|Office Building:||Millennium City Center||Offices|
|Empoyee capacity:||1221 employees|
|Size:||12 000 m²|
|Interior Design:||Café Design (decorations)|
Now that the Goldenblog jury has voted us into the top 10 in the ’local values’ category,n (which we would like to thank), we would like to give thanks to everyone who loyally clicked each week, curious to see which office we visited the previous week. As a bit of gratitude, we now give you one of the big brands: Vodafone.
The simplest way for us to show you this large complex is to go along the same way we were shown. Stepping into the building, on the left wall we are shown just why the great big building above us is needed, what all those people in there are doing when all you need for a phone connection is antennas and computers properly aligned. This information wall – full of large monitors - shows live statistics of just how efficient the company’s customer service is, how many customers are being served and how many customers are joining a certain loyalty program. There’s even a miniature Vodafone shop, as in the past the multitudes of people wishing to purchase services had to constantly be sent away due to the original lack of a shop.
It was up until this point that anyone who wanders into the building can see inside, but after this comes a reception desk as well as a magnetic card entry system. Thankfully, we scheduled an appointment, and it is thus that PR Specialist Dalma Kormos met us at the reception, and we begin our tour. And so we head for the elevators.
The elevators were not simpy installed then left as is, they also received quite a wide array of decorations. Large decals were applied to each elevator, based on differing themes. The ones towards Soroksári Road emulate the Buda Castle funicular and a hot air balloon, while the ones towards the Danube look like a water polo game first hand, as well as the interior of a submarine. We tried all of them, and the difference between a normal lift and one where events seem to be roaring all around you are considerable (in a positive way). Unfortunately, the fact that all of the design mentioned are decorated with what looks like magic marker graffiti somewhat weakens the effect.
We begin our tour from the top floors, where the management and communications division are located. This kind of layout is probably symbolic for a company, as besides managing operations, a telecommunications company focuses largely on its contact with the customers. The PR section has rounded, colorful furniture, which in our opinion goes splendidly with Vodafone’s company image. Unfortunately, due to a visit from the regional head and the ensuing banquet, we aren’t able to visit management’s offices. Dalma does tell us that the atmosphere at top management isn’t overly rigid, which is emphasized by the colorful surfaces and characters from stories. We did get a chance to go out onto management’s terraces, and it certainly is something to be jealous of. The picture speaks for itself, so let’s continue on.
The next funky area is the marketing division, which naturally gets a large role at Vodafone. The work being done here is not for us to show you, suffice to say the place where the work is done is a kind of mix between a typical overdecorated advertising agency, and a dry multinational corporation. Although we are in an open-space office, the seperate divisions are marked with signs above them. As with all marketing and advertising divisions, gadgets can be found in abundance here as well.
The next areas are the rather grey financial divisions, where besides the kitchen-dining rooms there is not much to mention, and so we go on to the meeting rooms. The meeting rooms are decorated in a lively and colorful way, contrasting the aforementioned spaces. On our way – thanks to some gentle nagging from us – we take a peek into the sound studio, where the automated customer service speaches are recorded. As we find out, a woman who works at the company lends her voice to the automated hotline.
We finish up our tour in the gameroom, where employees can blow off some steam. You’ll be surprised, but there was a fussball table, as well as a bunch of Coke machines and a Playstation. The Coke machine is worth mentioning, as they utilize an NFC payment mode for people using NFC enabled phones (Near Field Communications), so payments can be made simply by placing your phone against the machine. The system provides an interesting look at what can be expected in the near future regarding payment technology.
Of the 29 offices we’ve visited so far, Vodafone was the only one where the multinational vibe was basically stronger than anything else. When using the term ’multinational’ for Vodafone, we don’t mean the company is stereotypical or thinks inside the box. Naturally, the Vodafone brand carries with it a cool and hip tone, but having walked through the building we definately got the feeling of a large global organization working behind the youthful nonchalantness, with it’s Hamiltons, Buttons and water polo teams.
All in all, everything you would associate to a multinational company can be found here: a clean glass office building, giant open-space areas, seperating panels, loads of people, typical posters, company logos everywhere, corporate inspirational printouts, etc. The good thing about Vodafone is they package all of this is an easy-to-consume way, so nobody looks brainwashed or exhausted.
Regarding location, the Danube riverside is one of the most elegant places a company such as this could choose their headquarters. One could argue that it’s not in the city center, but it would be foolish to exchange the river views and parks for 10 minutes less of a commute. To summarize, we believe Vodafone chose a good location for themselves, and furnished very nice offices for themselves. The overall effect could be better if the interior design focused a bit more ont he open-space areas and not just the central parts, but nevertheless the office communicates a sense of easygoing atmosphere, which is probably the number one priority for the building.