Better Work Lab is now Poplar.
The story behind Poplar started in early 2018 when we set out to build digital products that made work better for those on low incomes.
20% of UK workers are low paid, earning less than £15,000 per year. In the US, the figure is closer to 25% — that’s almost 40 million people.
Those on low pay often struggle to access legal benefits and protections at work; they get the raw end of a more flexible workplace and they miss out on quality training and management.
At the same time, UK employment is at its highest level since the 1970s and companies complain that they struggle to recruit high-quality employees, yet wages are stagnant and productivity is lagging.
We believe there’s an opportunity to redefine the relationship between worker and company in a way that’s better for everyone. Work that pays fairly, provides flexibility and security, and results in improved productivity.
We launched Poplar in the autumn of 2018 to help make that possible.
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Anna Maybank, CEO
Anna was the CEO and co-founder of Poetica, acquired by Conde Nast in 2016. Previously, she was the co-founder of Bethnal Green Ventures, an accelerator for technology companies solving social or environmental problems. Anna has an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was a Fulbright Scholar.
Tom Taylor, CTO
Tom was Chief Product Engineer at the Co-op Group, where he led a user-centred R&D team developing new digital businesses for the Co-op’s 4.5 million members. Before that he was CTO and co-founder of Newspaper Club, a print-on-demand platform, which was acquired in 2015. He’s also done technology and design strategy work for clients such as Apple, the BBC, and the Government Digital Service.
James Weiner, Chief Product Officer
James was the CPO and co-founder of Poetica. Previously, he was the founding designer at the UK’s Government Digital Service, where he helped create its design team and led the front end development of GOV.UK.