After two years of a pandemic and a whole load of working from home, how do you rekindle the desire in people to return to the office?
Karin Maria Schertler: Many of our colleagues are longing for all those aspects of work that we have had to do without during this long period: casual conversation, quick chats at the coffee machine, socials, having a good laugh together, being seen and recognised, meeting up after work and having fun...
Working from home will indeed remain an important pillar of the working environment, but at the same time, we know that the space and the people around us have a considerable influence on what we achieve at work, just like going to a restaurant is a totally different experience from buying take-out to eat at the kitchen table at home. Our colleagues are aware of this.
Ultimately, our success depends on the seamless integration of all disciplines, and so it is important that we see each other from time to time. We are not individuals who work on our own, detached from each other. To a large extent, our work is always teamwork, which requires trust and a sense of enjoyment. The best way to promote and cultivate those factors is face to face.
What opportunities for New Work are offered within the Serviceplan Group? What role does the new House of Communication in Munich play in this?
Karin Maria Schertler: We have become trilingual: we have mastered the entire repertoire, from physical attendance to remote working and hybrid working. Moreover, our colleagues have the option of the ‘mobile office abroad’.
At the same time, we are creating a work atmosphere that is characterised by ‘wanting’ rather than ‘having’ to come to the office. This is why we attach so much importance to investing in our office and office concepts. Thus, we can offer our colleagues the best possible conditions for the four Cs - concentration, communication, collaboration, and community. The design of our workspaces promotes agile working, and enables us to consistently find the right people with the talent for the respective role. Our new House of Communication in Munich corresponds exactly to this philosophy, and in so doing, offers yet another inspirational environment. As well as its outstanding architectural features, the works of famous artists are displayed throughout the building, adding character to our new House of Communication.
How did you discover which New Work concept suited your agency?
Karin Maria Schertler: We have spent the last six years experimenting, trying out many options labelled as New Work. After our intensive learning journey, we knew what suited us best, what really helped us, and what felt easy and comfortable rather than overwhelming. We then boldly combined or adapted the tools, methods, principles, etc. to our needs, and developed them further.
The following is also very important: New Work cannot be prescribed from the top; it is a shared journey, a process of constant, collective learning and adaptation. Therefore, we actively support New Work with collective learning journeys, in conjunction with dedicated feedback sprints. To date, we have been very satisfied with the response from our colleagues.