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Germany: New German headquarters-good service for Lidl employees

Discount Retail Chain Lidl's (owned by the German Schwarz Gruppe) new German headquarters in Bad Wimpfen is intended to increase efficiency and make the Schwarz discounter more attractive for employees.

Future investment: This is what the new Lidl headquarters looks like

Lidl has invested a three-digit million euro sum in its new German headquarters in Bad Wimpfen. Lidl Germany boss Matthias Oppitz is visibly pleased with the new work environment. The spacious entrance area is more reminiscent of a hotel lobby. It is primarily intended for visitors. Employees drive straight into the building from the underground car park. The building complex in Bad Wimpfen operates on different levels. Above the boulevard with restaurants and services there is a green area from which the individual office buildings virtually grow out. The company restaurant is still empty: 90 percent of employees are currently still working from home due to Corona. Various restaurants are to turn the boulevard into a communication zone in which the employees develop new ideas on the side. There are 580 seats there, and depending on their mood, employees can have their lunch in seating groups in the Lidl colors or at more traditional tables. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer employees at their desks bright workplaces and a beautiful view. The open plan offices are spacious. Each workstation is equipped with two screens and a height-adjustable desk. Such meeting corners are intended to promote collaboration between employees. If employees have to bring children to the office, they can book the parent-child office. Nappy-changing children can be cared for there, as can kindergarten or elementary school children. The architectural play with different levels can also be admired from the outside. The intended side effect: Most work surfaces have natural light. There are 230 lockers in the gym. The athletes among the employees have enough space. Treatment rooms for physiotherapists are also part of the offer. Unlike the previous Lidl Germany headquarters, the new building is not in an industrial area. It borders on the residential development of the historic town of Bad Wimpfen. So far, the employees worked in an office building that stands between a junkyard and the sewage treatment plant.

It's not far to the picture-perfect core of the Staufer town of Bad Wimpfen. Barbarossa founded an imperial palace there in the 12th century, and Lidl funded the renovation of the Blue Tower in parallel to the construction of its own modern castle with a seven-figure sum. Rental bicycles are available for the short trip to the Stauferpfalz, several train stations in the area are connected by shuttle.

The new world of work at Lidl Germany is definitely beautiful, and that also applies to the office space. Height-adjustable desks? Are standard. Likewise, double screens. Such issues play an important role in the fight for the best brains. Floor-to-ceiling windows open the landscape to the view of the employees, sound-absorbing elements ensure that the offices remain quiet, even when several people are on the phone at the same time. For nine workplaces there are small work and meeting rooms on the office floors, into which buyers, administrators, real estate specialists and logisticians can retreat in the immediate vicinity of their desks. The meeting corners are equipped with all the technical refinements. If someone needs a new notebook quickly: In addition to the snack machine, there is also one for Schwarz IT computers on the "Boulevard".

Although the desks are all identical, must be cleared every evening and employees can plug in their notebooks anywhere, Lidl will continue to have a permanent workplace for every employee in the future. It is possible and desirable for employees who work together on projects to sit down temporarily. If necessary, parents can reserve a workplace with a children's play area. "We offer our employees various services to make their everyday life easier" Thomas Kobold, project manager

Even after Corona, visitors will hardly get to see the chic office floors: There are 30 representative meeting rooms of various sizes in the conference center for appointments with external guests. From the price negotiation to the Friday jour fixe with the notary: This is where contact with the outside world takes place, without the guests noticing too much of the inner values ​​and secrets of the building complex. The show halls with 1,300 square meters for food and 1,900 square meters for non-food remain closed to them. The model branch is also taboo for most outsiders, previously it was housed in an unadorned hall in an industrial area in Heilbronn. Depending on the traffic, it took half an hour to get there from the old building. Now the Lidl people are only an elevator ride away from where new ideas for store design are being developed. If you miss the exercise: The fitness area is right next to it.

A cleaning service takes care of the laundry for the employees, and there is a Packadoo counter for private parcels from all providers. Only groceries are not available for Lidl employees, neither in the test store nor as a delivery service to their personal closet. To go shopping, you have to leave the Lidl castle in the Stauferstadt. The closest store is an Edeka. There are only stores in the neighboring town where they can reap the fruits of their own labor.

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