Office of the future: "We believe in the power of chance encounters"

KURIER: Mr. Höfinger, remote work has moved into the focus of the working population in times of the pandemic. And numerous surveys prove: Home office is here to stay. However, you recently opened a 1,000 square meter office in downtown Vienna. Do you still need one?
Markus Höfinger: Returning to the office does not mean returning to the old world of work. A culture of presence has had its day. But it is important to communicate to employees why it makes sense to come to the office. It’s about cooperation, collaboration and collaboration, things that are not possible from the home office. I always say: Creativity comes from heterogeneous cooperation. We believe in the power of chance encounters. Not everything can be mapped in arranged team meetings.

But that doesn’t mean that employees will come back to the office five days a week.
No, certainly not. Nevertheless, I am convinced that pure home office is not the solution of the future. Because employees who only work from home lose their emotional connection to the company. And then sometimes the next employer is just a zoom call away. We don’t want that.
I think it makes a difference whether I play in a team, I can do that from home in front of the computer, or whether I play as a team. And at the end of the day I can only do that from a common place, the office.

What do workspaces look like in which innovation can unfold?
I believe that offices today have to be spatialized cooperation systems. It’s not about lining up workstations so that employees have a table to set up their computers. It’s about creating spaces that encourage informal encounters.

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