Coworking for Grown-Ups

The Austrian corporate real estate giant IMMOFINANZ has just released a new office concept myhive. It has the services and amenities of a hotel, infrastructure like Apple or Google and the office culture of a co-working space.

We spoke to COO Dietmar Reindl and Country Manager Christian Traunfellner about this long-awaited solution.

IMMOFINANZ’s COO Dietmar Reindl (left) & Country Manager Christian Traunfellner. // © Immofinanz

Metropole: What are some problems that myhive solves for IMMOFINANZ in Vienna for instance? 

Christian Traunfellner: For example, employees have complained that they’re always sweaty in meetings because they just biked to work. The solution is part of every myhive: Once they arrive at work, they can put their bike in the bike room, go take a shower, and get their fresh, dry-cleaned suit, which they left overnight there in their personal locker. That’s just one solution of many.

Metropole: You’ve worked in a number of large organizations, what were your own office experiences?

Dietmar Reindl: I’ve been working in office buildings for ages and have had completely varied experiences. I started at a government agency with single offices and there was almost no communication between coworkers. It was very conservative and work went very slowly. After that I was at IKEA for 11 years. In the late 90s we introduced open space offices at IKEA Austria for the first time, with flexible working spaces. We used shared tables, with personal “cubbies” for each employee, from the accounting to upper management, we all worked this way.

Metropole: How did that change the office dynamic?

Reindl: The concept eliminated a lot of the hierarchy between coworkers  – everyone had an equal right to choose their own workspace.  This optimized communication, there was even a lively kitchen and you could even bring your kids. The output was massively increased because of the speed of communication between workers. Private phone calls can be made in designated “communication furniture,” they look like big arms chairs and absorb the noise from the rest of the office.

Metropole: You say that myhive has a lot of aspects of a hotel, what are those?

Reindl: Services like a fitness center, showers, dry cleaning… I’ve actually never experienced it comprised the way it is in a myhive. The most important thing is not to just provide the services but to teach and motivate the employees to be service oriented; to be available and approachable, to absorb information and to drive technical support with tools like mobile apps, that promote communication and exchange. That is something I’ve never seen before.

Metropole: You say this is co-working, but not for startups, rather for grown-ups. What does that mean?

Reindl: myhive gives grown ups the chance to benefit from the feel of a startup workspace, but also having spaces where they can unwind, maybe even take a nap in one of the quiet rooms, just like at a spa.

Traunfellner: Grown-ups and corporates still need a more private space. They don’t want to have constant exchange with coworkers – they simply want the option to be able to communicate on a co-working level. myhives are designed to be as friendly, lively and inviting as a co-working space, which also encourage companies to come up with and create new ideas together.

Metropole: What are you looking forward to the most when the myhive Twin Towers opens? 

Reindl: To walk in and see it alive. To see people spending time in the lounges and the vibrant atmosphere when events take place.

Traunfellner: I’m look forward to the charm factor. The big, empty entrance area is going to be pimped and become friendly and sexy, with a cinema-style screen and green spaces, lamps. So I’m not just looking forward to the service, but the whole lobby and entrance area.

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The Editors
This was written by the Metropole editorial Team. Sometimes its an expat, sometimes a native, most of the time the lines are blurred, and sometimes we're sharing someone else's content, but we always say so. Oh yeah, and buy our magazine! Thanks.

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