Technology, ambience and flexibility
Interview with Stefanie Lürken from IWG
How will we work in the future? What will our offices look like in a few years’ time? Will remote working become the norm? Starting in 2025, the International Workplace Group (IWG), the world’s leading provider of flexible workplace solutions, will be making office space rentals in the Elbtower available to its customers. Stefanie Lürken of the IWG Group explains why the Elbtower is so well suited for New Work.
An increasing number of companies – as well as their employees – want more flexibility in terms of how and when work happens. What does that actually mean?
By offering flexible working hours and workplaces, companies are responding to the wishes of their employees, who have become accustomed to more freedom and independence in their jobs – not least because of the pandemic. This has advantages for both sides. Companies benefit from happier, more motivated employees. Hybrid working also offers the opportunity for companies to downsize their office spaces and save money because they need fewer workplaces on site. Downsizing space can save up to €10,000 per employee in expensive city centre locations as real estate costs are reduced and the turnover of more satisfied employees is less likely. Employees, in turn, are spared the stress and gain the time that would otherwise be spent commuting to work. In addition, they can be much more flexible in their planning.
What will working look like in the future? Will we still have to go to the office at all?
The final decision is of course made by the employer and always depends on the job in question. However, I think it is likely that hybrid working will become increasingly common in the future – distributed between home offices, company headquarters and co-working spaces. There are tasks that are best discussed on site within the team, but there are also times when a home office provides the most peace and quiet. But often access to professional office equipment, an inspiring environment, an exchange with others and a clear separation between the home and the workplace are also necessary – and people find all this and much more in our flexible office solutions.
What will the offices of the future look like? Will there still be fixed workplaces?
I think the number of fixed workplaces is now decreasing rapidly. Many companies that have the opportunity are moving and reducing the number of jobs performed on site. There will be more of that, surely, as more leases expire over time and the hybrid working model becomes even more prevalent. And every person is different – every job requires different work, so workplace flexibility is one of the best things companies can offer their employees. This allows people to do their job exactly where and how it suits them. We are supporting this trend by expanding rapidly as well as offering people more and more individual office solutions in a growing number of places.
What do your clients particularly value when it comes to flexible working options?
What our clients appreciate about us is the fact that they can find everything their employer usually offers them – and often much more. We are perfectly equipped technically. Our offices have a very pleasant working atmosphere thanks to modern and appealing office design and a trained reception staff. Our flexible solutions range from private offices, some of which clients can furnish themselves, to co-working desks, lounges for creative exchange and professionally equipped meeting rooms. Whether individuals, teams or entire organisations, everyone will find their ideal workplace with us. With our different brands such as Regus, Signature, HQ or Spaces, we can offer tailor-made solutions for every need.
»Whether individuals, teams or entire organisations, everyone will find their ideal workplace with us.«
To what extent is the Elbtower particularly suitable for you and your clients?
We strive to find unique properties for our offices, because we want our clients to feel comfortable and enjoy working in our office spaces. The Elbtower will be a new landmark for Hamburg that will magnetically attract people. It will be fun to work there. The location also plays a major role for us. Good accessibility by car or public transport is crucial, because one of our plus points is that our clients can often get to us much faster and easier than they can to their actual offices. It is also important to us, especially in major cities, that the building’s immediate surroundings offer added value to our clients. And for that reason, the location on the Elbe in Hafencity is fantastic.
What role does the rooms’ flexible design play – and what does that mean for your customers in concrete terms?
The Elbtower offers us the opportunity to design the spaces exactly according to our needs. We require large, open co-working areas as well as separate meeting rooms and smaller offices so that we really meet all of our clients’ needs. Here, all avenues are open to us, resulting in the best possible conditions for our offices. We are very satisfied with our collaboration with the Elbtower.
Are there already special ergonomic requirements for office furniture?
Yes, we make a point of equipping our offices with ergonomic office furniture so that our customers can feel comfortable there and work in a way that is healthier for their posture. We are collaborating with Steelcase, who create ideal working conditions for hybrid working.
How many clients will you support at the Elbtower?
We can’t say yet because it varies from location to location. Among other things, it will depend on how much space each client wants to rent and how many employees want to work from our offices. Then it also makes a difference what business purpose our premises need to fulfil and whether individual offices or co-working spaces are required. We are very flexible in this sense, so there are no figures yet.