Area
sq m
16520
Number
of employees
1890
Project duration
in months
14
Location
Bratislava
Slovakia

 

The Client

VÚB is Slovakia’s second largest bank. It’s the only bank in the country to provide a full range of public, corporate and investment services, which it delivers through 182 retail outlets, eight Magnifica centres, 32 branch offices and 11 mortgage centres.

The Goal

First, to analyse VÚB Bank’s current and future office space needs. Then, propose a set of upgrades to their workplace organisation, spatial changes and change management. And finally, to transform their office into a workspace tailored to the post-pandemic hybrid working world.

Tools and Methods

A collaborative approach from day one

 

VÚB ensured all their people understood the importance of the project, which helped our tools and processes gain detailed data valuable insights on their working practices and needs. The result was a hugely rewarding analysis phase.

  • A visioning workshop with the Board of Directors
  • 20+ workshops with department directors
  • 15+ interviews with line managers
  • 50+ people in multiple team leader and employee workshops
  • 600+ responses to online questionnaire
  • Five weeks of occupancy measurement with 250 sensors across four buildings in two cities, recording over 480,000 data points
  • Multiple site walks and inspections in Bratislava and Poprad
  • Existing documentation analysis

Key findings and insights

Room for improvement

 

All our activities were aimed at understanding how the company operates. We learnt what its goals are in terms of office strategy, middle managers’ perception of the current and future offices, what it needed for teams to be effective and what workstyles are dominant across the organisation.

  • The group felt they had enough space for internal meetings and group work
  • Highly-focused individual work – which employees spend over 30% of their time doing – was not well supported
  • Employees had little space for conference calls
  • There was very little space to relax
  • Over 50% of employees wanted to keep the current workspace setup
  • 24% considered the amount of light and openable windows critical to productivity
  • 42% would welcome an updated fit-out and new office furniture
  • 39% felt the environmental comfort could improve
  • Employees had little space for conference calls

5 VÚB Workstyles

To make sure the new office design met the above needs, we explored VÚB’s five dominant workstyles.

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Processors
Admin work, scheduling, working with email, low-capacity tasks
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Deep thinkers
Analysing, writing reports, creating, high-capacity tasks
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Connectors
Connecting with others, internal meetings, external meetings, actively working in groups
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Operators
Phone calls both individually and in groups, managing inbound/outbound calls
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Activity-based workers
A little of everything, no dominant workstyle pattern

The result

New spaces to improve productivity and wellbeing in hybrid workspace

Each workstyle group spends their time differently. So our Workspace Strategy proposal included a number of individual zones and space types that address different needs.

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Acoustic Phone Booths for individual, undisturbed phone calls
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Stand-up Meeting Rooms for quick, short meetings, updates and huddles
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Special Video Meeting Rooms for hybrid/remote meetings with clients and colleagues
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Silent Rooms where groups of people work in undisturbed quiet
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Focus Rooms where individuals work in undisturbed quiet with visual and acoustic privacy
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Relax Rooms for when everyone needs to pause and recharge

In the Bratislava HQ, we created Destination Floors to bring specific functions and teams together. Employees who need their services can complete tasks quickly – making vertical communication more effective and easing elevator traffic and wait times.

Embracing all workstyles

 

Another important aspect of the project was to optimise the current footprint and bring in new space types.

  1. Managers agreed to give up status offices in favour of meeting rooms, focus rooms, silent rooms, stand-up rooms and other space types
  2. Managers who kept their offices agreed that people could use them when they weren’t in the office
  3. We suggested how much time people could work remotely based on their individual team’s workstyles
  4. Home office working led to desk sharing policies being set for individual departments, not the entire organisation
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In close partnership with VÚB’s HR and Organisation Department as well as VUB’s Real Estate Department, we created workspace boasting a rich variety of areas and facilities that directly respond to employees’ needs.

  • 954 department shared desks
  • 260 hot desks
  • 150 fixed desks
  • 28 focus rooms
  • 12 silent rooms
  • 85 manager offices
  • 10 small meeting rooms
  • 8 medium meeting rooms
  • 21 video meeting rooms
  • 8 relax rooms

Watch or webinar with the client

Want to know more about the project? (which was accelerated by the corona crisis)
Watch our webinar to learn how our consulting services helped VÚB get a deeper understanding of what it needed to create a space that inspires its people every day.

„We didn’t quite like returning to the new normal. We did our own research – which was positive during the first wave, what we want to keep and transfer to our new smart culture. That was the beginning of a whole reorganisation, the result of which we all enjoy today.”

Dragana Smolović, Head of HR and Organization at VÚB Bank
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