Case: Village La Poste

Confirmed officially in early 2015, the plan to bring the different offices of the French national postal service, La Poste, together in one location came into being. With the aim of "working better together", improving consistency and synergies through geographical proximity, strengthening the collaboration between the offices and the unity of the whole Group, in order to help it to evolve and grow.

FACTS & FIGURES

Nearly 4,400 employees spread across 9 different locations in Paris and its suburbs are affected by this project. They will now be brought together in the La Poste village, which comprises: - the LEMNYS building (in Issy les Moulineaux) which well house the development and innovation functions for the branches, as well as the main management functions for both the Group and the branches. - the CROSSING site (in Issy les Moulineaux) which will bring together the Audit oriented services, risk management and human resource functions for the branches. - and the BRUNE location (14th district in Paris) which will house the Purchasing, Facilities and IT functions for all the branches.

AN AMBITIOUS PROJECT WHOSE SUCCESS RELIES ON EVERYONE TAKING PART

The photos shown here are of the Lemnys building, whose renovation was entrusted to the architect Christian de Portzamparc. The interior decoration includes shared offices, meeting rooms, private meeting modules, informal discussion areas, social areas and the restaurants. They are the result of a collective approach involving staff participation. In fact, employees were able to try out and feed back on the furniture; ergonomists and occupational physicians were able to check its quality, the facilities managers showed their creativity, and various project managers orchestrated the high-precision behind-the-scenes organisation of the final installation.

A DARING INTERIOR DESIGN WITH REAL INVOLVEMENT

The design goals were: stay with a classic decor for the offices, but break the rules in the meeting areas. The idea being to create dynamic indoor ambiances that will encourage communication. These very personal spaces have been allocated various themes such as culture, travel, sport and nature. Colours, materials and furniture invite people to carry on working less formally.

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THE RESULTING LAYOUT IS CREATIVE AND ABSOLUTELY SURPRISING

"These spaces are designed as places that allow working in a new and different way," says Laurent Dousset, project manager for Village La Poste, who spearheaded the furniture part of the project. "We constructed these areas like nerve centres: they are where different flows come together, close to the entrances to each floor, acting as places where a different way of living, of collaborating, of working together can be invented. One hall of interaction, a kind of creative/recreational studio," he clarifies.

Strong colours set off different furniture groupings to encourage new working arrangements for collaborative discussion. Some unique items were included, like the ping-pong table recycled as a meeting room table - created by Extramuros, Kinnarps' social partner working to help people back into the workforce and to promote economic solidarity. These areas are deliberately designed to contrast with a more conventional decor in the offices.

It was a gradual process of employees taking ownership of these spaces, but the different areas listed above are now occupied and voted a success. So there can be no doubt that the goal has been achieved. Everything has been done to "work better together", encourage a team spirit, network with colleagues and communicate and exchange ideas sideways around the organisation.