When company representatives first stepped foot in the former Badisches Tagblatt publishing house, the smell of the printing machines still hung in the air. Interconnected stretches of conveyor chains were the predominant feature. Now, one year on, the travel agency’s 200 employees sit at modern, ergonomic workstations furnished with ASSMANN systems.
Philipp Nutsch, Head of Marketing at l’tur, was delighted with the results: “Bright colours and lights replaced the black printer’s ink, giving the space a completely fresh look and feel.” The company’s decision to move 12 kilometres down the road to Rastatt from Baden-Baden was a pragmatic one: The travel company, a specialist in lastminute holidays, had called its citycentre premises home since it was founded in 1987, but they were no longer able to ensure the level of comfort required for employees, partners and customers. The company wanted to leave behind the site’s poor transport links, lack of parking spots and three floors of tiny separate offices. This meant Philipp Nutsch and his colleagues from the senior project team had a lot of work to do. He can still picture the doubtful looks on the employees’ faces on the open day, recalling: “We invited the employees to come discover the new premises in their unfinished state.” The scepticism was palpable, especially among those who were used to the charm of the old headquarters located in a beautiful art nouveau building in Baden-Baden. This, a large open office right next to railway line used by noisy freight trains, was to be the new premises? Philipp Nutsch and his team knew that the end result needed to be impressive.
Next stop: A modern working environment
Six l’tur employees from different departments spent over a year alongside their regular jobs creating a basic concept for relocating and furnishing new offices. Together with the works council and Streit Service & Solution GmbH & Co. KG, who is also a specialist partner of ASSMANN, they started to define the first key features: For example, there were to be no walls but separate areas instead, such as “meeting places” for constructive discussions and “homebases” as fixed hubs for the different departments. With these requirements set as the basic criteria, the team then considered requests and suggestions developed in workshops with representatives from each department. It soon became apparent that handy storage spaces and reliable acoustic solutions in particular were required for the prospective open-plan office concept. “We took a look at the ASSMANN portfolio and were really impressed by the huge range of options,” recalls Philipp Nutsch. He and his team were completely won over by the products’ design, ergonomics and value for money. “ASSMANN offers exceptional customer service,” says the Marketing Director enthusiastically. So it was an obvious choice: The new spaces were to be kitted out with office furniture from Melle. With the concept ready, it was time to get down to business. Just as with the planning, staff were involved in the relocation process: Employees diligently pitched in, painting and decorating. With everyone mucking in, they arrived at their goal for a state-of-theart office right on schedule. A wave of excitement washed over the workforce once the move was completed. All initial scepticism vanished, and a great weight was lifted from the project team.
We wanted to create a look and a feel that matched what we do in the tourism industry, and we managed to get it spot on.
Philipp Nutsch, Head of Marketing at l’tur GmbH
Comfort and flexibility
The only traces left of the former printworks were the high ceilings and spacious layout of the premises. The new l’tur office stretches over 3,000 square metres and spans two floors, which are connected by a wide, open staircase. This fitted the company’s philosophy perfectly. One of the key tenets of this philosophy is being free to talk and share ideas with other colleagues. Even though the various departments still sit in their own “working zones” for practical reasons, they are always approachable because there are no walls. Viteco table-top partition wall systems from ASSMANN ensure that acoustics are dampened despite the open-plan design. For them to be fully effective, the fabric-covered, sound-absorbing partition wall systems needed to be professionally fitted to the desks. As a specialist partner of ASSMANN, Streit Service & Solution are experts in how to use partition wall systems correctly, and they helped l’tur set them up professionally. Viteco offers other benefits besides great acoustics: handy privacy screen so you can focus on your work and visually attractive features thanks to fabric coverings in different colours. An attractive working environment is very important at l’tur. If you’re in the business of selling relaxation, you should also feel as comfortable as possible too, and the desk systems used – Canvaro Compact and Solos – were made for just that. The two ranges blend into today’s office environments perfectly with their clean designs and desktops in white and wood-style veneers. The office focuses on creating a real holiday vibe with small “meeting places” in the form of beach huts and backdrops made from photo wallpaper depicting blue sea, palm trees and a frontfacing view of a giant aeroplane. As well as looking the part, Canvaro Compact desks offer a particular level of comfort and flexibility thanks to their optional height adjustment. The last-minute holiday experts attach great importance to comfort and flexibility. Examples of this in action include the company’s trust-based working time model and the hot-desking concept that gives all employees the freedom to choose a new workstation every day within their department’s “homebase”. That means desks should be left clear so that another colleague can work on it the next day. The Allvia storage solutions from ASSMANN help support this clean desk policy. With simple white and wood-veneer tops, the sliding door cabinets not only act as handy little room dividers, they also offer ample space for documents and office stationery. Rails and LiftTec monitor arms from ASSMANN make for a tidy workspace at l’tur. They are used to attach monitors, lamps and other handy components to the desk, allowing the desktops to be kept clear and the full space to be used.
A quick chat
There are several communication areas for constructive meetings on the upper floor of the new l’tur headquarters. The Solos high desk from ASSMANN in the office’s open-plan area is one of these. Its tabletop at standing height makes it perfect for short meetings, which can be held sitting down using the high-seated chairs if preferred. Laptops and other mobile devices can be used with ease thanks to the easily concealable plug sockets and USB charge points embedded in the tabletop. l’tur employees can retreat to one of the three conference and meeting rooms for longer or confidential meetings. The managers looked to ASSMANN to furnish these spaces too: Folding tables and seminar desks from the Pontis range offer flexibility and functionality with a stylish design. Folding tables provide workspace for larger meetings where everyone is sat around the table, while seminar desks are for individual use. Both desk types can be easily moved around the room in any configuration thanks to their high-quality wheels. The tops of the folding tables can be titled 90 degrees by hand, allowing many tables to be pushed together to save space. The height-adjustable Pontis seminar desks also have moveable tops that can be easily titled into a position that the user finds most comfortable for them to write upon. A beautiful overall aesthetic has been created in the conference rooms from using ASSMANN furniture combined with different eye-catching interior design features, such as spectacular graffitied wall art and a sky-blue ceiling evoking the sunny skies of future holiday destinations.
The “Marketplace” plays a big role in the newly established work comfort concept at l’tur. It’s a secluded area where employees can discuss confidential topics. All kinds of seating in all sorts of configurations are available in the openplan area. Employees have a free supply of cappuccinos, espressos and other hot drinks from top-of-the-range coffee machines, as well as unlimited still and sparkling water on tap. They can also fill up the large fridges with their own supplies for the day or the whole week. This is particularly handy for those who like to rustle up a hot meal at lunch time using the four-burner hob in the stateof- the-art kitchen area. “Employees are reacting really positively to having this cooking option,” smiles project team member Anna Hiesinger. Working in HR, she knows only too well how important these extras are to retaining employees at the company as well as attracting new talent. Employment rates in Baden-Württemberg are extremely high, making it all the more crucial to be seen as an attractive employer on the job market, she explains, adding: “Our goal was to create a really relaxed working environment here”. And they achieved just that with outstanding success thanks to the tailored advice and strong support they received from Streit Service & Solution and the practical and attractive ASSMANN products they used. Rating for their joint adventure: Five stars!
Modern workspaces needed to be created within an open-plan office, providing both areas to work quietly as well as to communicate and share ideas.
The new premises had high ceilings and only a few walls so professional acoustic solutions were required.
Creating new workspaces in an old printworks
Specialist retail partner:
Streit Service & Solution GmbH & Co. KG, Hausach, Germany
l’tur GmbH is a German travel agency headquartered in Rastatt. l’tur was founded in Baden-Baden in 1987 and devised the idea of the last-minute holiday. The travel company is now a specialist in impromptu holiday bookings.