The 5,715 m2 smart office and client space, known as “Carrefour”, forms part of the bank’s strategic shift
Photo: Eric Chenal
How do you get 460 staff into an office with only 400 work stations? You follow the lead of Société Générale Bank & Trust in Luxembourg, which invited press to its new offices on Boulevard Royal on Tuesday.
The 5,715 m2 smart office and client space, known as “Carrefour”, forms part of the bank’s strategic shift to digitalise working practices, work more collaboratively and efficiently and focus on staff welfare.
“We won’t stop at the digitisation of our activities,” deputy general director Catherine Janot said on Tuesday, adding: “At the same time, we will deploy teleworking which today concerns 150 of our employees.”
Earlier in the summer, Delano reported on this development in which each employee role was assessed on whether it could be adapted for remote working. Employees whose roles could be done via teleworking were then given the choice as to whether they wished to telework one day a week or every two weeks. Those who take up the option are equipped with a laptop and wireless headphones for Skype calls.
The scheme, which is expected to be adopted by up to 300 staff members, means that only 400 work stations were created for 460 staff in the new building. At first glance, the new offices look similar to other open plan offices that have opened in the last five years. Large windows make up the outer walls, from which staff can view the new development at Hamilius. Managers, meanwhile, no longer have a private office in the new building.
As part of the “Flexwork” co-working philosophy, staff desk-hop at one of the 400 adjustable working spaces, where they can work standing or seated. Personal and team lockers are installed in each department to securely store personal documents, while staff are encouraged to reduce the use of paper. Indeed, it is expected the office will save 5 tonnes of paper per year, equivalent to 118 trees.
Further financial savings are expected in terms of energy costs, thanks to specific design elements of the office.
Staff can also access up to 33 meeting rooms equipped with video conferencing, each named after a European town or city, six break rooms and a silence room in which they can work undisturbed. Each floor, meanwhile, is peppered with sound-proof rooms, where people can take calls without disturbing colleagues.
The client area continues in the same philosophy but includes artworks, digital tools and installations and glass-walled meeting rooms, in which the walls can be made opaque or transparent at the click of a button.
The office occupies the former Rockenbrod building and will eventually accommodate all staff from the former office on rue Emile Reuter. It was refurbished along sustainable guidelines.