New Work – New Office?
New from old: How we’re rethinking our workspaces here at imc
It’s been a year of changes – and not just for our corporate culture and work model, but for our physical offices as well. There can be no New Work without new offices, so we embarked on something of a makeover, rethinking our workspaces and giving them a fresh new look.
We wanted offices that were functional and versatile yet inviting. Spaces that are global in design, but with unique local character. Somewhere that lends itself well both to efficiency by day and relaxed after-work events in the evening. And we made it happen, achieving big changes on a small budget with just a few simple tweaks. But don’t just take our word for it. Read on to discover our new (old) offices.
New Work also means new office spaces
A lot of companies want to redesign the way they work. But that requires more than just new work models, changes to organisational structures and maybe an updated corporate culture. For New Work, you also have to rethink the physical places where work happens. Here at imc, offices are facilitators of connection and interaction, so they need to be attractive and inviting. This calls for modern office concepts – because New Work can’t really work without new offices.
We wanted to create multifunctional office spaces, each with its own unique character – a big bang on a small budget and with minimal effort. And we started with our offices in Munich, Australia and Saarbrücken.
The perfect mix: Global, but with a local touch
One of the key aims of our office makeover was to ensure a coherent brand image while giving expression to local characteristics, so we mixed central brand elements with distinctive regional elements.
And we’re very pleased with the results. The walls at our Australian office are now adorned with kangaroos, motifs from the outback, and the outline of the map of Australia. Meanwhile, at our Munich office you’ll encounter classic motifs from the Oktoberfest and references to the stunning exterior of the Allianz Arena football stadium – including elements in the blue and white colours of the Bavarian flag. Each office now has its own distinctive look.
No New Work without new offices
We looked at a range of office concepts in our quest to get the best out of our existing spaces. We wanted new designs and floorplans that would not just enhance employee interaction and work efficiency but would create a completely new atmosphere as well.
Come on in: Our entrance areas and foyers
The entrance areas and foyers of our offices are not just places for meeting and greeting guests. They’re also ideal spaces to display our multiple-award-winning content projects. Hence at our Munich office, for example, you will find an exhibition of our projects, including our Cyber Crime Time e-learning game and our compliance training program for Audi AG.
Coworking space or private space?
Today’s employees want workspaces where they can feel comfortable and be productive – although just what that means can vary from person to person. That’s why, at many of our locations, we allow our employees to choose the style of workspace that works best for them.
For example, in Saarbrücken, Munich, London and Switzerland, we have coworking spaces where employees can go about their own work while being able to share ideas with their colleagues without having to get up from their desks. This promotes interaction and personal exchange – both of which are crucial to New Work.
Employees wanting more peace and quiet, on the other hand, can opt for a closed-door office. Providing a space away from the open-plan area, these cubicles (known in Germany as “phone boxes”) offer privacy for longer phone calls and freedom from noise and distractions.
Equipped with video equipment such as diffused lighting and cameras and featuring attractive design elements, these cubicles and other private offices are also ideal for video calls, webinars, and other online events requiring a professional setting. Our Melbourne office, for example, already offers this kind of set-up for high-quality video streaming.
Touchdown areas: Perfect for work and after-work events
Our touchdown areas, meeting rooms, lounges and common spaces are designed for teams who want to get together to brainstorm and work intensively on projects. They are optimised for functionality, flexibility and collaboration, but are also ideal for informal networking and socialising.
In Saarbrücken, for example, some seating, a candy bar, a TV and a bit of greenery was all it took to transform an area of our marketing department into a kind of coffee shop-style living room – an ideal spot to take time out and chill.
In Munich, we created a lounge area in the style of a bookshop. We simply upgraded the existing fitout and furnishings by adding decorative elements, lighting and reference books, and invited employees to store personal items to lend the office a personal note. What’s more, the area can easily be reconfigured for team events by adding additional seating.
Franziska Filser, an instructional designer based in Munich, has the following to say about this particular office makeover: “We were given a say in the design, which I think was really nice, and so in Munich we now have a wonderful office space that’s a pleasure to be in and works well as a communal lunch area. So yes, the makeover was a resounding success.”
If, on the other hand, you prefer to squeeze a little exercise and entertainment into your breaks, then the playground area at our office in Saarbrücken is just the thing. The area features a table football game, which, together with design elements like skateboards and modern-look furniture, lends the area a fun, sporty atmosphere.
In an extra-special highlight at our office in Australia, one of our local employees designed and painted a motif featuring the imc slogan “We Empower” on the wall. The slogan goes together well with a small bar and sofa corner, creating the ideal venue for after-work events and lending the office a unique look and feel.
“Our office was in something of a sorry state after the pandemic, and the revamp gave it a bit of sorely needed tender loving care,” says corporate designer Adan van Winden. “The area now has a vibrancy that makes it a nice place to be.”
Teamwork makes the dream work
Everyone likes working in their freshly made-over offices, but getting to that point was half the fun, not to mention a great opportunity to get the various teams together on site. The teams redesigned their offices themselves, which served to enhance team cohesion. The completion of each makeover was followed by a mini after-work party, with everyone gathering to celebrate the end result.
In short, the office makeovers were a huge success in so many ways – so much so in fact that we want to run similar makeovers in stages at our other locations. Plans for our offices in London and Singapore are already well in hand, and in Switzerland we have just moved into a new office, so we’ll be doing a makeover there too. We’ll keep you posted!
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I' ve been working as a permanent member of the imc Marketing & Communication Team since 2021. The mix of creative content creation, social media and online marketing activities excites me the most about my job.
My goal is to inspire people with creative and innovative content and to make the imc brand more tangible.
My passion besides my job? Travelling a lot and discovering the world. I am always happy to receive feedback or suggestions at Doreen.Hartmann@im-c.de!