In an interview: Darko Mavrak, Branch Manager
The Hamburg savings bank (Hamburger Sparkasse, short Haspa) opened its first “Branch of the Future” in Moorflagen 1, Niendorf, on 30th June 2017. The new branch concept is piloted and tested there first, before there will be a changeover of all branches until 2020. For, even in the digital age, the regional market leader puts the accent on modern branches as drivers of growth. Haspa has decided to go for an open and friendly design of the branch. In line with the urban district, the rooms have been individually equipped. Colours, materials and furniture provide employees and customers with a feel-well atmosphere.
In an interview with PALMBERG, Branch Manager Darko Mavrak takes a look at the “Branch of the Future”.
Question: How does the ambience change the work of the bank staff?
Darko Mavrak: Above all, we have observed that the customers feel very comfortable in our new rooms. And, of course, the ambience helps to create a very special team atmosphere.
Question: For some time, you have been working with the electrically adjustable sit/stand desks of the Palmberg brand. What role does the topic of ‘health of employees’ play at HASPA?
Darko Mavrak: I notice that my colleagues often make use of the height adjustment. The change of working positions is practised by all client advisors. To optimise the working conditions for every employee, our bank has been maintaining a comprehensive health management for many years.
Question: The austere counter-architecture of a traditional bank branch was replaced by an open design concept here in Hamburg-Niendorf. Is there no longer anything separating between customers and advisors?
Darko Mavrak: Strong customer ties are important for us. We want to establish a good relationship with our neighbours. We want to be good hosts for the people here in Hamburg-Niendorf. That doesn’t work with barriers.
Question: Do you have any places of retreat for intensive conversations despite the open space design?
Darko Mavrak: Yes. We do have meeting rooms where we can close the door and there are also half-open zones, such as our ‘Lounge Niendorf’. The customer can choose the place and the kind of meeting. But many people use for their transfers the central, inviting neighbourhood table. You can also take your time there to study the offers of our bank.
Question: What do your customers say about the Branch of the Future?
Darko Mavrak (smiling): Spontaneously, there are words like ‘cosy corner’ and ‘living-room’. But we notice that local information about the district is of great interest. Various events take place here, for example, readings, information evenings on real estate security or tenant information. Our bank is becoming the centre of a lively Niendorf and contributes to networking within the district.
Question: Were there any colleagues who applied for a job especially in this branch?
Darko Mavrak: No, there weren’t. The team stayed together. The employees were well prepared for the ‘Branch of the Future’ by additional training measures.
Mr Mavrak, many thanks for the interview.