Tribes leads the way again
by Eduard Schaepman, on 3 Sep 2020
A double feeling this morning. In this dark period, in which one company after another brings bad news, we ourselves have a very positive message: we are opening a fourth location in Germany, in Frankfurt! Located in the Mariënforum, right in the financial heart of the city, on Mainzer Landstrasse 1, we are opening another 1,985m2 of inspiring workplaces. On the ground, 1st and 8th floors, a lot of business nomads will be able to work to their heart's content.
'Why are you opening a new office now, when the message is that we should work from home?', I hear you think. However, I've been shouting it for months, working from home doesn't make anyone happier, and last Monday it was in the NRC as well. Even though the experiences have been positive, no one really likes to work completely from home. People want to go to the office, and especially to see each other again. About 50 to 70 percent misses their colleagues, and a large part of them has problems with their bodies (what do you want with that chair at the kitchen table?). But that balance: no travel time, doing a quick laundry in between, taking care of the children, it's wonderful. So how are we going to solve that in the future? Through a combination, a few days from home, other days at the office, or by working closer to home! And you can do that at a coworking place of course, with good chairs and if you want, the social contacts around you that we all need so much.
'But it's not safe because of corona...' Well, we'll get that discussion going this week. All sectors have done their best, and we in the real estate market have taken a lot of hand gels, plexiglass plates and stickers for miles and miles. We even placed thermal cameras (every Dutch person had an opinion about that), and we had some great results with it. However, the government didn't think that all of that enough reason to join the British minister Grant Shapps in calling on to go back to the office (as Grant understands, it has a positive effect on our economy). So now we're going a step further: we're going to modify our air filtration systems. We are now doing a pilot with Virobuster, together with Fahmi Yigit, and today Maurice de Hond is visiting us to give us his unsullied opinion about that system. Which you will of course hear later on!
The first office with this system is on the Zuidas, where we have completely adjusted the air circulation. First there was an overhead system, the air was blown in from above, circling around all the people (with all the aerosols), sucked in from above, refreshed and blown in again. Now we have made a downflow system: blown in from above, and extracted from the ground as low as possible with special tubes. So, the earosols fall down easily and don't pass again at nose height. The air passes through the Virobuster, and viruses and bacteria are killed before it is blown in again. The new location in Frankfurt will now be equipped with this system and will therefore be opened completely corona proof.
Groundbreaking? Not really: this technique is used in operating theaters and airplanes, but for the first time we put it in an office. Because if no one dares to stick their necks out, we as a real estate sector will be sitting in the bleachers for a very long time to come. And we have gotten used to this leading role by now. So come on with all the tips, criticisms and other feedback: we're ready and looking forward to it!