An idea is born
Everything started some years ago with our SMILE project. This was the thinking behind it: Each one of us has ideas and suggestions that are worthy of being listened to and – once they’ve been checked and after a majority decision – of being implemented. This allows us to improve our working conditions, and we’ve already brought many a groundbreaking innovation to life as a result.
So why not think about new premises and their furnishing and equipment as a team, too?
Where it all started...
It all started with a meeting at Drees & Sommer in mid-2016, when we started talking about the spaces available at our premises. This got the ball rolling.
A SMILE idea came about, and just a few workshops later, the decision was made: Together, we wanted to develop a new workspace using an area of 420 m² at the location of our old offices in Leinfelden-Echterdingen. In this pilot space, we set up 24 workstations and 18 meeting spaces.
During this process, we were inspired by one main idea.
Inspiration needs space
We didn’t want to create the new office out of a knee-jerk reaction. Instead, we wanted to proceed step by step, like when developing sophisticated software: Planning, adapting, trying things out, perfecting them… until the perfect product is achieved: A workspace that optimally embodies our corporate culture and the team philosophy of Novatec.
All of our employees were able to inject their ideas, desires, and suggestions into the process and to test the developing offices and workstations in the pilot area and give ongoing feedback on them. This feedback flowed back into the spatial design concept.
The result: Modern, open workstations with a harmonious atmosphere that’s tailored to the ideal workflow – as the basis for the “perfect flow”. The blueprint for our new office was made.
A vision with clear contours – VISION ONE in figures
Form follows function
The new workspace is the result of a unique team project and is made for its users in a very real way. It gets us into the right frame of mind for programming, consulting, training, and much more. When arranging, shaping, and furnishing these spaces, we brought our vision to life. Our guiding principle was “Form follows function”: These spaces are meeting and collaboration rooms as well as think-tanks for teamwork and cooperation and places we can retreat to in order to have confidential discussions or to concentrate on our work.
One characteristic of the new workspace is its division into areas that are fitted out in accordance with their function. The “home base”, for example, where all of the threads come together, is the administrative and services hub. There are retreat spaces that enable concentrated collaboration as is required for pair programming, for instance. In contrast, the communication areas are more open in design. They encourage stimulating team discussions and act as a kind of marketplace where meetings and workshops can take place.
Our workspace meets the most stringent requirements relating to flexibility and agility. Among other things, agile working means being able to change your workplace and environment at any time – sometimes even during a project. Our offices give all of our employees exactly the environment they need at any one time.
And that’s why we’ve chosen the approach of non-territorial working, too. In other words, in some office areas, our employees are not assigned to fixed workstations. Instead, we use the shared desk principle, and employees are able to use retreat spaces, project rooms, and other areas by the hour, so everyone can benefit from these spaces when they need them.
In-house software tells us which areas are in most demand. And it also helps us to find a workstation that’s perfect for our current activity.
Collaboration pays off
The best solutions are found when lots of clever minds work together. But in today’s era, when distancing is increasingly required, virtual meetings are more and more important.
Nevertheless, they cannot completely replace face-to-face meetings. That’s why we’ve set up special meeting rooms for meetings with customers, partners, and potential new talent.
The same applies for perfect collaboration within our own teams. After all, special tasks require specially equipped workstations – for stand-up meetings, for example. And we’ve set up special spaces for these purposes, too.
Small but mighty!
Perfection requires coherence down to the very details. The same is true for the perfect flow. To ensure the best possible conditions here, we’ve chosen furniture, colors, and materials that combine to stimulate creativity and well-being.
Wooden furniture, for example, radiates soothing naturalness. A similar effect can be achieved by accentuating individual pieces of furniture with selected fabrics and paints.
However, the look&feel and design of the furniture should be easy on the back as well as easy on the eyes! For this reason, the height of all tables and desks can be adjusted to ensure healthy, ergonomic working conditions.
It’s clear that perfect lighting conditions, good air quality, and pleasing acoustics come together to create a positive atmosphere. Office separators with transparent glass elements and special panels create optimal acoustics and room climates. The pleasant brightness of the rooms is also striking.
To ensure great lighting conditions in winter as well as in summer, we’ve fitted the work areas with high-quality lighting. And to ensure energy efficiency, we’ve integrated motion and presence detectors into LED floor lamps.
People who feel like taking in the view can make their way to the roof terrace. It’s also perfect for team BBQs during the warmer summer months.
Efficiency and sustainability also characterize the new workspace in other ways. Wherever possible, the companies used to build and equip the workspace come from the surrounding region. In some cases, we even check out their production facilities at their own sites. In addition, we use sustainability reports when selecting furniture, for example.
The concept of sustainability also encompasses mobility. Cyclists can enjoy a separate entrance, 120 parking spots, e-bike charging stations, and showering facilities. And drivers of electric cars can conveniently charge their vehicles at one of the ten charging stations.
One thing’s really important to us: The building contractor, BÜLOW AG, also makes sustainability a guiding principle of its activity, and this is confirmed by Gold DGNB certification.
The best is yet to come
Just like the development of software, our history is ongoing. There’s plenty of news about our workspace still to come, and plenty of exciting events to report on, too.
So make sure you don’t miss out!