are gradually developing a common culture in their transition to a remote-first model. 

But among all the challenges that a merger of several companies brings - and even more in the era of hybrid and flexible work, the real challenge of this organization was the differences in culture between two companies with different profiles and sometimes different professions. According to Marine:  

"We have work to do on the company culture, we can observe some real differences between the two companies that merged." 

Founded in 2002, Dalenys has grown in an entirely different context than Payplug did 10 years later. And after being merged as one entity, it gets really tricky - and risky - to set rules and build a cohesive culture that aligns with, and works for employees across both companies. This main challenge Payplug’s HR team describes, is proving especially difficult in the context of decision-making around hybrid and remote working policies.

In order to optimize the sharing of offices and the monitoring of employees, Payplug, Dalenys and Xpollens have chosen to equip themselves with a solution dedicated to the management of the hybrid model and have chosen Café to bring more flexibility and visibility to their employees. 

Choosing the right tool for the right model 

Like most companies that have recently switched to remote-first or hybrid, the pandemic has had a game-changing effect at Payplug. It has pushed the organization to rethink its policies - without agreeing on the same rules for all the companies in the building. 

Indeed, before the merger of Dalenys and Payplug, the two companies adopted different strategies. For example, Payplug had opted for a flex office policy, while Dalenys didn't. Also, the two companies were not using the same rule to calculate the number of remote days allowed for every team. 

With the merger of the two companies and the use of a common tool for the 400 employees - Café, Payplug gradually standardized the rules to bring more flexibility, clarity and above all, visibility to employees who have seen the size of their company double in just a few months. 

With such a unique organization facing serious challenges around culture and adoption of a hybrid policy, choosing a management tool that could address such complex challenges was a priority for employees and HR teams in order to move forward productively and cohesively.

To start, flexibility and ease of use were among the main criteria for choosing according to Marine:

"The most important: we wanted a mobile app, so we can use it everywhere."

Thus, Payplug employees are using Café at any time and from everywhere to easily have visibility on the offices and their team schedules.

Space management made easy with Café

Another unique aspect of this particular case was solving for three different companies being able to leverage the same space, in ways that align with their individual organizational cultures. This involved creating bespoke spaces for each company to use differently, without the configuration being final. This especially became useful following the merger, when the office configuration could easily be changed and spaces merged in Café.

"We are having space issues: in an organization with 6 seats for every 10 people, we need to be able to manage all our spaces easily, from one place".

Finally, the differences in culture and habits between three very different companies required an easy-to-use tool, intuitive and accessible for everyone. This was the case with Café, which offered simple onboarding and intuitive navigation within the tool, allowing for quick and easy use. 

In conclusion, Payplug's case is a real example of how tricky it can be to handle some important changes in a work organization - as office sharing or a switch in remote policy, especially when other companies are involved. 

Café for Hybrid and Remote-first Teams

Café, the social hub for Hybrid teams

 At Café, we truly believe the future of work is hybrid.

We designed the ultimate social hub for hybrid teams, to enable employees to shape their hybrid work styles with flexibility, transparency, and interest-based connections at the forefront of each social interaction. 

We help hybrid and remote first companies increase workplace connectivity and build efficient, flexible and thriving cultures.

Boost office connectivity with social moments and create strong connections across teams from your social hub in Café. 


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