Bilfinger Gives Itself a Makeover

August 27, 2018

  • Bilfinger moves its corporate headquarters to a new location

Bilfinger is about to close a venerable chapter of its corporate history.  It was some sixty years ago that the company moved into the office tower on Carl-Reiss-Platz, one of the first high-rises to be built in Mannheim.  At the time, this allowed the company to put its own unique stamp on the urban design of the city’s central boulevard, the ‘Augustaanlage.’  Now, the corporate main office will be relocated to a newly developed building at the Vögele industrial park in the city’s Almenhof district, moving in in late August.

Michael Bernhardt, Head of Personnel, was upbeat: “For us, the relocation is an opportunity to stay true to our traditional home base of Mannheim while at the same time sending a signal that change is underway.  Last year, we presented our new strategy.  So now, we are actually setting the stage for a new beginning at Bilfinger.  One of the key elements of this effort will be to draw our employees closer together, also at our headquarters.”

At its new corporate HQ, the company will occupy office space that meets all the requirements of the modern work environment.  This means, first and foremost, that the new building not only boasts a central location near the train station and excellent transport connections; rather, it also features plenty of open space, lots of light, and a ‘communicative’ character.  The employees will work in open-plan offices with cutting-edge technical equipment.  Telephones will be provided to them in only a few exceptional cases.  Instead, every staff member will receive a headset allowing him or her to be reached via a single phone number, regardless of where they may be.  In addition, the new building is equipped a special noise insulation system and acoustic ceilings, while also complying with the latest energy-conservation standards, e.g. for the heating and cooling systems.

Employees have their say

To help implement the plan, a working group of employees drawn from all the corporate headquarters’ various departments and career levels was asked to contribute ideas and suggestions for the design of the interior spaces.  One employee described the new environment’s key advantage as follows: “This is going to foster a communicative work ethic with plenty of opportunities for joint consultation, more effective collaboration, and closer interaction with the executive management.” And also, she added, “It will give us the chance to get to know one another even better.”

Moving 140 years of company history

This relocation will represent a logistical challenge.  After all, ‘moving’ always begins with ‘moving out.’  Stacks of paper that, cumulatively, would make up an entire high-rise building will have to be disposed of.  Hundreds of working hours will be required to vacate the old premises.  The furniture alone will take two workweeks to move out.

In all, hundreds of tonnes of material will have to be moved.  Meanwhile, the productive capacity of the entire Bilfinger workforce will have to be kept as high as possible.  16 maritime containers worth of archived documents will be placed in storage on Friesenheim Island.  A portion of the office furnishings will be donated to charitable institutions.

Special arrangements have been made for the company’s historical archive.  Its roughly 1,000 running metres of files, photos, films, and other historically important documents will be accommodated in leased storage areas of the MARCHIVUM, the new home of the Mannheim City Archive.  

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