Address: Georg-Brauchle-Ring 50, 80992 Munich, Germany

Sector: Information Communication Technology

Year: 2019

Office planning: Bene GmbH

“A change in perspective provides scope for new possibilities”

Injecting new ideas that invite you to change viewpoints in order to think and work in a new way, to consciously depart from the “habitual” in order to enable something new – this guiding concept is reflected in the interior design of this trend-setting, agile project and workshop area of Telefónica. Bene was assigned to furnish the 36th floor of the South O2 Tower as a flexible multifunctional space for events and workshops. Flexibility was the highest priority. PIXEL by Bene: the modular system that makes it possible to create a wide variety of settings is the perfect choice for this space. The area doesn’t require built-in components. The sliding room-dividing panels from rossoacoustic CP30 offer versatility in partitioning the space.

An interview with Project Manager Rainer Huff

Could you briefly tell us your position at Telefónica and what your role was in this project?

Rainer Huff: I have worked at Telefónica since 2011. As the portfolio & strategy manager in the area of real estate and workplace management, my tasks include classic project management, change management and space management projects. New workplace concepts are a special focus of my work. The open space at the O2 Tower is a very good example of our conceptual desire to experiment and support new modes of working. It’s a flagship project that shows what works and what doesn’t during real operation.

Regarding the starting point of the project – what were the absolute must haves for the interior design?

There is and has been a high demand for classic project space. The idea is to provide the needed space for special projects, and make it spatially possible for interdepartmental teams to collaborate in various setups for a given time. It took about a year to prepare for design of this agile project area. We wanted to involve people. In the fall of 2018, we started off with a vision workshop, followed by another one in order to clarify the requirement profile. Twenty colleagues cooperated here – all from different areas, from assistants to managers.

What did you think of the internal integration of the employees?

It was consistently positive. We had colleagues on board who are open to new things, have visionary ideas and want to set something in motion. The quintessence of the internal workshops was also ultimately combined in the calls for bids. Since the colleagues were involved at an early stage, there was a high acceptance of the workshop area, of course. I personally had a particularly positive experience of networking with colleagues in the HR department. We found a new level of interaction here – a nice side effect of this project.

What was particularly important to you when you designed the floor?

Flexibility, the division of the room and the prototyping space were important cornerstones of the project. The prototyping space exudes creativity, like the decorative elements with text on the furniture or on the carpet. Here, the staff looks for – and finds – a workshop space that creates a different mood than a traditional office environment with a certain look and feel. This new and different atmosphere also boosts the creative process, new ideas can unfold. Why was Bene ultimately awarded the contract? PIXEL really impressed us. The furniture offers maximum flexibility and is totally different and new. PIXEL meets all the requirements that we defined for our workshop: a modular, flexible design element where you can easily and quickly adapt a space to each workshop specification. We wanted to create an analogue area that would work with a minimal amount of technology. The wooden feel and untreated appearance of PIXEL underscored the workshop character of our space.

How did you find the collaboration with Bene?

With competent know-how and design expertise, Bene offered us optimal guidance in this project. Bene excelled with special solutions customised for our wishes, such as PIXEL with perspex and cutouts. In our workshops, we optimised the spatial design together with a lot of creativity, openness and competence. On top of this, Bene had the most convincing product with PIXEL. You could also say that PIXEL was awarded the order because of its modularity, simplicity and flexibility. By now, the workshop space has been open for half a year.

How has PIXEL established itself in your organisation?

The workshop space is very well received: on the one hand, this is due to the perfect, innovative room design and on the other hand, the location itself already creates a special atmosphere – here you just get the best view of Munich. The combination with the Skylounge on the floor above, with a bistro in a casual cafeteria setting for breaks, is the perfect complement to the workshop space. We created a field where our employees can experiment. A playground where agile workshop concepts can be tested. The workshop area is growing and evolving continuously. We certainly also see learning effects and improvement potentials. We will be adding classic chairs, for example, which are also inviting to sit on for a while. And we will do some retrofitting in terms of media technology. We realised that analogue alone just doesn’t work. The trick is to make an intelligent combination of analogue and digital media.

Thank you for the interview!

	 Rainer Huff Portfolio & Strategy Manager bei Telefónica Rainer Huff

 Portfolio & Strategy Manager at Telefónica