Hamburg, Germany (Jul 12, 2022)
CoreMedia Europe moves into the Klöpperhaus
There could hardly have been a better way to summarize how CoreMedia envisions the future of coworking 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. CoreMedia, and specifically CEO Sören Stamer and VP Talents & Culture Susanne Thielecke, have been watching the developments for a while and have come to the conclusion: A new work culture is just emerging.
And true to the CoreMedia 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. Susanne Thielecke describes: "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. Even those who state that they almost don't want to come back say "I already miss the colleagues from the Friday chillout (a former permanent institution at CoreMedia)". 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.
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. CoreMedia CEO Sören Stamer: "CoreMedia has now developed into a global company. The pandemic was also an opportunity for us to make our management team much more diverse and distributed, and we seized it. We're also looking for talent everywhere since Corona mandated that we work remotely. This brings huge benefits, not just the obvious one of being able to get the best people in a tight market. The disparity between our locations and the headquarters in Hamburg has also disappeared. Working remotely also paradoxically creates proximity. We currently have employees in five cities within Germany and 6 countries in Europe alone. In addition, we have an office in the USA, which is very successful in covering a huge market. One of our core tasks will be to further strengthen global cooperation in which our culture can be lived and developed together. If we continue to succeed in this, it will strengthen us as a company."
More freedom in working hours (already highly flexible at CoreMedia), a better balance of private and professional commitments, saved travel time and, last but not least, environmental protection all speak in favor of further promoting remote work.
The Klöpperhaus in Hamburg, into which CoreMedia will move in the fall, is supposed to stand for this: 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. "We are currently in talks to be able to offer any overflow of office supply needs or meetings that only take place from time to time there," says Susanne Thielecke. 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. Thielecke notes: "It's going extremely well, CoreMedia is highly productive, and a great deal of credit must be given to everyone here. But 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." "The focus should be on individualism," adds Sören Stamer. "There will no longer be a one-fits-all solution, of that I am convinced.
So rather than forcing a diverse company with different needs into a tight corset that a small circle is convinced of, "Talents & Culture" at CoreMedia also means removing obstacles instead of making everything the same. It will also be about practicing hybrid working. The initiative “CoreMedia Cares” is a first step that is intended to provide support, and others will follow so that everyone can continue to work in a way that suits the task, but also the personality.
“I'm very much looking forward to moving into the Klöpperhaus and to all the learning experiences we will now have together. Together with our Agile Leadership Group, we want to shape our collaboration," says Sören Stamer. Susanne Thielecke adds: "It will also be a matter of learning to unlearn the familiar before space for the new emerges. It's not just customer needs that change, but also those of employees and their framework conditions. But CoreMedia has already proven in the past that it can do that, it will succeed."
So, true to the motto of the regular employee townhalls called "CoreVadis," it remains to be said: CoreMedia is moving into the future with great enthusiasm for experimentation and, at the same time, clear framework conditions that make this experimentation possible.
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