"We have created transparency and flexibility"

SKIDATA is modernizing its headquarters in Grödig. The design concept is called Open Space, reveals Martin, Director of Supply Chain & Facility Management. 

Martin, you're in charge of the modernization effort at SKIDATA. What was the goal of the change?

We are a rapidly growing company. We have reached the capacity limit in our headquarters. In the old division with small offices for two to four people to the right and left of the corridor, we had very little leeway. Also, we didn't want to condense any further, thus to grow, we had to tear down walls. Additionally, after 30 years it was also necessary to renew the infrastructure installing things like air-conditioning, for example. We are a technology company and want to offer our employees modern workplaces.

What was particularly important to you during the conversion?

Above all, an open design. We wanted to create transparency and flexibility in order to promote cooperation and communication. Good ideas arise when you communicate.

Did you have any role models in the design?

We looked at other companies, for example, we visited Microsoft in Vienna. We were also advised by external architects and designers, as well as Steelcase, an office furnisher from the USA. We held a one-day workshop with them, our entire board of directors and a number of division heads in order to adapt our future working environment to our corporate culture and success factors. We are continually learning new things.

How far has the restructuring progressed now?

We are completely finished with the third floor. For the most part, we have adapted the first floor and the ground floor. Overall, we can say that around two-thirds of our overall workspace has been modernized.

What does it look like on level three?

It's an open space, there are few solid walls, but a lot of glass. We have also created retreats – our Silent Boxes – and meeting rooms. We took various aspects into account in the design, the first being light: in addition to the necessary lighting, every workstation is equipped with a standard lamp to ensure optimum illumination. Then to address noise pollution, we have taken various precautions to break up traveling sounds. There is carpet on the floor and sound insulation elements on the ceilings. The Silent Boxes are equipped with special soundproofing elements. Large pictures as separating elements loosen up the room and also absorb the sound. We were somewhat reserved with colors. We kept the walls white, for example, while the sound elements are yellow. The Silent Boxes, on the other hand, are designed very differently with colors, but above all, they are casual and invite you to relax. There are also sofas or armchairs in the boxes. If you want, you can phone here in peace.

Is there anything new outside the offices?

Yes, we've also done a lot outside, for example rebuilding the terrace. The uncontrolled growth has been eliminated, and two large all-weather umbrellas have been installed so that you can stay outdoors in the sun and rain. Then we extended the parking lot, and there is now one parking place per employee – which is a dream come true in the city. In the parking lot, there are also electric filling stations with six parking spaces for free recharging. Cyclists can put their bikes in two covered bicycle stands, one is locked, and you can also recharge your e-bike here. In addition, we have created new shower rooms and now offer almost 20 ventilated clothing lockers where you can change your clothes and deposit your cycling clothes. All of this has been very well received. 

What happens next?

Next, we'll go to the cafeteria. To be continued!