After thirty years of use, on the occasion of its renovation and modernisation, and not least thanks to its unusual layout, the listed HVB-Tower offered the possibility of creating high-quality, state-of-the-art office landscapes that promote communication and support individual creativity, team building, and networking. Even at the planning stage over 30 years ago, the owner had required the original architects Walther and Bea Betz to ensure plenty of daylight in the workplace and a flexible floor plan for a variety of forms of office organisation. These forward-looking provisions substantially facilitated the realization of the new concept, known at UniCredit as ‘smart working’.
Instead of occupying a fixed workstation, employees do their work in different office environments – depending on the task at hand – which are always found at the same location on each of the ‘standard floors’ of the HVB-Tower. So while the Focus Areas are for concentrated, conceptual work, several colleagues can meet in the Co-Working Areas for project work. Cubicles are provided for telephone calls and video conferences, and the Business Lounges are used for informal interaction.
A prerequisite for such flexible working is the ‘clean desk policy’, whereby teams and departments file their material in PIN code-protected, motorised mobile shelving systems, while personal documents can be stored in individual lockers that can only be opened with the respective staff ID card.
Information and communication technologies enable fast, accurate and intelligent flexibility at work.
Under the ‘smart working’ concept, every employee can use their notebook computer to access the electronically stored files via LAN at the workstations, and via Wi-Fi throughout the office. For documents that must be printed out, a follow-me printing environment of printers programmed with card readers has been created, and allows for printing documents on any printer in the building.
Thanks to standard docking stations featuring LAN and USB ports, any employee can work at any computer workstation, as well those as in the meeting rooms and open meeting areas. Videoconferencing and telepresence systems facilitate communication with colleagues and business partners who are not physically present.
Like nearly all companies in the financial services industry that realise modern office concepts on their premises, HypoVereinsbank uses a ratio of 0.8 fully equipped workstations per employee. This enables the achievement of ecological resource conservation for sustainability purposes.
Above all, however, it is of great importance for reasons of economy, because conventional, ‘territorial’ office workspaces can be constraining factors when trying to achieve fast, flexible responses to processes of change. In today’s market and competitive environment, a high pace of adaption and implementation is essential for banks – including during organisational changes. Nearly all major corporations in finance, IT, automotive and telecommunications are therefore pursuing the approach of flexible, modern working environments. While tailored solutions are unavoidable in the process, they do allow for further adaptation options in the future.