How We Work: Wellbeing at the Core

What is it like to work in an award-winning office? Our series ‘How We Work’ gives a small but personal insight. In the interviews one employer describes how the new design affects the daily workflow.

Not a new location but a new sense of working: Together with TUI Nordic, Reform Architects have transformed the existing office space of a former brewery into a modern workplace that has wellbeing at its core. So thinks our jury and Charlotte WWiebe, HR Director at TUI Nordic. Here she gives us her personal view of the new design.

The ‘wellbeing’ factor has received particularly high scores from the members of the jury. What do you think impressed them the most?

I believe in creating beautiful environments where people want to be. And to combine this with helping our co-workers to get complexities of their lives together. This is why we have created a modern workspace with a gym, a meditation and relaxation room, a room for kids and, last but not least, a policy that says you can work from anywhere you like and at any time you like.

As you yourself are working in the new office, what increases have you found in everyday wellbeing?  Also, the factor ‘communication’ got a really good score – how has the new space improved internal communication within the workforce?

For me, it’s all about the personal meetings. We have created a social workspace where discussions and personal meetings are the focus. And I’m not talking about the kind of meetings that pop up in your Outlook. The ‘piazza’ is a small square in the heart of our workspace where you can have meetings, eat lunch or go for a coffee. This is where the unexpected meetings happen and ideas are created, these so often being the root of innovation and new learning. This is wellbeing to me.

Have your own methods of communication changed with the new design? 

We established that trust and transparency are two of the most important values in the workplace. This is why we have decided that all meeting rooms should have glass walls, some meeting rooms even having no walls at all. We truly believe that there is no reason to for us not to share everything with everyone. This naturally takes a while to get used to. But in the end, it is a change that fundamentally helps support the culture that we want to build. The physical space should also help determine a working culture, and I really think that we have made that happen here.

What is your personal highlight in the new office?

My favorite part is the great yellow staircase in the center of the office. Not because I like to climb stairs that much, but because it represents speed. We operate in a competitive environment where we have to change faster on the inside than the world outside. That is why I wanted to create a workspace that supports change and speed. The staircase is surrounded by glass and you can see it from almost anywhere in the office. People are running up and down it all the time. It’s like a small freeway in the heart of our workspace and I truly believe that it is a source of energy that flows throughout the building. And, in the end, this is what makes us faster, stronger and more competitive.

Charlotte WWiebe has absolved the Master Class in Digital Communication & Multimedia and in addition a Global High Performance Leadership Programme at IMD Business School. She is currently HR Director at TUI Nordic, having been appointed to the post in 2010. 

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