ABOUT 400 INEOS employees in Köln, Germany, will soon be on the move.
INEOS has invested about 30 million Euros in a new, three-storey office block – modelled on the ‘O’ in INEOS – to bring all the administrative staff together for the first time.
“We see this investment as a clear sign for our future and also a reflection of how important this site is to the INEOS group,” said Dr Patrick Giefers, Commercial Managing Director and Works Manager.
It is an open-plan office, which is a relatively new concept in Germany.
“This is not just a new building,” said Dr Anne-Gret Iturriaga Abarzua, Head of Communications at INEOS in Köln. “This is about a new style of working, communicating and spending your day at work. At the moment if I did close my office door, no one would know I was in here.”
That will change when the staff move from their individual offices to the new one.
“It might take a little getting used to but it will be so much better,” said Anne-Gret.
Staff will be able to see each other in the glass-fronted offices.
INEOS, though, has not just invested heavily in the new building.
Money has also been spent working out where everyone should sit so that the new departments not only work well together, but people are happy – and different styles of desks were tested by staff before they were bought.
“Those things matter a great deal,” said Anne-Gret. “The way it has been organised means that staff can now choose to work at their desks, in the coffee bar, in the cafeteria or in what INEOS has called ‘communication zones’.”
Staff will also find a modern cafeteria run by a qualified nutritionist who, if asked, will advise people on what to eat, and an in-house gym where they can keep fit, if they want.
At the topping out ceremony last month, Hermann Gröhe, Germany’s Federal Minister of Health, praised INEOS for its clear commitment to looking after the health and well-being of its staff.
It is not yet known what will happen to the empty offices.
The new office block, though, is just part of a 211-million Euro investment package for the site where a new tanker bridge, power plant and supply tunnel, between the west and east works, will be built.