With its innovative office concept, METRO PROPERTIES offers its employees a state-of-the-art working environment that meets many of today’s needs for the now widely accepted practice of combining working at the office with working from home.
With the Be1 project to modernise METRO AG’s headquarters launched in 2018, the company embarked on a journey towards future-oriented approaches to working. In 2021, METRO PROPERTIES set new standards for flexible office design. In contrast to Be1, which had been implemented together with a general planner, the company now relied on its own expertise. The new office concept was planned and executed internally by METRO PROPERTIES.
Bridge 7 on the Campus is now the new home of METRO PROPERTIES, so the employees named the new office concept ‘Be7’.
How can we create the ideal workplace for our new ways of working? That was the question everyone was asking in 2021.
At the time, METRO PROPERTIES was planning its move to the METRO Campus and the pandemic was spurring development on the newly planned working world.
Virtual tour of Be7 with before-and-after comparison
Much more than a new office concept – #NEWGETHER
This goes beyond flexible workplaces to include digitalising processes and transforming the management culture.
In response to growing hybrid requirements, the new office needed to promote interactions and a sense of community and serve as a meeting place for all employees. To achieve this, a shared desk model with diverse flex office options was designed.
‘We put a lot of work into it, but above all we invested our passion for real estate! The layout is based on a mix of compact multifunctional spaces for meetings, telephone areas and silent offices with open office space. Workplace bookings are made via the in-house designed app. Depending on the requirements, different workplace configurations can be selected, and the new space is compact and flexibly adaptable.’Michael Gottschalk, Be7 Project Manager
After an employee kick-off event, all METRO PROPERTIES employees were presented with a choice of 3 flex models. This provided the basis for calculating future space requirements. Objections and ideas were incorporated directly into the planning at an early stage.
The selected non-territorial approach completely dispenses with hierarchies and departmental boundaries and focuses more on communication and team areas. The management team also sits in this area. This is intended to promote a new spirit of togetherness.
‘We weren’t aiming for a definitive architectural concept. A deliberately unfinished, raw concept provides a basis that allows for any necessary adjustments and reflects the constant changes in the working world.’Stefan Herbert, the lead architect and Head of Studio Corporate Project Development at METRO PROPERTIES
Employee participation from A to Be7
All employees are constantly consulted and their input is sought for everything from selecting the work model and choosing names to developing the office culture and providing the 100-day feedback.
In the ‘Be7 Office Culture’ project, many teams are working independently on continuously improving processes that emerge from the new layout. A cultural transformation for METRO PROPERTIES.
Success is based on maximum flexibility and employee satisfaction. 91%1 very much appreciate the trust placed in them by their employer.
83%1 find that their work-life balance has improved! 71%1 of respondents are happy to give up their personal workspace in exchange for more flex work.
1 Excerpt from the employee 100-day feedback
The office concept focuses on 3 aspects of sustainability
Reduce: The reduced amount of office space saves on energy costs and the use of materials. More flex days also cut down on commuting time.
Reuse: Many materials from the old office (doors, acoustic elements, lights, furniture ...) were reused or offered at the employee flea market.
Recycle: When selecting construction materials, preference was given to recycled raw materials. For instance, the new carpet is CO2-neutral.
In addition to various retreats, people’s sense of well-being is enhanced thanks to height-adjustable desks, private lockers, excellent sound acoustics, measuring devices for climate monitoring and ventilation recommendations as well as a motion detector for sophisticated lighting control. The central Welcome Zone is the gathering place for all colleagues. In addition to open meeting zones, a library, exhibition areas for projects and a pitch arena, there is also a coffee bar.
MORE Podcast with Stefan Herbert
One of the brains behind the project is Stefan Herbert, an architect at METROPROPERTIES. In the MORE Podcast ‘Our New Ways of Working’, he talks about how hybrid working is becoming a reality.
Nominated for the ZIA Office Award 2021
Be7 placed among the top 3 entries in the ‘Space Concept’ category of the ZIA Office Award. CBRE and ZIA present the Office Award in recognition of the most successful, innovative and sustainable concepts for the office work of the future.
Be7 is a ‘pilot project’ in which we are constantly adapting and readjusting processes. The daily experiences of employees provide the basis for future adjustments. We remain on the move – WE MOVE.