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A MODERN GUIDE TO THE OFFICE JUNGLE The present world is colorful and abundant just like a jungle, providing us with new impulses all the time. Yet, if we wander off, the jungle will engulf us and we will get easily lost in it. That is, unless you have a good guide to point you in the right direction. And this is exactly what the magazine #MORETHANOFFICE strive for. It is a modern guide to the office jungle. Offices and office buildings have become the new living environment of millennials. They are more than stark white walls, a desk with photos of children and a softly buzzing computer. It is a place where we spend at least one third of our life. It is a place where we work, learn, do sports, have fun, love or relax in the shade of full-grown trees. It is a place of small personal battles and huge business wars. It is a place where two seemingly different things, i.e. the latest technologies and nature, intertwine. It is more than just an office. P.S. If you want more than this magazine, visit our website www.MORETHANOFFICE.eu.
32 16 #MORETHANOFFICE A Modern Guide to the Office Jungle Powered by Skanska PUBLISHER: Tabernas 21 s.r.o., member of FirstFloor Group EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Lukáš Rozmajzl, CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Josef Šachta ART DIRECTOR: Petra Lorse Tynklová ILLUSTRATION: Mo.DESIGN/Monika Beitlová, Veronika Volfová PHOTOGRAPHY: Jan Rasch, Jindřich Kodíček/UPM8 CONTRIBUTORS: Martina Marečková, Lucie Hrdličková, Nina Černá, Hana Podroužková, Petra Müllerová, Šárka Šachtová, Kristina Ježková TRANSLATION: T a P servis, PRINT: ASTRON Group ONLINE PRODUCT MANAGER: Michal Čeřovský, ART DIRECTOR: Lukáš Gruncl Developed by Sharry Europe s.r.o., member of FirstFloor Group Tabernas 21 s.r.o. cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts and photographs. While every care is taken, prices and details are subject to change and Tabernas 21 s.r.o. takes no responsibility for omissions or errors. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2017 Skanska
PSYCHOLOGY AT WORK
An interview with a psychologist about scents or about the need to have one‘s own territory in an open-space office.
Take a look inside five prominent architect studios that design offices all around the world.
PAPER IS OVER
Why do we still only talk
about a paperless office and don‘t make this dream come true?
FLEXIBLE, DIGITAL, FASTER
Time is changing and so is the managing director of Skanska Property, as she admits in an interview.
TREE OR OFFICE
Modern companies proclaim: Back to the forest! Or bring trees to the office at least.
Internet connections using light bulbs are much faster than traditional Wi-Fi signals.
THE OFFICE OF THE FUTURE
What will offices look like in 2027? We asked eight people including a space architect.
Five things you (probably) didn‘t know about it.
IBNATLESRDVFI E| W A F#GPJ Å® SA Y LC H O L O G Y
PSYCHOLOGY of your
WORKPLACE An interview with environmental psychologist Jakub Franc, who is also in charge of a team of UX designers in one of the best Czech startups. An interview about scents in offices, about the need to have one’s own territory in an open-space office and about when people can get lost in the workplace. An interview about the soul inside office walls. LUKÁŠ ROZMAJZL
ou currently work, and actually also used to work, in a technological firm. Technological firms are generally perceived as leaders in what modern offices should look like. Whether they are progressive startups or established firms such as Microsoft or Amazon, they all boast “cool” offices. Why technological firms and not banks, insurance companies or telecommunication operators?
TWO CORRIDORS IN OUR BUILDING MEET AT A VERY SHARP ANGLE AND SO WE ACTUALLY HAD TO INSTALL THERE A CONVEX MIRROR JUST LIKE AT INTERSECTIONS SO THAT PEOPLE WOULD NOT RUN INTO EACH OTHER.
Technological firms have a very limited labor market and yet individual people provide a high added value. Banks are stuck in a rut, but if you fall behind in IT by a year or two, it is over for you. IT people are picky and have different values. They do not care only about salary but also about other aspects of their life, and a good or unique office helps in hiring employees. This is why technological firms now often hold different meetups or meetings with professionals in their offices to show them off. Is it one of those soft benefits to win potential employees over?
It also stems from the nature of the entire industry that focuses on innovations. IT firms search for ways of doing things differently. This it then reflected in all areas. On the other hand, banks are simply conservative institutions. I am not sure if I would appreciate my banker going down a slide to get from one floor to another... But there are exceptions even among banks that use their brand to distinguish themselves. A brand is not only about how a firm is perceived on the outside but also what its internal values are or even which scents its stores use. Speaking of scents, isn’t this sensory input neglected with respect to offices? People often talk about the amount of light or suitable colors in the interior, yet odorant receptors are also important.
There are firms that have spent many years on this matter. Scents are often used in stores and in merchandise packaging so that you could smell an interesting fragrance once you open the package with the purchased product.
I read about some universal perfume for office spaces that would reduce stress or would help people concentrate better. I am not saying that I am totally skeptical about this, but I think that if this were the case, such scents would be installed in every office by now. The problem is that people like different smells. The US army was actually developing a stink bomb with a stench so repulsive that it would disperse people. However, they could not find a single stench that everybody would find repulsive. TO THE MEETING ROOM ON A SCOOTER Let’s drop this stinky topic and return to offices. What about you? Did you take into consideration the interior of the office in Karlín when applying for a job with GoodData?
No, it was not important for me. There were in fact other things that I liked about the firm. I saw this office for the first time when I came to sign my employment contract. And now after almost two years of working in the firm, do you see something unique in the firm that you have not experienced or found in other firms?
We work in open spaces, which I do not like very much, but the firm provides people with a certain feeling of privacy. There are a lot of meeting rooms where one can take shelter. There are bean bags on the floor and so if we no longer want to sit at the desk, we can take our laptop and sit in bean bags. We can also personalize the common area. Its walls have boards or paintings that we can finish. Overall, I find our office playful and very informal, which - in my opinion – shows what kind of firm we are. Actually, while we were talking, I saw your colleague pass by twice on a scooter…
This is exactly what I find humorous. We need scooters to get quickly from one end of the office to the other. A scooter can save several minutes. Two corridors meet at a very sharp angle and so we actually had to install there a convex mirror just like at intersections so that people would not run into each other.
BANKS ARE CONSERVATIVE INSTITUTIONS. I AM NOT SURE IF I WOULD APPRECIATE MY BANKER GOING DOWN A SLIDE TO GET FROM ONE FLOOR TO ANOTHER…
LOST IN THE OFFICE BUILDING The administration building Danube House where you work is also special in its non-typical triangular floor plan. Does it change the perception of the interior?
It is very hard to create a mental model of the environment in this building; people get lost in it. This is why we have navigation lines on the walls, because people are naturally used to a rectangular, regular or grid system. It takes a while for a newcomer to get used to our different floor plan. Don’t you think that the building is ill-designed in this respect?
The readability of buildings and the ability to navigate in them is one of the big topics of environmental psychology. There are certain principles that can serve as guidelines. If we know a part of a building, we can guess what the other part looks like. This, however, does not work in our building. On
the other hand, I do not think that it bothers the firm if a new employee gets lost here sometimes. The irregular shape actually gives us an aesthetical advantage – our offices have lots of windows. Your doctoral thesis was actually about the movement of people inside buildings, focusing on the psychological aspects of navigation of blind people. Why did you choose this topic?
I always liked to combine the digital world with the physical one. Moreover, I tried to include something else in my thesis, some social aspect. Thanks to my thesis, I was able to participate in the research project Naviterier at the Czech Technical University in Prague. As a psychologist, I found it very interesting that a blind person has a completely different way of navigating and creating a mental model of
the environment and uses completely different cognitive strategies. Could you explain it to me, since I am not a psychologist?
To say it simply….. if I am in some complicated building and I need to find my bearings, I will use an aerial view. It will help me to deduce where I am, and I will get a much different sense of the relationship between the individual places that I walked through. Blind people use different strategies, in particular a sequential strategy. As they move around a building, they remember the way based on other things than we do. Tactile and audio cues are much more important for them. A DESK BY A WINDOW AS A REWARD In one of your previous answers, you mentioned windows and daylight as a benefit. For instance, window seats in public means of transport are maybe
subconsciously perceived as better. Does a similar hierarchy exist in offices as well? Is it true that the closer to the window a place is, the better it is?
When I visited Microsoft in Redmond, several years ago, I discovered that an employee was entitled to a desk by a window after 10 years in the firm. It was a status matter. Actually, according to some research studies, people who work close to a window and are exposed to natural sunlight are more productive, more satisfied at work and less sick. The concept of hot desking contradicts the status perception of a desk by a window. Hot desking means that people do not have their own personal desk and choose their work station after they arrive to work. Is this wrong from a psychological point of view?
I would not say it is wrong. Certain human needs may not be satisfied, but the question is how much these needs are important for specific people in a specific situation. On the other hand, it may satisfy other needs and so I cannot say whether it is good or bad. I would need to talk with these people, to watch them and to get them to participate in the design of this environment. Let’s imagine a specific situation: a big firm will move into new premises. How should the company management get the employees involved in the office design? Should all employees receive a questionnaire to find out whether they prefer carpet or a billiard table?
I would discourage the firm from doing this. According to Margaret Mead (an American cultural anthropologist - author’s note), people have a hard time to describe what they do, what they want and what they need. We must get this information indirectly. Moreover, the design of new offices is not only about the people but also about the needs of the firm that needs something from the people and knows how it will operate in the future. Instead of giving people a question-
PEOPLE WHO WORK CLOSE TO A WINDOW ARE MORE PRODUCTIVE, MORE SATISFIED AT WORK AND LESS SICK.
naire, I would watch them, talk to them and try to find out what type of work they do and what their work duties are. I would like to know about relationships at work, how people’s relationships and interactions contribute to their overall performance and what does not work and what actually works well. I would like to know whether they are satisfied overall and whether they identify with the firm. It is necessary to discuss this in depth and it is definitely a job for a psychologist. Questionnaires often lead to a blind alley. Imagine that people tell you that they prefer to have carpet in their office rather than linoleum. But why? Is it because they like carpet or is it because they find the office too noisy and want to reduce the noise? If it is about noise, there are other and more effective solutions than carpet.
Do you think that there is some universal ideal office model that suits everybody?
I really do not think so. Look at it from the perspective of the company management trying to decide what the new premises should look like. Do I need people to talk to each other? To concentrate on some cognitive tasks? To supervise them? Or do I want a more democratic management? This is what determines the floor plan design, i.e. whether to have people working in some closed offices or in a giant open space… ... or whether they could create their own micro world in an open space? Look around our office – everybody has his or her own desk. Some people have a plant on it, others their children’s photos or a nerf foam dart pistol; some people have a nice clean desk, while others a messy one. In designing a common space, it is important to make sure that everybody can create and personalize his or her own private space. A workplace is considered a so-called secondary territory, and so we must take into account our territoriality as well. This is something we inherited and we cannot close our eyes to it. Again, there is no universal guideline – everybody and even every generation has different needs and different ways to protect his or her territory. I know firms that did not let their employees personalize their workspace. Sometimes it is impossible and understandable, e.g. if employees have clients come to their desk or if the building design is so unique that anything personal would compromise it. All these things should be decided on before a new office is designed. Could firms benefit from this approach in the form of higher employee performance?
A firm constructs an office building with a useful life of 40 years. According to one study, acquisition costs represent approximately 2 to 3% of the total wages and operation costs that the firm will incur over 40 years. That 2 to 3% affects all the other costs. Therefore, it pays off to find out what people will do in the new offices and what their needs are. It will pay off for the
firm because people will be willing to work harder and longer hours, will not quit… IN SEARCH OF COMPANY HAPPINESS You studied cognitive psychology and you also work as a psychotherapist. Should psychological consultations become one of the benefits offered by modern firms?
Actually, I also played the role of a psychologist in the firms where I used to work, without actively seeking it. So, there is some demand for it. On the other hand, I now work in an IT firm and I know that many of my colleagues would not seek this service and would be actually annoyed by it, and this is why I would not offer it as a company benefit. People could be worried about confidentiality. Many firms nowadays create the position of chief happiness officer, who is to ensure emotional well-being at work. Can a work team really benefit from this position?
The position of chief happiness officer can be very beneficial, but its corporate concept can have a nasty kickback. I agree that employees’ happiness is important and helps to improve their performance. However, the correlation between happiness and performance is rather complicated and not linear. There are many factors that affect people’s happiness at work. For instance, job stability. People wonder if they will keep their job. Relationships between colleagues and whether a person’s work is meaningful are also important. I am afraid that the happiness officer has no control over these factors. And in the end, what is your opinion on what offices will look like in ten years?
Hot desking, more flexible offices and open-space offices represent the current trend. Will this trend continue? Or will it take a different direction? I do not know. Will firms operate in 10 years the way they do nowadays? Will they be affected by the fact that people meet or sit in one space? And what about autonomous cars and a higher mobility of the workforce? Will we go to work more or less? All this makes me think about big sci-fi, including green guys with laser pistols, jumping around offices…
• Jakub Franc studied
psychology at Charles University in Prague and has a PhD degree in cognitive psychology. He also attended the University of California in Berkeley.
• He worked several
years as a researcher and UX manager in large technological firms - Sun Microsystems and AVG Technologies. He started working for the Czech-US startup GoodData in January 2016.
• He underwent five-year
training in psychotherapy and now works, among other things, as a lector. He also teaches the course Psychology in User Interfaces at the Department of Computer Graphics and Interaction of the Czech Technical University in Prague.
O F F I C E H A C K S # C O O LT H I N G S
#MUSTHAVE TIPS FOR IMPROVING YOUR OFFICE AND MAKING IT A UNIQUE PLACE. HACKS TO GET YOU THROUGH AN EIGHT-HOUR WORK SHIFT OR A BORING, NEVER-ENDING MEETING.
COFFEE ABOVE THE CITY A table is much more than four legs underpinning a desk. At least this one is a piece of art. Made from wood, steel and 3D printing technology. The Wave City coffee table bends a landscape of buildings in half, using the overlapping surface as the tabletop. Dimensions: 100 cm × 50 cm × 45 cm. A limited edition of 25 pieces is available. Some of them are still looking for a new office-home. www.mousarris.com Price: €8500
DRINK MORE! This is not about some after-work activities but about a hydration reminder. All you have to do is to place the smart gadget Ulla on any bottle or glass. It will start blinking if you did not have a drink for 30-40 minutes. The gadget will know when you enter the room and will automatically turn itself off after you switch off the lights in the evening. www.ulla.io Price: €25
According to some people, the mobile application Blind is the central brain of the hottest gossip from Silicon Valley. Others see it as a modern tool for changing corporate culture. The truth is somewhere in the middle. Blind is an exclusive and anonymous communication platform where employees can complain about their bosses or receive honest feedback on a new product. www.teamblind.com Price: for free
UP! UP! UP! Have you always wanted to imitate Carl Fredricksen, who travels in his home equipped with balloons in the movie Up? Now you can at least buy one item that will constantly remind you of that dream. This tiny wooden plywood house can hold up to 300 individual pins. www.cliveroddy.co.uk Price: £25
THE MICROWAVABLE NOTEBOOK Forget recycled paper. The company Rocketbook has developed a “magic” notebook. Just pop it in the microwave and all pages will be erased. If you want to save your notes, scan them and put them e.g. in Dropbox. www.getrocketbook.co.uk Price: £29.99
CREATIVE STRESS Some people take pills, others use voodoo dolls. Derrick Lin turned his frustrations in an advertising agency into miniature figures that he used to create imaginary office life scenes. Their photographs are in his new book Work, Figuratively Speaking or on Instagram under @marsder.
INSTEAD OF FISH If you are looking for a non-traditional plant for your desk, try Cladophora aegagropila. This algae ball does not require any special care other than changing water every 1-2 weeks. And you should also play underwater soccer with it! www.zahradananiti.cz Price: CZK100 (1 pc)
ANTI-PAIN UNDERSHIRT Percko undershirts are textile products for back pain relief. The system of tensors and the special, internationally patented, fabric are what stimulates the back and corrects the user’s posture. When you’re sitting up straight, you don’t feel a thing. But when you hunch, slouch or move in any way that’s bad for your back, you’ll feel a slight stimulation in the right direction. www.percko.com Price: €129
SEE MORE AT www.morethanoffice.eu
OFFICE ARCHITECTS 13,8 mm
Is the saying about the shoemaker’s children going barefoot true about architects as well? Have a look at five studios that are currently designing the best offices built in the Czech Republic or elsewhere around the world. We bring you a rare opportunity to examine the backstage of architectonic work.
PHOTOGRAPHY: COURTESY OF RBTA
The team’s studio is located in the factory silos over four floors connected by a spiral staircase.
RICARDO BOFILL TALLER DE ARQUITECTURA (RBTA) “OUR COMPANY‘S MOTTO IS: COLLABORATION, COLLABORATION AND AGAIN COLLABORATION.“
here are houses, and then there’s Ricardo Bofill’s house: a brutalist former cement factory on the outskirts of Barcelona, which was transformed into a grandiose monument to industrial architecture. The eight remaining silos, standing inside lush gardens, house Bofill’s private house and office for his award-winning studio. “Domestic, monumental, brutalist and conceptual,” that’s how Ricardo Bofill defines the main chamber of this industrial “cathedral” (with dimensions of 14×14 metres and 8 metres high).
The Desigual headquarters in Barcelona, 77 West Wacker Drive skyscraper in Chicago, Terminal 1 at the El Prat airport and Corso Court office building in Prague are among the latest works of RBTA. What is the main difference between developing an office and a house? “The offices have specific requirements related to work, while those of housing are related to daily activities such as hygiene, living together, eating and resting,” writes Serena Vergano, publications manager.
HOK’s London office is the first LEED-CI Gold office in the UK and one of Inc. magazine’s “World’s Coolest Offices.”
HOK “WORK IS WHAT PEOPLE DO - NOT A PLACE THEY GO TO.” DESCRIBES ALANNA MALONE MURRAY THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE COMPANY.
ur clients need workplaces that support their people, embody their brand and easily adapt to changing business needs. HOK leverages the art and science of design to create high-performance workplaces that enable people to be as productive as possible, whether they work in an office building, an emergency room, a research lab or a university campus. Our workplace
solutions result from a collaborative process that encourages multidisciplinary teams to imagine new ways of solving the challenges of the built environment, optimizing occupancy costs and driving success for our clients,” says Alanna Malone Murray, Communications Specialist at HOK. This company consists of 1,700 people collaborating across a network of 23 offices on three continents.
PHOTOGRAPHY: JCA/RADKA CIGLEROVA, EVA NEUŽILOVÁ
These colorful pillows are designed and produced by JCA interior design department and represent the common elements of the building interior.
JAKUB CIGLER ARCHITEKTI “AN ADMINISTRATION BUILDING MUST BE FIRST AND FOREMOST A PERFECTLY RUNNING MACHINE, YET IT IS ALSO A PLACE WHERE WE SPEND MORE TIME THAN AT HOME,” SAYS ARCHITECT BORIS VOLOŠIN FROM JCA.
isionary, Aviatica, Quadrio and Florentinum – four large administration projects designed by the studio Jakub Cigler Architekti. For its project Comcity, the studio received one of the Best Office Awards 2017 in Moscow. “Nowadays, we are more and more detached from nature and so it is important that office buildings bring us back to nature in some way. We simply feel good in some buildings, while not so
good in other buildings, and so we want to make sure that the tenants in our buildings are happy. The volumetric design of our projects often stems from simple forms. The majority of our buildings have a custom-made facade design,” architect Boris Vološin from JCA lists the basic attributes of JCA projects. In case of a fire, “I would definitely try to save our coffee maker because no architectural practice can exist without it.”
PHOTOGRAPHY: JAN RASCH
At the beginning of the 20th century, this building housed the first Czech water meter factory. Architect Josef Pleskot is the descendant of the back-then entrepreneur.
AP ATELIER “MY LIFE MOTTO? IT IS REASONABLE,” SAYS JOSEF PLESKOT, THE HEAD OF AP ATELIER.
he architectural studio is headed by Josef Pleskot, one of the most prominent Czech post-revolution architects. Josef Pleskot designed, among other things, the unique revitalization project of Lower Vítkovice as well as several administration centers. “Office buildings are not my favorite thing. It is an irony of fate that I designed one of the largest office buildings in the Czech Republic – the
ČSOB headquarters in Radlice, Prague. Every design must always consider the following important factors: sufficient light, sufficient air, sufficient space and sufficient room for socializing,” describes Pleskot. If there were a fire inside the atelier, Josef Pleskot confesses that he would save the painting by contemporary Czech artist Jan Merta first.
PHOTOGRAPHY: JAN RASCH
This new showroom of U1 in Prague contains elements of New York’s aesthetic, writes CZECHDESIGN magazine.
U1 JAROMÍR POPEK, A CO-FOUNDER OF STUDIO U1: “ACTUALLY, I DO NOT HAVE ANY LIFE MOTTO; IT IS NOT MY THING. BUT I HAVE ONE TYPICAL TRAIT. IT IS MY STUBBORN DESIRE TO SUCCESSFULLY ACHIEVE THE ‘IMPOSSIBLE‘.”
he firm founded in 2001 boasts on its website that it “dresses buildings from the inside.” Modern offices designed by U1 have already housed around 30,000 employees, including hundreds of employees of the IBM affiliate in the CR and the new research center AVG Technologies. U1 also designs its own office furniture line called Only1 and its other divisions specialize in interior
lighting. This year the firm, which is located in Brno, opened its showroom in Prague. In case of a fire, what is the one thing that Executive Director Jaromír Popek would save? “I would leave everything there, but I would grab the first colleague who did not realize that it was time to look away from the monitor. Things can be replaced, only data must be protected since they do not have legs to run!”
PHARMACY & CLINIC
RESTAURANT BY ZÁTIŠÍ NURSERY SCHOOL
#Morethanoffice +420 604 226 426 www.visionarybyskanska.cz
Presentation of current projects
E C O LO G Y # PA P E R L E S S
Except this HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO DECOMPOSE... PAPER
magazine : -)
PAPER IS OVER
Paper is an ingenious invention that – hyperbolically speaking – gave rise to bureaucracy. Two thousand years after this invention, it is time to switch to a “paperless office.” In modern offices, all paper can be replaced with its digital equivalent. Well, almost all – it is not recommended to replace toilet paper with virtual!
AN ORANGE PEEL
WHAT DO COMPANIES SEE AS THE BIGGEST BARRIER TO BECOMING A PAPERLESS OFFICE?
A CIGARETTE BUTT
15 YEARS A PLASTIC BAG
INVESTMENT IN DIGITAL RECORDS MANAGEMENT
LEGAL OBLIGATION TO MAINTAIN HARD COPY RECORDS
EMPLOYEE BUY IN
FEAR OF LOSS OF DIGITAL RECORDS
A PET BOTTLE
Source: Kefron Survey
100 YEARS A DISPOSABLE NAPPY
PAPER CONSUMPTION/RECYCLING IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
THOUSANDS OF YEARS MAYBE NEVER... Source: mestske-lesy.cz
DIGITAL IS DOING TO PAPER WHAT PAPER DID TO PARCHMENT: OUTCOMPETING IT, NOT ON QUALITY, BUT ON PRICE. BBC
The average Czech consumes about 130 kg of paper each year. It is less than the average in the EU15. For instance, Germans consume almost twice as much paper (251 kg) each year, while Slovaks are considerably “behind” in their
paper consumption (79 kg). Czechs recycle about 950 thousand tons of paper each year; however, more than 80% of it is exported and processed outside the Czech Republic. Source: Arnika, MPO
PAPER CONSUMPTION KG PER CAPITA
120 100 80 60
PAPER RECYCLING KG PER CAPITA
40 20 0
PHOTOGRAPHY: AUTORI/RELJA IVANIC
he new tenants of the Visionary office building will get a chance to practice their morning sprint to an important work meeting on the roof of this office building in Holešovice, Prague, which is to be finished next year and will be unique, among other things, with its 140-meter oval running track. No administration center in the Czech Republic has provided this option yet, which is not very common worldwide either. For instance, White Collar Factory in London opened its 150-meter running track this September. So, its employees who want to run a marathon must run 281 laps on the roof of this 16-storied building. By the end of this year, two administration buildings in Prague will have a running track on their roof - Visionary as well as ČSOB that is expanding its headquarters in Radlice. People working in Visionary will have a chance to exercise not only 25 meters high up but also down in the new garden that will include a multi-functional playing field for soccer, volleyball and basketball as well as ping-pong tables.
Catena Media is one of Serbia’s top igaming companies. Their new office HQ is just like a game, full of tricks, obstacles and fun features.
Modern office buildings are busting the myths that employees do nothing but work there. Administration center developers and owners keep coming up with new options for tenants’ sports activities. MARTINA MAREČKOVÁ, Hospodářské noviny
GOING TO WORK WITH A SMILE Sports activities right inside an office building are one of the ways of attracting the attention of even the youngest generation of employees. Millennials with Fitbits or other activity trackers have an ever-growing impact on the labor market. And they expect, among other things, flexibility and a work-life balance. You will not impress them with lunch vouchers… “We must adapt to demographic challenges and social changes and change the work environment so that people would enjoy going to work,” says Kevin Turpin, Head of Research & Consultancy CEE/ JLL. Since unemployment is now at a record low, firms must try much harder to impress their employees. MENTAL WELL-BEING Since it is getting cold now, firms are trying to figure out ways for their employees to exercise even when it rains or
SURVEY: DOES YOUR EMPLOYER SUPPORT YOUR SPORTS ACTIVITIES?
AT LEAST AN HOUR OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY A DAY MAY BE REQUIRED TO OFFSET THE HARMFUL EFFECTS OF SITTING AT A DESK FOR EIGHT HOURS. The Guardian
snows outside. For instance, Deloitte has a designated space for yoga at River City Prague. HR Director Martina Schiestlová says that this sport is becoming increasingly popular. “Yoga is a great way for employee groups to exercise – it is physical and mental exercise that really helps people to regenerate and to improve their physical and mental well-being,” says Yoga Live instructor Marta Nováková. “Moreover, yoga does not require any special equipment, all you need is a nice quiet space, which is not difficult to find in most workplaces.” The tenants of the Quadrio offices by the Národní třída subway station also enjoy their noon yoga classes provided on the outdoor terrace during summer. The building owner CPI Property Group is now looking for a place where yoga could be taught all year round. CPI Property Group also owns Luxembourg Plaza that has recently opened a small fitness center for its tenants. ALWAYS ON THE GO CPI Property Group is also the owner of Besnet Centrum with an office and storage space at Novodvorská Street and wants to make sure that its tenants can exercise even when the weather is bad. “We are thinking about building e.g. a volleyball court,” says Pavel Hain-Schmiedberský from CPI. “We want people to enjoy their work since they spend a big portion of their life at work.” Lately, large office centers have started
providing services for bikers - bike storage rooms and showers. They are used by many people, even though Prague is believed to be too hilly for biking to work,” says Petra Machartová from Skanska Property. All new projects of this company already consider visitors and employees arriving by bike. Corso Court in Karlín, Prague, has not only a bike storage room and showers but also a bike-sharing station by its entrance. Anybody can borrow a bike. And the tenants can play ping-pong in the garden of this administration building in Karlín, which opened in 2015. Ping-pong, badminton and pétanque equipment can be borrowed at the building reception desk. Figuratively speaking, people working at the Meteor Office Building in Prague have also jumped on the bandwagon. This year, CPI Property Group opened a large bike storage room for 40 bikes there. “The bike storage room is used a lot. We will be expanding it and we will provide additional services for bikers,” says Pavel Hain-Schmiedberský, Head of Asset Management for Offices and Logistics. UNDER A TRAINER’S SUPERVISION Firms that do not have their own sports grounds often pamper their employees by paying for or at least partly contributing to their sports activities. Deloitte, which leases one of the buildings of River City Prague, is an example of this. “Beach volleyball was very popular over the summer, and therefore we rented an inflatable sports dome for the winter,” says HR Director Martina Schiestlová. Employees also have a professional trainer at their disposal. Those who run on the nearby bike trail during their lunch break or after work can hear the trainer shout and provide advice. “An employee questionnaire showed a big interest in swimming, and so we started providing swimming classes from the middle of October,” adds Schiestlová.
our employer contributes to our sports activities
we do not have this kind of bonus and I am not interested in it
we have in-house sports activities
our employer does not provide anything like this, although I would appreciate it
READY - STEADY - GO SPORT FACILITIES AT OFFICES IN PRAGUE
Visionary will become the first building in the Czech Republic with a running track on its roof.
Five years ago Seznam.cz moved to a new HQ that includes an inside climbing wall with 900 grips.
Avast employees can work out in a fitness gym, play ping-pong or enjoy a golf simulator.
PHOTOGRAPHY: RADISSON BLU HOTEL, BERLIN
S T A I R C A S E # E L E VAT O R
An elevator in a giant aquarium Elevators are the blood-vessels of modern office buildings. They are becoming ever more important as buildings are getting higher and higher. The number of buildings over 200 meters has tripled since 2000. But elevators do not have to be some tin containers suspended on ropes and hidden somewhere in a building. The lobby of the Radisson Blue Hotel in Berlin has a 25-metrehigh AquaDom, the world’s largest freestanding cylindrical aquarium. Inside you can find a 2-storied glass elevator, more than 1,500 tropical fish and 1 million liters of salt water.
SEE MORE AT www.morethanoffice.eu
HOW TO GET TO THE TOP Until we can take a drone-taxi, we have only two options of how to get from one floor to another in an office building – an elevator or staircase. Only Spiderman has another way to go up, and suicide is another way to go down (except for Google workers riding down the slides). However, a staircase or elevator does not have to be some hidden technical space that firms do not show off. On the contrary!
THE NEXT STEP? This summer, the German elevator manufacturer ThyssenKrupp introduced MULTI, a revolutionary elevator prototype that goes not only up and down but also sideways. This makes it possible for several elevators to move in one elevator shaft at the same time. The very first MULTI will be installed in Berlin by 2020.
PHOTOGRAPHY: PAUL GRUNDY
A cathedrallike staircase
EACH STEP COUNTS 15 minutes
Taking the stairs rather than the elevator saves about 15 minutes each workday, according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 2011. Scientists researched the movement of people around a six-storied building.
An average person who weighs 68 kilograms will burn 5 calories by running up 100 stairs, claims the web The Trusty Spotter. To give you an idea – it represents the energy from one strawberry.
One of the most difficult city runs – the Empire State Building RunUp. Australian Paul Crake is the current record holder in this almost 1 km long race from the ground to the top of the skyscraper. His record time of 9:33 minutes from almost 15 years ago has not yet been beaten.
Speaking of staircases, forget the gray, poorly-lit fire staircase. This is some staircase! London’s Television Centre, known as the first “television factory”, was transformed in 2015 into the new headquarters for BBC Worldwide. The Design by HOK studio (see p. 15) created an open, efficient workspace. The team relocated four central lift cores to a windowless wall on the east, replacing them with a feature spiral stairway. “The central location and size of the staircase encourages people to use it more than the lifts and to interact,” argues Littlehampton Welding, manufacturer of the staircase.
INTERVIEW #SKANSKA SEE MORE AT www.morethanoffice.eu
Five years, five projects and a strong positive relationship with the Czech Republic. That’s the result of Marie Passburg’s work at Skanska Property. In the interview, the Swedish managing director reveals her strong faith in coworking and new technologies such as virtual reality. LUKÁŠ ROZMAJZL
ou joined Skanska in the summer of 2012. After 5 years of living here, how would you describe Prague? What are the key elements of the city for you?
Prague is rated as one of the top cities in the world to live and I can confirm that. Personally I enjoy my morning walk through Letna Park. The nice green areas around the city are amazing. And when should you make a business benchmark?
Prague is a good city from a business perspective if you are working with developing offices. Both tenants and investors like Prague. But I think some people don’t realize how modern and fast-moving Prague is. An office in Prague has all the same features as an office in Stockholm and IT innovations are developing at a fast speed here. If I owned a company and I could place it somewhere in the world, I would place it in the Czech Republic.
ble. This combination is unique and I am amazed at how fast things are developing. It’s not about bragging about it, it’s more about being focused, getting it done, ensuring that it is the quality expected. Is there also something strange about the Czech Republic for you? Something that even after five years of living here you still cannot understand?
I don’t think that the Czech Republic is good at promoting its competence and potential. I would like to see public officials promote the country in the same way as neighbouring countries do. I say the same about the individuals, many people I’ve met have fantastic skills and even though I really like their humbleness, I think they can combine a bit of self promotion with humbleness without being considered arrogant. THE SPEED OF THINGS
Not in your home country?
When you compare 2012 and 2017, how have the demands of tenants in your office building changed?
People in the Czech Republic are eager to develop things and at the same time they are committed to doing a good job and are hum-
Administration buildings go hand in hand with what is changing in the society. When I look at my private life in 2012,
I LIKE TO SIT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TEAM AS MUCH AS I CAN, BECAUSE THEN I CAN INTERACT WITH EVERYONE.
I HAVE AN OPEN CALENDAR, IT’S AVAILABLE TO THE TEAM AND THEY BOOK MY TIME. 30
I had my computer and copier and I was on Facebook. Today I am on my mobile devices, I don’t need a copier and I am on Snapchat. I can easily rent a car or a bike and I think twice about buying something since I can just rent it. This is digitalisation…. ...and the sharing economy all around us...
and it has an enormous influence on the way we work. The speed of things is also much higher. I cannot wait, I need to have the fastest Internet, immediate help
on chat instead of waiting in line for a reply from a call centre etc. This is the work environment that we need to deal with. This new way of working is increasing the stress level and we also see a strong trend among companies to focus on the well-being of their people. We are therefore now implementing well-being certification for all our buildings to make sure that we are creating a work environment that supports the company’s commitment to their employees.
Could you be more specific? How is that reflected in office buildings built by Skanska?
Our tenants ask for flexibility, new technologies and sustainable solutions. We focus on people’s well-being. Our buildings can easily be divided into several independent units, light and air capacities are also prepared for flexibility. New technologies like building applications, services in the building etc. are being implemented. We now also focus on access to green recreation areas, healthy food and in some cases a gym or similar facility. At Visionary we have a running track on the roof and a daycare centre on the ground floor. We also implement car and bikesharing solutions. I MUST BE DIGITAL
Another trend connected to flexibility is activity based working, which is applied also here in Skanska. So every morning you come to the office and you just select any place you want?
This started when I had a new employee. In the afternoon she left her desk to sit in the kitchen or somewhere else. I asked her: “Why don’t you like to sit with us?” She said: “In the afternoon, around 3 pm, my energy level gets low and if I move and sit somewhere else I get more energy”. I decided to try it myself and I can see that the same thing happend to me. It reminds me of when I was at school and my teacher made us move around the classroom to wake up during the lesson. Exactly! And the second thing is that I need to force myself to be digital. I should have everything in my computer or tablet. If I have a desk, I might pile up papers. I also have an open calendar, it’s available to the team and they book my time if they want more than 15 minutes. Do I know what I will do after 3 pm today? No. I need to be much more flexible. How do you cope with this permanently changing environment?
It is a challenge for our team to always be in the forefront. And I have a fantastic team. But there are many more requirements on people to be agile and adjust to the un-
MARIE PASSBURG Born in Sweden. She studied international business administration at the University of Gothenburg. She worked for Telia Company and ABB before she joined Skanska in 2001. In July 2012 she was appointed as a managing director at Skanska Property in the Czech Republic.
WHAT COMES FIRST TO YOUR MIND WHEN I SAY...
• MONDAY MORNING BREAKFAST MEETING
• HOME OFFICE
U PÍSECKÉ BRÁNY
• PRAGA STUDIOS CREATIVE
• GENDER EQUALITY A MUST
• TELIA COMPANY MY JOB SCHOOL
known. I think we need to be cautious to see how this higher speed is affecting us. It might create lots of energy and opportunities but if it creates negative stress that affects our health, we have to take actions or change our behaviour. If I look at this trend from the perspective of a developer, we meet with a tenant who says: “OK, we have 200 people today. We don’t know if we will have 300, or 100 in three years. We have short term contracts with our clients and now we are signing a long term lease contract in your building?“ What is your answer?
A trend that I personally like is coworking. We will have a co-working centre in our Visionary offices. Skanska has created a join venture with a partner, Business Link, that will open a centre in Prague next year. I had a friend who worked for a centre focusing on technology in downtown Stockholm. Ericsson has two top floors and its two bottom floors are a coworking space. It is so popular that there is a waiting list for a membership.
A waiting list for a coworking space? Do they sell coffee for free there, or why?
Because it is a great space. If you’re an entrepreneur you go there and you meet the big corporate. On the other hand, the corporate is subcontracting some people from there. It’s about having more people nearby and using resources when you need them. I think we all will work in not so fixed networks in the future.
FUTURE PROOF CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING
• BEER, OR WINE WHITE WINE
• MY DREAM
I HAVE MANY DREAMS FOR THE FUTURE
Together for INNOVATION
DIGITAL BUILDING PRESENTATION
LOBBY SCREEN UPDATED DAILY
GARDEN FACILITY BOOKINGS
FACILITY REPORTS VIA APP
SUSTAINABILITY #TREE SEE MORE AT www.morethanoffice.eu
BUILD A HOUSE, PLANT A TREE Do you know what a never-ending work meeting of a large number of trees is called? A forest. According to many scientific studies, greenery and natural elements have a positive impact on people’s health and well-being. They are increasingly becoming a part of office buildings.
P WE CANNOT USE ANY LOCAL PLANTS BECAUSE THEY NEED THE CYCLE OF THE SEASONS, WHICH IS NOT THE CASE INSIDE BUILDINGS 34
MARTINA MAREČKOVÁ, Hospodářské noviny
eople, at least those living in developed countries, spend 90% of their life inside buildings. Yet, understanding and appreciating nature is genetically encoded in us. It was American biologist Edward Wilson who came up with this hypothesis about the human genome. However, the importance of biophilia inside buildings has not been at the forefront until recently. Trees have a natural ability to clean air; greenery makes people happy and reduces their stress. What exactly does it mean for firms? Office employees are more productive and less sick and firms thus do not lose money due to employees’ sick leave. WOOD AS A VALUE The developers of Czech administration centers also follow the green office trend. “We as an investor consider biophilia one of the very important elements of building interiors,” says Jan Baxa, asset manager of CA Immo Real Estate Management.
“In our atria, we use wood in different forms, trees, greenery and water just like other valuable materials, e.g. stone, glass, steel and raw concrete, because they are natural for people and help to improve the feel of our building interiors,” describes Baxa. These natural elements are present in River City Prague that consists of three office buildings, is located in Karlín, Prague, and is owned and managed by CA Immo. The buildings called Danube House, Nile House and Amazon Court are situated next to the bike path along the Moldau River and are one of the first “green” administration centers in the CR. Their developer focused on both greenery and energy efficiency. OFFICES IN A GROVE The ČSOB headquarters in Prague also abounds with greenery. “Roofs covered with wild vegetation, guys with ties and fancy shoes carefully walking among this-
PHOTOGRAPHY: OPENAD/MARIS LAGZDINS
This office was opened in 2012 in Riga, the capital city of Latvia. “In the open-space area we designed a multifunctional piece of furniture that integrates working places, a rest area (sofa), a dining zone and large trees,” describe architects from Open AD.
tles, executive directors in a birch grove. A perfect project that helped to advance this segment,” landscape architect Ferdinand Leffler provides his opinion on the building in Radlice, Prague. Actually, the 10-year-old building is now too small for ČSOB, and therefore it’s having another office building constructed right across the way. The new building will be full of greenery as well. Its roofs are designed as gardens with plants and trees typical for this location. The new complex of buildings will
outside, even though they cannot take advantage of it every day, and people are proud to have an employer that makes it possible,” Leffler describes the advantages. VEGETATION INVASION Plants used for building interiors are different from those planted outdoors. “There are completely different requirements for indoor plants,” says Jiří Stiborek, a landscape architect from Flera. “Basically, we cannot use any local plants
A SMALL TREE IN A ROOF GARDEN CAN BE PLACED IN A POT MEASURING 80×80×80 CM, WHILE A BIGGER TREE REQUIRES A POT OF 1×1×1 M. THE MAXIMUM LOAD OF A ROOF OR A ROOF TERRACE USUALLY PRESENTS THE BIGGEST PROBLEM. PLANTS ON A TERRACE REQUIRE MORE WATER AS COMPARED TO THOSE PLANTED IN THE TERRAIN WHERE THE SOIL DOES NOT DRY UP SO QUICKLY. ALSO, ROOFS ARE EXPOSED TO STRONGER WINDS, WHICH MEANS THAT WATER EVAPORATES MORE RAPIDLY. MORE WATER ALSO MEANS MORE FERTILIZER BECAUSE WATER WASHES IT OFF. Source: Jiří Stiborek, Flera
have four different height levels. The Flera landscape architects included this fact in their landscape design using vegetation that copies the terrain slope and building architecture. Therefore, a forest will be on the ground level, a grove on the next level, then an orchard and on the highest roof a biotope resembling a meadow.
TREES HELP TO CONSERVE ENERGY THE CORRECT PLACEMENT OF TREES AROUND BUILDINGS CAN REDUCE THE NEED FOR AIR CONDITIONING BY 30 PERCENT, AND REDUCE WINTER HEATING BILLS BY 20-50 PERCENT. Source: FAO.org
EXTRA COSTS The cost of trees and shrubs planted in buildings differs from case to case, but Leffler thinks that it may be the same as the cost of trees and shrubs planted in a garden. Of course, there will be some extra costs, such as the cost of vegetation transport to complicated places, the cost of cranes, the cost of stress analysis and insulation, the cost of resistant and drainage pots and the cost of special substrates. A big part of these costs can be reduced if vegetation is taken into account when the building is being designed and constructed. “Greenery is in and evokes positive emotions in people. It is a bonus for people to go out, stretch and snack
because they need the cycle of the seasons, which is not the case inside buildings,” explains Stiborek. Leffler says that e.g. mother-in-law’s tongues are trendy, but he personally prefers simple lianas. Indoor plants must be carefully selected, taking into consideration light in particular and also drainage and space size. “In any case, we are now designing more and more green walls that, once illuminated, dominate over all the other indoor greenery,” says Stiborek. Roof gardens are becoming more and more popular, says Glyn Evans, director of the Czech representation of the consulting company Tétris. “Typically, only a small part of the roof is dedicated to greenery,” says Evans. “The maintenance of roof ‘parks’ is expensive and there are stricter safety requirements concerning roof ‘parks’.” ZEN ZONE If there is room, Leffler plants birches, sumacs and maple trees around office buildings. He recommends planting on roofs more resilient, aggressive weeds. “We don’t want any fancy, varicolored
BEST TREES FOR USE INSIDE OFFICE BUILDINGS
FICUS NITIDA, KNOWN AS THE INDIAN LAUREL FIG
This tree requires less light than ficus benjamina, it grows well and creates a huge full crown. It tolerates trimming well. Its lush and healthy growth creates a great feel in the interior. Nursery and garden firms have many different sizes of this tree.
DRACAENA REFLEXA, (PLEOMELE REFLEXA)
BUCIDA BUCERAS, BLACK OLIVE TREE
An interesting, rather unusual, dracaena species from the islands of the Indian Ocean. The older, bigger plants have an unusual trunk structure. It is very resilient and does well farther from the natural source of light. This plant has become trendy and nursery and garden firms have many different sizes of this tree – from 60 to 500 cm.
A decorative tree from Central America. Its delicate simple foliage and horizontal branches create an interesting crown with a fine texture that considerably differs from that of fig trees. It rather resembles Czech shrubs, and this is why it has become very popular. It requires a large light interior.
FICUS LYRATE, KNOWN AS THE FIDDLE-LEAF FIG A tree with large leaves, native to tropical Africa. Its leaves make it possible to absorb more light energy, and this is why it requires less light. Its dark green and shiny leaves give the tree a healthy look. It is perfect for large lobbies or covered atria. Source: Matouš Hydroponie
There is a funny story. The birch grove in the STRV OFFICES supposedly looks so real that one (drunk) opening party guest forgot that he was in a building and peed right by one of the trees.
CASE STUDY: ADMINISTRATION COMPLEX TITANIUM IN BRNO The green roof is a part of the roof of underground garages between the two office buildings, the roof park area is 1,100 m2. Its vegetation consists of carpet grass and 22 red maple trees.
• reduces heat island effects • regulates air quality INVESTMENT COSTS: approximately 3.4 million CZK without VAT ANNUAL COST OF GREENERY MAINTENANCE AND WATERING: approximately 86,000 CZK Source: A study of J. Macháč et al. from the Institute for Economic and Environmental Policy by J. E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem
PHOTOGRAPHY: TERJE UGANDI
THE GREEN ROOF:
• provides recreation • reduces noise • soaks up rain water
Trees in a factory This former factory was transformed into an office house of Estonian children‘s clothing manufacturer Lenne. The realistic-looking trees peppered around the space are made from a combination of real trunks and artificial branches and leaves.
plants; we want substance that disrupts the sterility of offices and administration buildings,” says landscape architect Leffler. Skanska Property also uses a lot of greenery in office buildings. It wants to plant about 40 trees around the Visionary administration building that is almost finished. “We always plant ornamental grasses and shrubs on the roofs of our buildings,” says Petra Machartová from the Marketing Department of Skanska Property. “Almost all of our projects include a landscaped garden with ornamental grasses, shrubs and trees,” she adds. Their goal is to plant vegetation with a varied growing season to ensure a certain level of greenery all year round. Greenery is calming, and this is why Skanska Property plants it especially in relaxation zones. Plants also improve
the indoor environment because they increase humidity. “Greenery refreshes the environment both literally and psychologically. Plants help people breathe easier,” says Leffler. Skanska Property is considering creating a zen zone with different types of vegetation in the lobby of one of its future office building projects. The zen zone would give the impression of nature inside the building. An office building in Karlín, Prague, which is called Butterfly and is about to be finished, is literally covered with a green facade. Its area of almost 1,500 m2, which represents about one-third of the Charles Bridge area, makes it the biggest green facade in Central Europe. So-called vertical gardens on building façades are rather unusual in the CR because of the freezing temperature during winter.
A vertical forest
PHOTOGRAPHY: STEFANO BOERI ARCHITETTI
600 tall trees, 500 medium-sized trees (a total amount of 1100 trees from 23 local species) and 2500 cascading plants and shrubs will cover a 6,000 sqm area of the facades. Project Green Towers in Nanjing (China), which is scheduled to be finished in 2018, will host offices, a hotel, restaurants and a food market.
A meeting in the trees
This year, Microsoft revealed a new version of a “window” into the future - two enclosed treehouses built in the forest next to its campus in Redmond, Washington. “The first thing you notice when you walk into the space is that everyone is really quiet. You stop talking and are just present,” said Bret Boulter from Real Estate & Facilities at Microsoft.
If you are not sure whether or not to invest in smart light bulbs for your office, first use them in some smaller space, e.g. in a common kitchen. In such a case, try smart light bulbs that are primarily designated for households. We are introducing four of them.
PHILIPS HUE Output: 342-800 lumens Watt Equivalence: 60 Manufacturer Est. Lifespan: 22 years Price: 4 449 CZK (starter kit & 3× LED bulbs)
FUTURE IS HERE Smart light bulbs can do much more than just change color. They blink when you get an e-mail. They can find you even in the most complicated office labyrinth. And perhaps they will soon replace wi-fi in sending you e-mails. LUKÁŠ ROZMAJZL
F THE FIRST LIGHT BULB, LIT UP IN 1879, LASTED EXACTLY ONE WORK WEEK – 40 HOURS. 40
irst, a little warning: If you used to stand in line for classical light bulbs before their production was restricted by the European Union and consider “Edison light bulbs” the best source of light (after the Sun, of course), then stop reading now. It is because the following text describes the innovations radiating from modern light fixtures almost 140 years after the day the first light bulb lit up. So-called smart light bulbs are multi-functional just like Renaissance artists. They can change color, play your favorite music, create a better work atmosphere and locate you in an office building. Other light sources can, for a change, extend the shelf life of sliced meat in supermarkets or will one day send our e-mails and download films from the Internet. (More on p. 40)
LIGHT RATHER THAN FURNITURE Light is one of the key factors in the work environment. According to last year’s survey of Erste Group Immorent, 48% of the respondents would not work in a room without windows even if they were given a considerable salary raise. In her recent interview for Hospodářské noviny, architect Eva Jiřičná said: “I am very sensitive to light and I think that light is one of the most important work factors. This is why I always try to convince office owners to invest in good-quality lighting rather than in design furniture.” Yet, based on the sociological survey sponsored by Halla that manufactures design light fixtures, one-fourth of office employees do not have enough natural light. Lack of daylight and bad artificial lighting make eyes tired and hurt.
IKEA TRÅDFRI Output: 400-1000 lumens Watt Equivalence: 70 Manufacturer Est. Lifespan: 22 years Price: from 199 CZK
MIPOW PLAYBULB RAINBOW
SONY LED BULB SPEAKER
Output: 700 lumens Watt Equivalence: 40 Manufacturer Est. Lifespan: 23 years Price: from 1 299 CZK
Output: 500 lumens Watt Equivalence: 40 Manufacturer Est. Lifespan: 23 years Price: from 5240 CZK (with remote control)
Source: PC Mag, MTO
WHITE, BLUE, YELLOW LIGHT Smart light bulbs help to improve the work environment in offices. In compliance with the philosophy of Human Centric Lighting, they imitate the day cycle of the Sun, to which the human body is naturally adapted and which has a positive impact on our productivity and health. “Light intensity and color change throughout the day, depending on the position of the Sun,” explains U1 Lighting Division Director Jiří Kubánek. According to Halla, an ideal light is high intensity cold light in the morning, high intensity white light in the afternoon and low intensity warm light in the evening. This combination increases work efficiency and accuracy and promotes more intensive regeneration. There is also a certain gender difference when it comes to light. “Women prefer a bit warmer tone of light, which gives them a warmer feeling,” says Boris Zupančič, Head of CEE Business Development Team at Philips Lighting. A central control system automatically changes the light intensity and color of smart light bulbs in offices based on the time of day and the intensity of outdoor light. It is also possible to remotely control each light bulb, e.g. with a special mobile phone application. LIGHT CONTROLLED BY FEET Smart office buildings also have motion sensors that not only turn on
lights based on the time of day but also adjust light intensity based on the number of people in the room. The basic idea behind this is to use as little light as possible. However, this can lead to paradoxical situations. “Some buildings have light timers set up for evening hours and if an employee works late, he must turn on the lights every 30 minutes,” Jiří Kubánek from U1 studio shares his experience. Most smart light bulbs that are now on the market also support voice control, i.e. they can be connected to smart household systems, such as Google Home or Amazon Echo. This feature seems somewhat impractical in an open-space office. Imagine everybody shouting at a light bulb... So far, the feature of Philips Hue light bulbs does not seem practical for office use either. They could blink anytime you get a new e-mail. Although, there may be some people who would not mind that. “My colleagues working with e-shops use the e-mail function in our office. Anytime we receive an order from an e-shop, the Hue blinks. But the main application of the Hue is at home,” says Boris Zupančič from Philips Lighting.
Exercise for your eyes How to prevent a headache and red eyes due to a poorly-lit office? Use eye exercises. Focus on the farthest possible point and then look back at the screen. “It is good to take frequent breaks and to alternate your viewing distance. Good hydration, a lot of water, is also important. If your eyes feel very tired, apply regularly preservative-free artificial tear eye drops several times a day. If even this does not help, you should go see an ophthalmologist,” says doctor Martina Veselá from the Gemini eye clinic.
INDOOR NAVIGATION SYSTEM The smartest of smart light bulbs can do much more than just change the light. For instance, Sony created a cross between a LED bulb and
a Bluetooth speaker, and so your light fixture at home can also play your favorite song. On the other hand, Philips is the leader in LED based indoor positioning systems. How does it work? With visible light communications (VLC), each fixture sends its own unique identifier to a shopper’s smartphone, allowing the system to accurately pinpoint the shopper’s location in the store. “The indoor positioning system using
the luminaires has already been commercialized and we have the first running commercial projects,” boasts Boris Zupančič from Philips Lighting. The disadvantage of the entire smart light bulb eco-system is its potential vulnerability. Hackers may hack not only your computer or mobile phone but can now also target your table lamp. Last fall, security experts managed to turn on the lights in an office building from a distance…
DOWNLOAD A MOVIE FROM LIGHT BULBS A bulb for better meat A special bulb that can extend the shelf life of sliced meat? Yes. “Meat ages much faster under the typical artificial light due to the impact of the parts of the light spectrum on the decay process in the meat structure,” explains Boris Zupančič, Head of the CEE Business Development Team at Philips Lighting. After several years of research, Philips came up with LED Rose Food with an optimized light spectrum. When exposed to this light, meat does not look discolored and its shelf life is extended by up to 20%, which helps to reduce meat waste. “We also have a light spectrum suitable for vegetables, bread products, fish and citrus fruits,” adds Boris Zupančič.
We will soon be connecting to the Internet through LED light bulbs instead of wi-fi. Data transmission in Li-Fi networks is based on a simple binary system of 1 and 0. Light on = 1, light off = 0. A LED bulb can flicker more than one hundred million times per second, which is not detected by the human eye. This technology is considerably faster than standard wi-fi. For instance, you could download more than 10 movies in just one second. The team led by Aleš Dobesch from the Brno University of Technology is also working on this major innovation. We asked Aleš Dobesch the following three questions:
Are you testing Li-Fi in some offices? We have successfully tested the Li-Fi connection in an office environment together with our colleagues from Portugal. But our OptaBro group does not currently have any permanent testing connection in the office.
When will light-based data transmission become a common thing in offices? It is hard to tell. It depends on when some renowned wireless technology manufacturer comes up with a Li-Fi consumer application and inspires its competitors to do the same. The Li-Fi based technology is currently used e.g. in Philips smart light bulbs for indoor navigation in chain stores. There are also some small firms that are developing a Li-Fi application, and so I expect that it will be available on the market quite soon.
In your opinion, light-based data transmission is safer since light cannot penetrate through walls. But won’t a user lose the connection when he moves to another room or to an elevator? Li-Fi is considered safer when it comes to data transmission. We communicate when the light is on. When the light is off, data are not transmitted. We thus have control over communication and can avoid hacking from a remote location. The communication unavailability that you mentioned will have to be resolved e.g. by switching to classical wireless communication (Wi-Fi, LTE, etc.) if Li-Fi is unavailable.
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Presentation of current projects
THE NEVERENDING OFFICE STORY CLASSICAL/TOUCH-TONE PHONE In 2009, there were still more than 1.3 billion landlines worldwide. Today, mobile phones and smartphones outnumber landlines several times over.
1997 MONITOR Original CRT (cathode ray tube) computer screens that were especially heavy. An average monitor weighed 10-20 kg.
PHOTOGRAPHY: JINDŘICH KODÍČEK/UPM8
NOKIA 6210 A phone that has been on the market since 2000. Its memory could hold information for up to 500 contacts. It cost about 15,000 CZK.
FLOPPY DISK An external data storage device, mostly with 1.44 MB storage capacity. Its production ended after 30 years in 2011.
Google was founded in a garage in California and 20 years later employed more than 70,000 people on a full-time basis.
PC The first really personal computer was marketed by IBM in 1981. In the second quarter of 2017, approximately 61 million computers were sold worldwide. The leaders of the diminishing market include HP, Lenovo and Dell.
Terrorists killed 3,000 people and destroyed seven office buildings, including the Twin Towers, in New York.
Most IT companies still manufactured disk mechanics as standard computer equipment.
Skype entered the virtual world. This communication tool of many companies was purchased in 2011 by Microsoft for 143 billion CZK.
Apple started selling the iPhone. Almost 300 thousand people bought it within 30 hours.
The king of pop Michael Jackson passed away at the age of 50. Four million Michael Jackson albums were sold within six weeks of his death.
DESIGN BY TOMÁŠ ROUSEK SPACE ARCHITECT XTEND DESIGN LONDON
VIRTUAL WINDOWS An interconnection of offices around the world through video projections and displays.
KLASICKÝ TELEFON AUGMENTED REALITY Ještě v roce 2009 bylo po světě více než Thanks to new head-up displays,stanic. Dnes 1,3 miliardy telefonních the entire interior will turn je office v počtu několikanásobně převyšují into an interface controlled by voice mobilní telefony a smartphony. and gestures.
INTEGRATED NATURE Indoor plants help to increase productivity and to improve the quality of air and acoustics. NASA recommends 18 plants, such as palm trees or ferns, for their ability to clean air.
Facebook moved 2,800 employees to new headquarters that are “the largest open floor plan in the world.”
Skanska finished the building called Praga Studios, the most modern office building in Prague.
Saudi Arabia built the highest building in the world. The Jeddah Tower is the first one to surpass the 1,000-m height limit.
People landed on Mars for the first time in a spaceship of the US company SpaceX.
Jaromír Jágr signed a contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins and announced that he would play in the NHL until he turns 55.
WHAT WILL THE OFFICE OF THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?
Gabriela Drastichová PROJECT MANAGER AT NODE5 Radek Mašinda CHIEF DESIGNER U1 The office of the future will be even more diversified, depending on the specialization of individual companies and the type and method of work performed by their employees. I expect more progressive office interiors to be transformed from an office space to a social space – a place where employees will meet and share information, a very informal place set up for direct and remote communication using virtual reality technologies. There will also be a specific and fully shared space for team and individual work – the personal workspace will become fully mobile thanks to information technologies. However, I assume that some office interiors will look very much like the ones today; they will only have new information technologies and furniture adapted to these technologies – the type of work and cooperation will not require a major change in the work environment.
Petr Novague HEAD OF THE DESIGN STUDIO NOVAGUE Offices are already undergoing major changes, becoming more and more unified and losing the pleasant atmosphere created by good architecture. This is being replaced with different “play spaces,” relaxation zones and a lot of flowers. There are only a few high technologies that help employees and not just building or office management. I think that this will change. The office of the future will certainly be even more extreme, too much glass and modern open-space offices inside… I also think that there will finally be more of a focus on the quality of details based on designer logic. The designers of these projects will focus on hygiene and replace the elements that everybody touches with contactless ones. Office chairs that employees now inherit will have exchangeable parts, office desktops will become charging stations and office partition screens will be simply turned into presentation boards or TV screens. The main point is that these will be intelligent details.
I have just finished reading the book called Deep Work written by Cal Newport. Therefore, I cannot help but imagine that offices will be designed based on the Greek concept of eudaimonia, which is a state where the human mind achieves, with maximum concentration, the full human potential. Imagine a one-storied building with five interconnected rooms. The building starts with an exhibition hall, which shows the products of deep work and inspires the visitors, and continues to a café that is conducive to joint discussions, networking and contemplation. The third room is a library that stores information and data, which is our concept of a cloud. The fourth room is an office as we know it today, where we work shallowly yet effectively. The last room is designated for deep work that provides for maximum concentration and work that tests the limits of human possibilities. I wish we could spend much less time in the offices of the future than we do today since their concept will allow us to work with maximum effectiveness and with maximum concentration on deep work. Full office digitalization, which will handle a lot of the shallow work that nowadays takes up a shameful amount of our time, will become a matter of course. I am looking forward to it.
Ondřej Novodvorský SALES DIRECTOR OCP & MSC MICROSOFT IN THE CR AND SLOVAKIA The office of the future should liberate employees from fixating on a single chair and should inspire them to new ideas and perspectives. When you go to the same closed office and meet the same people every day, you will hardly come up with something new. For us, the office of the future is a space where we do not sit in one place but advance together. This would be impossible without modern technologies that allow us to communicate and cooperate effectively and safely from anywhere, from any device.
Jacob Morgan BEST-SELLING AUTHOR (THE FUTURE OF WORK), KEYNOTE SPEAKER AND FUTURIST Ten years from now (2027), most offices won’t be THAT different than they are today. They will just be upgraded. I’d expect organizations to think of their spaces as employee experience centers, as symbols that represent what the organization stands for. This will mean different things to different companies. But broadly speaking I’d expect: leveraging multiple floor plans instead of just open vs closed, greater integration of technology ranging from sensors and IoT (Internet of Things) to advanced video conferencing and by that point virtual and augmented reality solutions. Overall spaces will be beautiful, modern, functional, and engaging!
Max Verteletskyi CO-FOUNDER & CEO AT SPACETI START-UP I believe that the hyperlocalization of the office space will be driven by the demands of sharing economies. As a tenant or occupier you will be charged rent and service fees based on how much time you spend in a specific zone, on a chair. There will be seamless entry to a building using a blockchain and biometric technologies. The space will adapt to occupants by knowing their location and preferences and the context of what they are going to achieve.
Tomáš Vácha SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGIST AT THE UNIVERSITY CENTER FOR ENERGY EFFICIENT BUILDINGS, CZECH TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY IN PRAGUE We can muse about the future mostly based on current trends. We can assume that it will be more common to share workstations: less people will have a fixed workstation, but will be able to use other types of space – a quiet space for concentration, a space for team work or relaxation. Office buildings will be more segmented, they will be divided into zones based on purpose and will provide a pleasant indoor environment focusing on light, acoustics, air quality and energy efficiency. People will be using more ICT tools for remote communication and cooperation – e.g. smart boards allowing two or several teams to communicate in a digital space. We can also expect more homeworking and the use of coworking offices. Digital nomadism is already on the rise, in particular in IT - employees who go abroad work in coworking offices and are in contact with their parent company via the Internet.
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Apple paid 160 million USD just for the land, and the construction cost of the new HQ amounted to 5 billion USD in the end.
APPLE AND ITS iUFO Apple has new campus headquarters – huge, circular, four-storied headquarters resembling a spaceship. Is the building really from another planet or is Apple once again breaking away from the mainstream and setting new trends? LUCIE HRDLIČKOVÁ, Economia
70 HECTARES GROUNDS OF THE NEW OFFICE BUILDING
9 THOUSAND TREES
PLANTED ON THE PREMISES
1.8 MILLION M2
PATENTED PIZZA CONTAINER
Apple is often considered a synonym for modern technology innovations. But Apple also dabbles in gastronomy. It had a special pizza container patented. The circular pizza container has several openings allowing hot air to escape and preventing the pizza crust from becoming soggy.
his fall, Apple’s chief designer John Ive finished perhaps his longest project for this firm: a space ship, also referred to as a giant donut. This is the nickname of the headquarters of this technological firm, the design of which took many years and was carefully overseen by Apple founder Steve Jobs until he passed away. Apple Park, which is the official name of the building, is spread over 70 hectares. To many people’s surprise, it is low and wide (it has only four floors). The headquarters can house 12,000 employees. They started moving in already in September. Apple Park is near Cupertino, the current Apple headquarters, and is mostly green in spite of the fact that California is generally arid.The original design shows that Apple wanted to plant three thousand trees. As the construction of the headquarters and planting progressed, Apple supposedly cleaned out all nursery and garden stores in the county. Apple Park also has its own power plant to make the headquarters at least partly ecologically self-sufficient. However, ecology in this case is disputable and has become the main topic of discussions about whether Apple should be only praised and admired for its new headquarters. Apple built its new headquarters at a location without any public transportation. Therefore, thousands of employees who relocated there must drive to work. Critics thus weigh cars and emissions against the planted trees and size…
TOTAL AREA OF THE FOURSTORIED BUILDING
DIAMETER OF THE BUILDING CIRCLE
IT’S LIKE A SPACESHIP HAS LANDED. I THINK WE HAVE A SHOT AT BUILDING THE BEST OFFICE BUILDING IN THE WORLD. Steve Jobs, 2011 Kateřina Čechová from the Faculty of Architecture of the Czech Technical University in Prague points out, just like many other world architects and urbanists who followed the progress of the project, that Apple seems to go against all the latest trends. “Western companies nowadays tend to build smart, socially beneficial buildings and use architecture to solve local problems with transportation, the environment and social division. Apple Park, on the other hand, came up with a very conventional strategy: perfect architectural form, top execution, the latest technologies but also independence and disregard for its surroundings,” says the architect-urbanist. She also points out that Apple chose the design that was used in Western countries in the middle of the 20th century and is nowadays rather typical for developing countries in the gulf or Eastern Asia. “I am personally bothered by the question of why the leader in the world of innovations did not come up
OUTER PERIMETER OF THE BUILDING
12 THOUSAND EMPLOYEES NEW BUILDING CAPACITY
9 THOUSAND PARKING SPACES IN TWO PARKING BUILDINGS
9 BUILDING ENTRANCES
4 THOUSAND SEATS IN LOCAL CAFES
15 THOUSAND LUNCHES THAT CAN BE SERVED IN THE LOCAL RESTAURANT AND CANTEEN DURING THE LUNCH RUSH
2.8 MILLION M2 QUANTITY OF CURVED GLASS USED ON THE BUILDING
THE PRODUCTION OF SOLAR PANELS ON THE ROOF OF APPLE PARK THAT IS TO COVER UP TO 75% OF ENERGY CONSUMPTION
STEVE’S VISION FOR APPLE STRETCHED MEGASTRUCTURE COMPARISON
FAR BEYOND HIS TIME WITH US. HE INTENDED APPLE PARK TO BE THE HOME OF INNOVATION
O2 ARENA CZECH REPUBLIC
FOR GENERATIONS TO COME. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO
GREAT PYRAMID EGYPT
with any really innovative strategy, why the enormous number of his 12,000 employees do not use the latest system of shared or autonomous transportation and why the layout of the corporate campus does not make it possible to communicate with local entrepreneurs and neighbors in general. If Apple Park is a spaceship, to which it is often compared because of its shape, then it probably came from a different era and a different continent,” concludes Kateřina Čechová. Others point out that the building is
full of “smart solutions” and energy efficient. It has a sophisticated air-conditioning and heating system as well as a water-cooling system. “The building façade has sensors and vents that measure wind direction and air flows between the outside and inside of the building,” says Stefan Behling from the architectural studio Foster and Partners that constructed the building. The building does not require any heating, ventilation and air-conditioning during nine months of the year. According to him, all these details of the “cosmic headquarters” are the result of the stubbornness and perseverance of the deceased Steve Jobs. He knew ahead of time that the new headquarters would be different and claimed that they would prove good for Apple, especially from a work perspective. When presenting his plans, Jobs always repeated that the new headquarters would connect people more, promote interactions and keep people at work. The campus also includes a large orchard and a lake that are perfect for contemplation and discussions.
THE STEVE JOBS THEATER
APPLE PARK U.S.
Steve Jobs would have turned 62 this year on February 24. To honor his memory and his enduring influence on Apple and the world, the theater at Apple Park will be named the Steve Jobs Theater. The entrance to the 1,000-seat auditorium is a 6-metres-tall glass cylinder, 50 metres in diameter, supporting a metallic carbon-fiber roof. The Steve Jobs Theater is situated atop a hill — one of the highest points within Apple Park — overlooking meadows and the main building.
I N D I S P E N S A B L E # PA P E R C L I P
THE FIRST PART OF THE SERIES
ABOUT THINGS THAT YOU CAN FIND IN EVERY OFFICE
FIVE THINGS THAT YOU (MAYBE) DO NOT KNOW ABOUT IT
The first paperclip, as we know it, was probably sold on the market in 1892. It was made by The British Gem Manufacturing Company. A Norwegian, Johan Vaaler, is sometimes erroneously considered the inventor of the paperclip, but he was too late and did not patent his invention until 1899.
Current paperclips are usually made of a cooper or steel wire that is sometimes galvanized. You can buy a pack of 100 paperclips for as little as 10 CZK.
Paperclip was a codename of the operation during which Americans recruited more than 100 scientists from Nazi Germany at the end of
WW II. Some of them worked e.g. for NASA programs.
If you are bored, you can make a paperclip chain or a 2.28 m high sculpture just like Italian artist Pietro D‘Angelo, who was included in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2008 (picture above).
This summer, the Prada fashion store made a splash with its not even 7-cm-long silver paperclip priced at 185 USD, which is approximately 4 000 CZK. It was supposed to be an aesthetical money clip, probably to hold the banknotes of wealthy people.
A PENCIL PUSHER’S
VOCABULARY The new age requires new speak. Learn these 15 words and phrases that will help you survive in the merciless jungle of modern offices.
The time to start working on a project.
black and white copies, but to use the entire color spectrum.
A one-day or multi-day paid vacation, often in a company car.
A situation where an employee does not feel like going home.
A preventive medical device monitoring how often every employee urinates. PRESENTATION
A simple message usually described on 80 slides.
Brainstorming using color stickers.
The magic date when all employees’ loyalty reaches the highest point.
Usually the 16th day of the month.
The most important place in the entire firm where you can ask for new color stickers or highlighters at any time.
An office space sometimes also dubbed a chicken factory farm. The idea is to pack as many computers and people in one place, regardless of how they feel about it. Cages are no longer used; however, night lights help to increase productivity. The space is known for its noise, so-called clucking. REORGANIZATION
The HR department’s favorite board game, sometimes also called Sorry 2. Its goal is to check whether or not employees have a sense of orientation in the building. Those who fail can at least look for the way to the closest unemployment office. COPIER
The place where gossiping about colleagues is reproduced. It is recommended not to make
15TH DAY OF THE MONTH
An unlimited period of time, during which everybody talks at the same time. People should not use such words as “It is stupid,” “Boring” and “You must have tripped over a stapler this morning because it made a hole in your brain.”
A 10-minute healthy outing with a group of employees outside the office building. A company strategy for the next ten years is often resolved during this activity. MEETING
An unlimited period of time during which an employee does not have to work. It is recommended to drink a lot of coffee so that you would not go into sleep mode before your notebook does. It is also good to ask at any time what the budget and the deadline will be.
GREEN AND SUSTAINABLE
#Morethanoffice +420 603 587 928 www.skanska.cz/property
Presentation of current projects
ROOF FOR RELAXING