In over 12 years of existence we have developed from a service provider in the electrical engineering field to a provider of the entire range of TGA services. However, developments have not only taken place in the area of our services. As we grew, our working environment became increasingly important to us. One of the problems for which a solution had to be found was more and more employees in fewer and fewer workplaces.
For almost a year now, we have been sitting in a new building in Eislingen, which is visibly different from the old one. A few questions arise... that's why I, Doro, ask my interview partner, Dirk Jannausch, how exactly we came to this office concept.
Question: How have our employees fared in the workplace in recent years?
Answer: "We grew quickly as a company. The number of employees increased, and the space in our Eislingen building, the "Eislinger Tor," became smaller and smaller. In part, we had to convert meeting rooms into offices and use parts of the garage as workstations. That's why we moved to the new administrative headquarters in the Buntweberei in Eislingen."
Question: Is the building in the Buntweberei simply larger? Or does it also have more to offer?
Answer: " The building is bigger, of course. But with the construction of the building, we have also implemented everything we were missing in the old building."
Question: What was missing in the old building?
Answer: "Flexibility. Our new building allows our staff to organise their working day more self-determined and flexible than before."
Question: What exactly does flexibility mean in terms of the workplace?
Answer: "In the new building, our employees can choose their workplace every day. The building has many usable spaces: open offices, work islands, individual offices, and meeting rooms. So our staff can decide where they prefer to work at any given moment, depending on their mood. It also means that you can work either in the office or from another location. With the new building, hybrid working has become an integral part of our workplace concept."
Question: How exactly does it work? How do you know which seat is empty at a certain time?
Answer: "For us, being able to work in a hybrid way means having several workplace options, both in terms of location and building. Our building is a hybrid between open workplaces and closed office spaces. You can easily book your workstation or required meeting rooms every day in our self-developed LuCas app. This way, you always get a notification if the desired space or room is occupied."
Question: So how do you find your colleagues when they could theoretically be sitting somewhere else every day?
Answer: "In theory, this would indeed be problematic. But our solution is to divide our 3-storey building into three zones. Project management is on the ground floor, purchasing, costing, and planning on the first floor, the commercial department is on the second floor. This way you only have to search one floor, not the entire building. If you have difficulties, you can easily find people across buildings with the help of the person search function in the LuCas app.
Question: How does a new employee find their workplace?
Answer: "Quite simply, by choosing it. All our workstations have standard equipment in this way a new employee can start their first day of work from anywhere in the building."
Question: What does this standard equipment consist of?
Answer: "Every workplace at our company is equipped with a height-adjustable desk and two monitors. Every employee gets a laptop, a headset, a mouse, and a keyboard on their first day at work. This equipment is the basis for the functioning of our workplace concept."
Question: Are printers and scanners also part of the standard equipment? It would be far too expensive to equip each workstation with them separately...
Answer: "No one here needs their printer. Each floor in our building contains a station in the longitudinal building fully equipped with printers, scanners, waste bins, and office supplies. It is easily accessible for every employee, and purchasing separate printers or scanners is unnecessary. However, an exception is staff who need to scan documents regularly - they get a portable desktop scanner."
Frage: What does it mean to choose your workplace? Are workplaces limited to offices and meeting rooms, or are there more options?
Answer: "In our building, you can work from anywhere. Another option is the Work Café on the 2nd floor. As the name suggests, it represents for a combination of work, networking, and relaxation. During the lunch break, our Work Café is an ideal place to eat together and relax. During working hours, it is perfect for smaller meetings or individual work."
Frage: How did the existing staff get used to the new concept? After all, it must have been something completely new for them.
Answer: "As a craft business, people often say that you are very conservative. This statement carries some truth since we had to do a lot of convincing. The new situation with the free choice of seats was unusual for many at first. That's why we also allowed fixed places and offices to be allocated, at least, in the beginning. In the meantime, most of these fixed places have disappeared. Slowly but surely, everyone is taking a liking to the new concept."