Welcome to the classic individual office: white walls, a brightly carpeted floor and a huge desk in the middle of the room, on which is a computer, a landline telephone, as well as a picture frame on the right and and a thirsty orchid on the left by way of decoration. Welcome to the empire of the employer, the manager or the executive. This is of course an exaggerated image, but even in 2019 this way of working is far from rare. According to a workplace study carried out by Steelcase, an expert in spatial solutions, and the Ipsos Institute from 2017, managers are much more likely to work in individual offices (58%) than employees (23%). More than 12,000 managers and employees from 17 countries took part in the survey. The results show that the workplaces of managers and employees are still very different. In practice, this model is seldom successful. Today it is increasingly the role of the manager to lead, explain, criticise and praise - and that doesn’t work as well in an isolated individual office with a tiny window in the corner.
But OTTO has a solution: since it is increasingly common for managers to sit with their teams, in the new building the directors will work in the same office space as their employees too.
“In order to set a good example and show that we are serious about the FutureWork initiative, increasing numbers of both managers and divisional directors are giving up their offices.”
A new head office is taking shape on the campus in Hamburg-Bramfeld
The area surrounding the office is currently being extensively modernised. Work to build a new company headquarters on the campus in Hamburg Bramfeld is due for completion in summer 2022. OTTO has invested 100 million euros in the architecturally demanding project to convert an old warehouse. The new head office will provide a modern and flexible work space for 1,800 members of staff in a multi-space concept across nine floors. The special feature is that OTTO’s directors are giving up their individual offices in line with the ideas of New Work.
FutureWork will be practised across every department
The multifunctional spatial concept is already practised by some members of staff on the campus and is part of the FutureWork Initiative at OTTO. “Many of our employees already work flexibly when it comes to location - in other words they look for a suitable place to perform whatever task they are currently working on,” explains Katy Roewer, OTTO Divisional Director for Service & Personnel. “In order to set a good example and show that we are serious about the FutureWork initiative, increasing numbers of both managers and divisional directors are giving up their offices.”