Creativity needs space – and places where people can come together to develop strategies and ideas. Together with ASSMANN, the Bielefeld-based communication agency MEDIUM has developed an interior design concept precisely for this purpose, featuring creative hotspots, quiet areas for video conferences and ergonomic workstations.
At nine in the morning, the 30-strong team of consultants, project managers, editors, designers and programmers embark on a new workday full of creative challenges. Since 1978, MEDIUM has been creating communication solutions for reputable medium-sized companies in a variety of sectors – ranging from brand and content strategies, to employer branding and sustainability communication, to the design and programming of complex web applications. Because creativity flows best in inspiring locations, the team led by the two managing directors, Sven Nöcker and Ansgar Büngener, moved into the light and airy 600-square-metre office space at the Lenkwerk in Bielefeld in 2014. In the course of an extensive development project in the early 2010s, the location was transformed from a brownfield site into a vibrant greenfield for companies and start-ups, which are spread across eight building complexes. While the team at MEDIUM was satisfied with the agency’s individual and multi-person offices and large conference room, it lacked relaxing communication zones and ergonomic work stations.
In the summer of 2020, the agency therefore decided to professionally revamp its office concept. “The office is like a shop window that needs to constantly change in order to remain attractive to both our clients and our team. Change and innovation have been an important part of our company culture, ever since we were founded over 40 years ago. Our offices should reflect that,” says Sven Nöcker, explaining the reasons behind the decision. The MEDIUM team sought support for the project from ASSMANN. In coordination with Frank Mette from the sales team in Melle, the two companies rapidly developed ideas for communication zones and functional work stations. While the majority of employees were working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic, the agency at the Lenkwerk was transformed into a work environment where the team could feel at home. “For us, it was important to make the return to the office as comfortable as possible for our team,” explains Ansgar Büngener. “At home, you can concentrate on your work in peace, but creative discussion, which thrives on teamwork, is really only possible at the office – and we needed the right space for that.”
First, a lounge area was created near the office kitchen: there, right by the entrance, customers can take a seat on the Consento Como furniture and wait for their appointments in a pleasant atmosphere. The new lounge corner is also a relaxing place for employees to withdraw to: “The coffee machine is typically the perfect meeting point: colleagues tend to bump into each other by chance there. Now we have created a place for them, where they can hold more in-depth conversations and bounce ideas off each other,” explains Frank Mette, Area Manager at ASSMANN. The modern seating furniture provide comfort with a cosy feel and fit right in with the modern design concept at MEDIUM. For undisturbed meetings, an additional discussion corner was created with comfortable Consento Lamezia wing chairs. There, colleagues can withdraw and conduct video conferences without disturbing others – or take a moment’s quiet for themselves. Especially during lunch breaks or for a few minutes in the afternoon, the chairs are a popular place to recharge before returning to the hustle and bustle of the agency.
As well as creating new communication zones, several offices were refurnished. In doing so, back health was made a priority: height-adjustable desks such as the Canvaro or Canvaro Compact encourage employees to adopt an agile workstyle. With white tabletops and anthracite grey frames, the new desks blend into the agency’s clean interior design style. The innovative desk systems are infinitely adjustable, so that the height of the work surface can be individually adjusted to the employees’ height. “I regularly raise my desk and work standing up for a time. Previously, I often had considerable neck pain, but since having my Canvaro desk, it has gotten much better,” enthuses Jasmin Straeter, Consultant and Chief Editor at MEDIUM. The raised desks are also ideal for quick conversations with colleagues. As more and more conversations take place online, the goal was to design the workstations in an ergonomic way, so that employees can sit or stand for a longer time without problems.
The entire MEDIUM team is more than satisfied with the height-adjustable workstations and new communication zones. “From consulting, to planning, to delivery of the furniture, working with ASSMANN was a seamless process,” summarises Sven Nöcker. That’s why MEDIUM wants to work with the Melle-based furniture company again in future, to create further space for creativity.