On May 11, 2023, AmCham Germany’s Regional Chapter Bavaria hosted a Business After Hours event titled “Brave New World? Navigating Hybrid Collaboration Challenges in a New Work Environment.” Attendees gathered at AmCham Germany member Steelcase GmbH’s Learning & Innovation Center in Munich to discuss how to best navigate the ever-changing challenges of hybrid working.
In its Learning & Innovation Center, Steelcase designed state of the art co-working spaces with fluctuating occupancy in mind. Welcome Remarks were given by Claudia Donzelmann, Global Head of Regulatory and Public Affairs at Allianz SE and Co-Chair of the Regional Chapter Bavaria, and Steelcase host Stephan Derr, Vice President of Finance, EMEA. Jessie Storey, Steelcase’s EMEA Design Director, gave an engaging introduction on how companies can best create hybrid collaboration spaces that allow team members to thrive – whether they are working remotely or in the office. Her presentation highlighted how organizations need to respond to massive changes in the spatial dynamics of working. Long gone are the days of static working environments – we have entered a completely new era of hybrid working, and office spaces needed to reflect this. Storey emphasized the changing shift from spaces focusing solely on supporting productivity to spaces that place focus on productivity and human connection.
After Jessie Storey’s presentation, Business After Hours attendees were taken in small groups on a journey through the floors of Steelcase’s Learning & Innovation Center to see practical examples of spaces designed with productivity and human connection in mind, including spaces for hybrid conference calls, co-working, concentrated work, and more.
After the tour, attendees gathered in Steelcase’s WorkCafé for further discussion on their own personal experiences with hybrid work. In a space designed for both breaks and collaborative work, Prof. Dr. Kai Andrejewski, CFO of Sixt SE and Co-Chair of the Regional Chapter Bavaria, and Philipp Meske, Partner at AlixPartners, discussed their own experiences with the shift towards hybrid work in their respective industries. Comments by both Prof. Dr. Andrejewski and Mr. Meske sparked engaging conversations full of meaningful insights between all attendees that lasted into the rest of the evening.