Work-life balance: Companies today have to offer more than just money and a career – three examples show how this can be achieved

The steel staircase in the foyer has 136 steps.

Work-life balance: Companies today have to offer more than just money and a career – three examples show how this can be achieved

The steel staircase in the foyer has 136 steps. Anyone who runs up and down it once a day is said to use as much energy over the course of a year as running a marathon. Welcome to the Adidas headquarters in Herzogenaurach, a mixture of a giant daycare center and a university campus. Arena is the name of the main building. Here you shouldn't get in the elevator, but rather move around. After all, the money is made with running shoes and sports clothes.

The interior design is reminiscent of a stadium. Personal documents and private items are packed in large lockers like those in a gym locker room. There are no longer any personal desks on the office floors. You look for a free place every day. Soundproof containers are available for confidential telephone calls. Strong colors serve for orientation in the areas, inspired by large sports cities. New York is yellow like the taxis, London is red like the double-decker buses, Paris is green like the subway.

Sophia Obrecht's workplace is now in the middle of Paris. "It's cool here, isn't it?" she says. Obrecht is a social media manager and is responsible for Adidas' presence on the LinkedIn career network. “I have a lot of freedom and scope for creativity in my job,” says the 26-year-old. She switches easily from German to English. “A lot of ownership,” she says. The word is intended to express a mixture of belonging, responsibility and self-realization.

Lots of ownership. That’s what a job has to offer today.

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