The inauguration of the new building in Rome had to take place in January under pandemic conditions. Only a few specially invited guests of HDI Assicurazioni were permitted to attend at the location itself and sample the seating arrangements with the new furniture. All of the other 318 employees had to follow the proceedings on livestream from home: brief speeches, balloons rising into the blue sky, brightly coloured confetti and a virtual guided tour through empty offices with CEO Roberto Mosca. Very unusual. The coronavirus is also forcing a change in mindset here.
In this year alone, three major Group companies are moving into new buildings: in Italy, Poland and Mexico. And all three companies are connected by the fact that they are already preparing for the issue that is making waves among many architects all over the world: What will the office of tomorrow look like, given that it will need to offer employees more than simply a desk, telephone and computer? Or put another way: How can you create a location where it’s better to work than at home, an ambience where lots of people have a sense of wellbeing – a place where colleagues like to meet up?
How the Palazzo Italia comes into being.
Up to now, the employees in Italy were distributed between three buildings in the capital city. This is clearly a complicated situation when it comes to agile working and communication on a personal level. That is all changing now. In future, everybody will be able to work in a single building – the Palazzo Italia. Our Purpose is now being brought to life in spatial terms – “together” in Rome. The ultra-modern technical equipment permits sustainable working and is also suitable for structuring the way of working more effectively in future. The agility experienced at HDI Assicurazioni is now also reflected in the open room concept.
Poland’s tallest building
WARTA in Poland is planning to move into the country’s tallest and most modern building in the second half of the year. The WARTA logo is already emblazoned high above the streets of Warsaw. The move to the new office entails a positive shift in image and is saluted as an important building block for future development. The Talanx subsidiary in Poland sees some big advantages – the office space will be highly flexible and easily modified to suit different functions and the varied nature of teams. It will be equipped with a large number of videoconference rooms to support the hybrid work model. The office will ensure comfortable working conditions and offers a modern space for agile working that fosters cooperation, flexibility and efficiency. Since all employees have already been issued with a laptop, they are able to work in the office or on the move in a mobile office. “Instead of promoting mobile work, in future we will have to work harder at making the office more attractive,” commented Wojciech Kęsik recently, Head of Human Resources at WARTA.
Change in plan owing to the coronavirus
HDI Seguros in Mexico therefore revised its plans. The company is successful and growing, whereas the space available in the existing building is restricted. A decision was therefore taken to create a new building. This was to be an out-and-out sustainable building that meets the latest requirements for environmental protection and technology. The design of the building corresponds to the agile way of working of the employees: open workplaces for teamwork, quiet, closed offices for concentrated work, space for exchange of ideas and meetings in an ambience suffused with light. In a few months, around 450 employees will be relocated to their new home here.
During the pandemic, the number of employees on the construction site was reduced. Safety measures took precedence over time constraints. Completion of construction on the new building has therefore been delayed by about six months. HDI is using the time to take additional measures that will make the building suitable for the new way of working. New Work requires more technology in the rooms so that office-based workers can network together with colleagues in mobile settings. Very much in the spirit of agility, the room plans were without further ado modified to match the new hybrid ways of working. Half of the workstation and meeting rooms were equipped with fixed, installed screens and various technical connections such as television sockets. This makes what is already an attractive new building even more appealing for employees. Alongside the conditions for agile working, the new building now also complies with the completely changed requirements for New Work. A change in planning has turned into an investment for the future.