If one’s own work equipment is mobile, the workplace can also be mobile. This is not true for every workplace, but it has been true for us as consultants and coaches for years. Nevertheless, an office, a place for communication and work, is important to us. But are we talking about a classic office?
Since the beginning of the company, we have had our office in a classic office building with a proven interior design: single and double offices, reception area and meeting room. It is comfortable and offers everything you look for and need in an office, including a coffee machine – just very classic for a consulting company.
We have experienced different concepts with our customers in the field. From the classic two or three desks per office (the third is usually placed in front of it for the trainee due to lack of space), the classic open-plan office to the modern office concept with meeting area, retreat offices and team islands. From many discussions with our customers‘ employees and from our own experience, we have learned about the advantages and disadvantages. From our experience, one insight is crucial: It is a combination of task, communication and person that is important for the right room concept.
What is important to us
In mid-2020, we were faced with the decision of continuing to rent the existing offices or looking for a new office standard. As a consultancy, we are experts in working on the move, which is what our vocation entails. With the experience of the first lockdown, the already extensive use of video conferencing to reduce travel, and with the question of how we want to work together in the future, we looked at the question of the office concept. First and foremost, communication is a central issue for us as consultants.
Communication with colleagues to find solutions to challenges, to share experiences, to look at concepts from different angles and to stress test strategies. For such communication, you need a large table, a whiteboard (analog or digital) and a projection surface for tables, pictures or charts. The office must therefore foster communication and creativity. An aspect that is sometimes neglected in a pure home office solution. Communication with our customers is just as important. In contrast to a classic management consultancy, we see ourselves as a point of contact for our customers before, during and after a project. And during a project, we are in constant communication about project content, project status and project results. For this purpose, we use various communication channels, telephone, internet call, video conferences or working spaces. Hardware, software and a very good bandwidth for the Internet are required for this type of communication with our customers. From the point of view of an office location, bandwidth is a decisive criterion. And communication must not disturb other colleagues. Anyone who has ever been in a call center understands the requirements for sound insulation of each individual workstation.
Our way of working – classic or unconventional?
Due to the necessary internal and external communication, we first answered the question for ourselves: Will we even need our own office in the future? Yes, but currently not necessarily our own. For this reason, we looked at various options and evaluated them for ourselves. Renting an empty office, space in a co-working space or office space with a temporary office space provider. The results of our market research were clear: temporary office is too expensive for us and our goals, co-working is good for internal communication but counterproductive for communication with our clients. Renting an empty office meets our needs, but also requires constant staffing. Due to travel for projects and the possibility to work in a home office, our office was and will not be occupied all the time. For these reasons, our choice was a technology center with a constantly staffed reception desk, a janitorial service, and meeting room rental options.
For the interior design, we took the two big themes for us, internal and external communication, as our target image. On the one hand, this has resulted in a comfortably furnished open-plan office including a kitchen, lounge corner and bar table for internal communication, and small rooms for external communication. This allows us to stay in direct contact with our customers and to deepen communication with our colleagues during office hours. Of course, working in a home office and at the customer’s project office remains an option.
We are very pleased to welcome you from 01.03.2021 in our new premises of the TZU in Essener Straße 5, 46047 Oberhausen