Report 02/19

Future workplaces

The development of the Rhenus IT Campus in Holzwickede

The image of people working at the same desk with a PC tower covered in dust and a pen holder has already been out of fashion for a long time. Co-working spaces, desk islands and laptops already form an integral part of modern workplaces. Employers like the Rhenus Group are taking seriously employees’ needs for improved networking with each other and an environment that is adapted to their tasks. This is why a new building with office space was opened at Holzwickede at the beginning of 2019; it has been developed directly to meet just these requirements.

“Our employees’ productivity is not only very important to us, but they also need to feel comfortable while they’re working,” said the Member of the Rhenus Group Management Board, Egbert Bernsmeister, during the opening ceremony for the new building. An innovative building complex with a net floor area measuring 8,300 square metres, 6,400 square metres of which is pure office space, has been designed for specialists working in the IT, third-party and freight logistics departments to replace office accommodation that was rented in the past.

A teamwork project
Instead of small individual offices, the vision for the new building involved having flexible, open rooms, space for team areas, sound insulation, fewer cables, individualised elements like conference and meeting rooms and small recesses for individual discussions. It was important for the project team to involve the employees in the plans from the outset.

Working together, they first drew up profiles of the individual working methods as well as optimised, team-oriented office areas that are suitable for this. Employees were also able to test and assess individual items of office furniture to see whether they were comfortable and fulfilled the necessary function beforehand.

The initial construction work for the new building complex, which is known as the “IT Campus”, started on 1 September 2017. “Thanks to having our interdisciplinary project team, we were able to keep to the deadlines and cost targets, despite the short time that was allotted,” says Lisa Bähner from the project management team. All the employees moved into their new offices in the fourth quarter of 2018 after building work that lasted just under one year. 

Promoting future ideas
Many of the people using the new building are people employed in the IT department. The modern workplaces at the IT Campus are therefore not only a real boon for promoting employee loyalty, but also for recruiting purposes.

The ability to share ideas within and between various teams is a central aspect of work in all the departments. “Instead of planning meetings, as we did in the past, the whole team continually shares information. The team members understand more about what each individual is working on and people are therefore much better informed,” says Andreas Plikat, Managing Director of Rhenus Warehousing Solutions, confirming the project’s success. “Global value-added chains are very complex. Dynamism is extremely important to develop suitable solutions and this can only take place if people can communicate quickly and flexibly and if there are short feedback loops. We now have the suitable infrastructure for this at the new IT Campus and this will help us to continue developing all the time,” says Petra Finke, CIO at Rhenus Freight Logistics and a co-initiator of the Rhenus innovation initiative known as RHEVO, adding her opinion.

“The experience that we gain from using the IT Campus is not only designed to remain in Holzwickede,” says Christian Gremme, a member of the project management team. “The elements in the concept should be used as building blocks for introducing individual requirements at existing and new business sites in future too.”

Other rooms

The new workplaces are divided into zones that are adapted to the latest work situations.
Design elements to reflect membership of the relevant teams.

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