Smart offices ready for the "post-covid" era are located at the bank's headquarters in the Filadelfie building in Prague's Brumlovka. Whereas previously the space there was classically divided into open and closed with special workplaces, now most employees do not have their place. The premise was that they simply didn't need them. Instead, the new processing is designed to work the way it suits the employees.

"The concept is to prevent people from stressing that they will lose their work chair. On the contrary, it tries to inspire them with new possibilities of workspaces that will meet their needs,” explains Kristián Lichtblau from Real Estate & Logistics for CzechCrunch, who provides the technical side of the project. At the same time, UniCredit itself has a relatively rich experience with this concept of "smart office" from all over the world, so it transferred to Prague with a certain degree of confidence.


The center of UniCredit Bank's new offices is the Business Lounge Photo: Jiří Alexander Bednář

At the heart of the smart office is high flexibility, which should satisfy almost any demand for working conditions. One part of the office space is used for concentrated work, another for telephoning, another for meetings or cooperation in teams, and there is also the so-called Flexi Room, designed primarily for video calls.

The whole is dominated by a large open space Business Lounge with a kitchen, shared workplaces and the goal of creating a similar atmosphere as people have at home. Thanks to this, they can feel as if they are working in their own living room, on the other hand, they have a much wider background at hand, which a mere home office with all possible benefits does not offer them.

From the beginning, the proposal worked both with assumptions about the development of working conditions and with consultations with the employees themselves. So, first of all, the bank's management determined what expectations it had from the redesigned offices. In cooperation with Colliers, a questionnaire was organized for more than a thousand UniCredit employees, and the final concept was created by combining all the suggestions. The domestic studio Capexus took care of the design and processing of the new premises.

The result includes a larger number of different workplaces, but the largest part of the area is occupied by the Business Lounge. Mainly because according to the responses, it really works. "The goal was to create a place where people really work, not empty space for effect," notes Capexus architect Jakub Seči.


Open space for team work or meetings   

Foto: Jiří Alexander Bednář


The new offices have enough technological background for video calls

Photo: Jiří Alexander Bednář


Since the idea of ​​a smart office automatically includes a much looser definition of exactly what a workplace looks like, it also adheres less to its spatial definition. The office can look like a living room, and the living room can be an office. Especially now that the daily gathering of people from different households is rather undesirable and the home office is a regulation, not just a luxury.

Offices for work (like) at home

Nevertheless, it is an ideal opportunity to test the possibilities of the new form of UniCredit Bank's Prague headquarters and the way it works. While only a minimum of people now live directly in offices due to the need for social distance, it is easy to combine it with work at home.

"The pandemic in our country caused the immediate digitization of certain processes - the distribution of laptops, telephones, an increase in remote access, data capacity, etc.," said bank spokesman Petr Plocek. A high level of digitization is key for a smart office, as it allows people who are not in the same room to collaborate.

"Even colleagues who could hardly imagine working from home suddenly felt the comfort of the solution and perceived the benefits of the new concept more," adds Plocek. The offices are to respond both to the requirements of employees and to the development of the company and the entire banking market towards a larger and faster interconnection of the world.



Conference room

Foto: Jiří Alexander Bednář


Conference room and telephone box for calls

Photo: Jiří Alexander Bednář

According to the founders of Capexus, corporate premises will continue to be important in the future, when the home office will become a natural part of life. After all, they also talked about this topic in our recent story. "The office will eventually be sought after. So far, people from the home office have been enthusiastic, but for a long time they lack social interaction. The home office will be related to the purpose, it will not be taken as a benefit," says the company's co-founder Karel Konečný.

His current words are very close to what UniCredit Bank's headquarters is supposed to fulfill. "We are convinced that the combination of home office and work from a smart office will be the path that most companies will take. For our employees, it means greater flexibility, but also space for creativity and teamwork," describes Petr Plocek.

For the same reasons, on the other hand, the bank does not plan to follow another trend in the future - coworking spaces. All the necessary facilities will be provided by her own offices, where the opportunity to meet and work with others directly is especially important. If it is not necessary, people can stay at home and communicate with colleagues via video calls, for which an extensive technical background has been created.

In addition, as Kristián Lichtblau, who oversees the technical side of the offices, explains, banks significantly reduce the need to prevent information leaks when using coworkings. "The nature of our work makes it impossible to use such spaces, as security and data protection are our priority," he says.

It is not accurate to talk about offices for the "post-covid" era in the case of UniCredit Bank's Prague headquarters, as they began to be established at the end of last year. Instead, they have managed to jump on the trend, which has been significantly accelerated by the pandemic, and it will be difficult to return to the past after the end of the critical state. And most of all, unnecessarily.


In the new premises of UniCredit Bank, it looks like in the living room

Foto: Jiří Alexander Bednář


A special room allows parents to take the child to work

Foto: Jiří Alexander Bednář


Malé zasedačky připomínají vlakové kupé

Foto: Jiří Alexander Bednář


Flexibilní kanceláře nabídnou i tradičnější pracovní stanice

Foto: Jiří Alexander Bednář


Lockable lockers for employees


Source:// Czech Crunch