NIBC, the ‘enterprising bank for enterprising people’, has switched over to flexible working. The bank asked Gispen to give the interior of the head office in The Hague a complete overhaul: multiple storeys at the same time, all within a tight schedule. Moreover, all of the products and colour schemes had to be perfectly in line with the core brand values of NIBC: enterprising, innovative and professional.
NIBC wants to offer its employees more flexibility in where, how and when they work. ‘Activity based working’ became the fundamental idea for the head office. The new office concept had to facilitate various activities: from individual working to working together and even focused working, brainstorming, sharing knowledge and socialising. The Veldhoen + Company consultancy agency guided NIBC in the transition to flexible working. A call for tender was published for the furnishing which NIBC granted Gispen.
NIBC had the following request: supply the new furniture for all formal and informal workstations. These range from about 500 TM workstations and Zinn office chairs to the furnishings of lounge areas, Board of Directors’ boardrooms, the company restaurant and the coffee corner. This all within a tight deadline. In concrete terms: the first partial order completion by mid-November 2015, final completion by late December 2015.
As expected, Gispen got off to a brisk start. During renovation and furnishing on the one floor, they continued working on the other. A tight moving schedule formed the base of an effecient working method.
The right look and feel
NIBC was after quality and a good atmosphere, not luxury. And above all, a professional look and feel. Gispen’s team, including their own interior architect, helped us in selecting the right products and materials. From office quiet zone to lounge area, from open workstation and temporary work area to conference room. We devoted extra time to getting the colour schemes just right. Red and blue are the colours of the NIBC logo. Gispen therefore created one blue and one red colour palette. In addition, we selected a bright green as our contrasting colour – this really sets off against the rest, especially in the office quiet zones and lounge areas. We also put plant troughs on top of cabinets which, of course, add a little green as well. On the work floor, the colourful MultiLounge elements are a perfect place to sit and discuss things with a colleague.
The client’s thoughts
‘We were very upfront about the tight deadlines. Gispen has proven itself a flexible partner. At times, we were still busy working on blueprints while we had to order materials the next day, so to speak. All deliveries were on time, some even made at the weekend, if it was necessary. We always kept each other in the loop. And the result is quite impressive. What I really like: our people had to work around the mess for a while and started to get doubts about flexible working. Now they are all really into it! The new office layout really works. And the restaurant is constantly being used for informal meetings.’
The gathering place
The ground floor has been transformed into a gathering place: a restaurant and a coffee corner/lounge for NIBC employees and other commercial tenants. An area that Gispen has also furnished. Its characteristic features are the diversity of products and the many different seating options – high, low or lounging – for different types of gatherings. Special folding tables were installed at the restaurant to make the area suitable for different purposes.
Since January 2016, all employees of NIBC in The Hague have adopted the new working method. The response is positive. Gispen looks back on this project with pride because of the deadlines it has met, but also because of the wonderful result it has produced together with NIBC. The renovated head office is now the perfect example of a flexible office concept.
Photography: Horizon Photoworks