Address: Praterstraße 1/14, 1020 Wien, Austria
Sector: Accountancy services
Office planning: Bene GmbH
With its new office in Vienna, the team at the groundbreaking company Greiner Technology & Innovation has set itself ambitious goals. Situated in the centre of Austria’s largest innovation hub, weXelerate, the international plastics expertise of this Upper Austrian high-tech company has become infused with a start-up spirit.
An interview with Hannes Möseneder, Managing Director of Greiner Technology & Innovation GmbH, about Greiner Innoventures, the Greiner Corporate Incubator, innovation management & how to establish a creative environment for new ideas.
Our office greatly influences our work practices, our social interactions and the communication among colleagues. Flexibility and modularity were a priority for us so we could adapt the office to our changing needs as quickly as possible. Space for shared work is at least as important to us as having enough places to retreat, so that we can have an ideal blend of collaboration and focused individual work.
Since everyone sits inside a single large office, of course acoustic insulation was also an issue that we were able to solve efficiently with great visual appeal. We used a well-planned and consistent concept to optimally combine colours, materials and light.
weXelerate is Austria’s largest corporate innovation hub. For us as an Upper Austrian plastics corporation, it is immensely important to also be on-site here – not only in the country’s capital but precisely at this hub. Not just to share ideas with other companies but primarily to network with exciting start-ups, to get inspired, to benefit from the dynamic and diverse environment and generate the kind of knowledge needed to drive change at our own organisation. And of course the urban setting in the heart of Vienna is another big plus.
You only speak of an innovation when something new was implemented successfully in the market. An idea or project can be as unique and promising as you want, but it’s useless if it can’t be successfully implemented in the market.
By not trusting that the future is a linear progression of the past. The current pandemic in particular shows us that an alleged ability to plan for the future is less crucial than the ability to adapt. As a company and as an individual. It’s not about predicting the future but about making sure you’re ready to respond to whatever might happen.
Most innovations in recent years were created through an aggressive trial and error process, not with the help of extensive multi-year plans.
As mentioned, good current performance is no guarantee of future success. To secure long-term survival and growth, opportunities for future business outside the current scope must therefore be developed with the same professionalism as is applied to the continuous improvement and expansion of existing business areas. This is easier said than done, because many companies fail to strategically link efficiency and innovation.
At Greiner, we chose the path of “structural ambidexterity”: Our operative units are required to maintain or expand their positions with continuous improvements. We, on the other hand, have the advantage of not having to defend anything and even being able to try out disruptive business models and technologies for Greiner for the near future. We may and even need to make mistakes quickly, while our colleagues should avoid mistakes if possible.
Innoventures is the name of the Greiner Corporate Incubator, it’s where we identify opportunities at the earliest possible stage and transfer them into potential competitive advantages with the help of Company Building and Company Venturing. With Innoventures – in an area unaligned with the Group’s core business – we advance early-state projects with high economic and technical risks and implement them quickly or, if necessary, end them just as quickly.
Fortunately, we were well-prepared. Even before the pandemic, Greiner offered opportunities for home office and mobile work. So collaborative work even without physical proximity was nothing new for us. While it wasn’t planned that we would work remotely for such a long period, in retrospect we can say that the cooperation functions flawlessly and efficiently and that we are an energetic team even despite the physical distancing.
Our personal workstations at weXelerate all offer a lot of space and freedom to create your own personal area while also providing many opportunities for collaboration and sharing ideas in small and large groups.
Now and in the future, we won’t always be in the same place at the same time. This makes the office all the more important as a central social meeting place for our team.
There will be much more flexibility regarding who sits where and when. So the design of the workspace will not just be and remain important in the office but also in the home office and other areas, such as in co-working spaces.
Of course ergonomics, space, functional technical equipment, etc. will be important at two or more places in the future. It remains to be seen how much we’ll still travel. The current situation has shown that modern technology may make many trips obsolete. On the other hand, we are really looking forward to being back in personal contact with colleagues, customers and partners.
Greiner AG with its headquarters in Kremsmünster, Upper Austria, is a world-leading provider of plastics and foam solutions. The product portfolio includes innovative solutions for the packaging, furniture, sports and automotive industry as well as high-tech products for medical technology and the pharmaceutical sector. Founded in 1868, the family business has 11,000 employees at 140 locations and operates in 34 countries worldwide.
Greiner Technology & Innovation is Greiner’s innovation forge. The six-person innovation team works continuously on product innovations and new business models.
True to the motto: "We don’t like things as they’ve always been"
Managing Director of Greiner Technology & Innovation GmbH