Work Smart: new office landscapes and technical tools

Welcome to the new working environment

At the new EspacePost headquarters, Swiss Post promotes flexible work practices, strengthens mobility and networking among employees and makes collaboration simpler. Openness and a willingness to let go of old habits are just as much a part of this as personal responsibility.

The family portrait, the lucky charm, the Kleenex box on the desk: all now passé for around 1,800 employees since the move to the new headquarters in the WankdorfCity district of Berne. The new motto is desk-sharing: when they arrive in the morning, employees get their laptop and personal documents from their personal locker, and they can then move freely throughout the building, choose the right workplace for whatever they're doing, and connect the laptop to a screen if need be. Employees take their places in the open-plan office, meet at a long desk in a separate team room, or go to one of the numerous glass cabins – the “aquariums” – to make phone calls. Informal meetings are held on the “Piazza”, a wooden platform with various-coloured cushions. There are also cosy coffee nooks and even a nursing and parent-child room where, once in a while, work and babysitting can be combined if need be.

Infrastructure and tools for smart work practices

“The various workspaces are used as appropriate to the nature of the work being done, which might require either concentration, discussion or project work,” says Nicole Passavant, Work Smart project manager. “But the main thing is to promote flexible working methods that strengthen staff's mobility and networking capacity: that's the real core of Work Smart.” Apart from the new office landscape, this also includes coordinated technical tools that allow people to work on-site, from home, on the road or at so-called “third places” – coworking spaces, on the train or Postbus, in cafes. Or PostConnect, an online collaboration platform through which employees from all teams and units can easily share information and documents.

Time- and location-independent work practices require trust

“For Work Smart, the rules of the game have to be clear,” says Nicole Passavant. “Communicating clearly when and how you can be reached, for example, and certainly not being 'always on'. Openness and personal responsibility are expected of employees. And managers must increasingly trust employees to work productively – even if they're not physically present.”

Work Smart

Swiss Post established the “Work Smart” initiative together with Microsoft, Swisscom, SBB and Witzig The Office Company. The companies have committed themselves to promoting new ways of working within their own enterprise. For Swiss Post, this means creating a motivating environment for employees, becoming more attractive as an employer and making “smarter” use of resources and infrastructure.

Our new office landscape relies on trust. Our work is flexible, networked and mobile.

Nicole Passavant,

Work Smart project manager