Hello hybrid Work!
CoreMedia Europe moves into the Klöpperhaus
There could hardly have been a better way to summarize how CoreMedia envisions the future of coworking in the headoffice than here in the German real estate DEAL Magazine: "Together, they developed a concept to significantly reduce the previous office space of approximately 2,400 m² in the future and to adapt it to the current needs of modern working environments of the software development company. In the future, the combination of coworking and the company's own office space will ensure that each of the employees has a place in the office, provided they choose not to work in a home office."
Anyone who is currently looking at work models on Linkedin and elsewhere gets the impression that something unites all the reports on this: everyone seems to know exactly how to do it. Some, such as Apple, Google and Facebook, want to bring their employees back into the office, at least in part. Only there can creative work and innovation succeed, and physical collaboration is needed to maintain the company's culture, according to them. Other companies, such as Salesforce, are radically adopting a remote-first culture: "success from anywhere" is the slogan on their careers page. Our CEO Sören Stamer and I have been watching the developments for a while and have come to the conclusion: A new work culture is just emerging.
New Collaboration without Pandemic is not tested yet
So true to CoreMedias Company Values "We go for openness" and "We love development", the new culture is first given room for experimentation here. An agile approach beats the finished concept. Like many companies, we have done several surveys, but they overtake themselves within a few months. In the end, we have to conclude: We haven't even tested the optimal collaboration without being in the pandemic. At the moment, very few employees come to the office, but neither the ever-present COVID waves nor a lonely office with only a few people sitting in the corners are inviting. It’s clear, that hardly anyone is coming.
But it is also clear that many employees miss their colleagues. Opportunities to get together are therefore gratefully taken for exchange. At the last summer party there was a lot of talking and little dancing, there was a lot to catch up on. And of course: Even before COVID, numerous studies have already shown: Some tasks can be solved better together, the company representatives from Apple & Co. are right: Creativity does not arise by team or zoom meetings with postage stamp-sized heads or alone at home. What's more, not everyone is equally well equipped for the home office, either in terms of space or personality. A lack of structure, higher demands for separation between private and professional life, and a lack of social cohesion can cause a great deal of challenges. Together with a "Future of Working" team, a concept is to be developed that takes this into account.
Regulation only work long term in harmony with the environment
But the truth is also that coercion does not solve the problem. Rules and regulations only work in the long term if they are developed in harmony with the environment. Moreover, working remotely brings enormous advantages, and they are here to stay. More freedom in working hours (already highly flexible at CoreMedia), a better balance of private and professional commitments, a global and more diverse workforce, more proximity between US and Europe, saved travel time and last but not least, environmental protection are some of them.
I am very much looking forward to moving into the Klöpperhaus in fall. Anyone who wants to, or where the task requires it, will find a really great office that has atmosphere and is a pleasure to go to. But those who prefer to work mostly from home can do so. And if the office space is not enough: in the same building is the co-working space MindSpace. Our employees outside Hamburg are to be regularly invited to meet colleagues in Hamburg. Or, if there is a MindSpace near them, to meet there temporarily. In parallel, remote working will continue to be practiced, because it’s going extremely well. In CoreMedia’s very successful US subsidiary, a remote-first approach is established and also in Europe, CoreMedia has been highly productive during the pandemic - a great deal of credit must be given to everyone.
Of course, there is also still a need to learn. Leadership in hybrid work culture, dealing with dissolution of boundaries, fostering personal connections and also agreeing on meaningful forms of hybrid collaboration must now also become part of CoreMedia's corporate culture, and that is new. It's not just customer needs that change, but also those of employees and their framework conditions. I love so much, that CoreMedia is moving into the future with great enthusiasm for experimentation and, at the same time, clear conditions that make this experimentation possible. The world is in flux – and so is CoreMedia and that’s what is making this company and its people as iconic as they are.
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