The workplace of the future at ppi Media

ppi Media develops software solutions, services and new business models for corporate publishers and media companies. We also support them in their digital change process and help them tackle the challenges of the digital transformation. ppi Media also utilizes the opportunities created by the digitization in their own everyday work. The work environment for employees is continuously adapted to new requirements so that the company remains successful and attractive as an employer in the future.

Parallel to the term “Industry 4.0.”, which describes the digital transformation of the industrial sector, the expression “Work 4.0” has come into being. It describes the circumstance that the traditional way of working has changed fundamentally due to technical innovations and new information and communication technologies. The managing directors at ppi Media are therefore actively engaged in ensuring that the company culture and its models of work are continuously modified.

An example is the traditional coffee kitchen at the offices in Kiel, which was converted into a so-called “kitchen of ideas” last year. The modern interior is aimed at facilitating exchange of ideas amongst employees and at promoting creative processes; it was designed together with students from the Muthesius School of Art. The creative redesign does not stop here – it extends to our office spaces. “To begin with, we take a look at what other firms do”, says Dr. Hauke Berndt. “Large corporations such as Microsoft often rely on creative spaces, open-plan offices and working times based on trust. However, it needs to be remembered that not all structures and techniques can simply be copied and used in the same way at ppi Media. It is important to create a working environment where employees feel comfortable and where they can work efficiently and in the best possible way.”

Increased flexibility

This is the reason why the size and layout of offices at ppi Media varies. Some colleagues prefer a fixed desk, while others like to work in flexible teams and from different perspectives with their laptops. Work is often organized in cross-functional teams, which means agile workspaces are a must. Depending on the type of the job, colleagues are also given the option to work from home or with flexible hours and to use overtime accounts. The overall aim is to create working conditions that support the teams in their workflows.

A modern working environment

It is equally important to rethink technical equipment and infrastructures. While traditional channels of communication such as phone, fax and e-mail are becoming less important, cloud structures and virtual workstations are on the rise at ppi Media. Work processes are already highly digitized, there are hardly any physical printouts and storage folders left. External projects with customers, software development and other internal projects are all carried out on digital channels. The result is that there is greater transparency and less time consumed by administrative tasks.

First and foremost on the managing directors’ minds are the needs of their staff. “People are the most important resource for our company and as such, their needs have to be brought into agreement with the company’s goals. As there is a wide variety of characters working in the different departments at ppi Media, we could not employ a one-size-fits-all concept”, emphasizes Jan Kasten. This is why the company tries, wherever possible, to use flexible working arrangements. Special circumstances such as moving house or family situations are talked about personally so that the best solution for both sides can then be found together. The company also ensures that employees are prepared for changing tasks and requirements in the digital world by taking further training measures.  Team leads and department managers are responsible for spotting and promoting their teams’ potential in advance and to develop it further.

The well-being and health of its employees is of vital importance to the success of ppi Media, which is why the company offers massages or yoga at the office. Staff events and the participation of colleagues’ families are actively promoted – as well as teamwork across projects as part of the annual “Ship It Day”. On this day, all employees come together to work on innovative ideas and new possibilities for the company.

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