Friedrichshafen. Some nine months after the groundbreaking, the shell of the new ZF building at Plant 1 in Friedrichshafen is finished. After the topping-out ceremony today, Thursday, all that remains before the opening in November 2015 is façade work, plus interior fittings and developing the grounds. Then, the building will house the company's children's daycare center for a total of 60 children and a ZF health center. During the topping-out ceremony, ZF's Board Member Human Resources, Jürgen Holeksa, emphasized the importance of this kind of service concept for employee satisfaction and therefore indirectly for the competitiveness of the technology company.
The level of interest among ZF employees at the Friedrichshafen location in the almost completed children's daycare center was demonstrated by the company-internal competition to find a name. A total of 1 600 ZF employees took part. The project team chose the name "ratZFatz" (roughly "lickety-split") – not least because it expresses in children's terms the motion and dynamics of the ZF company.
Offering some 2 500 square meters of useful area, the new building provides plenty of space. A large portion of this – 1 200 square meters plus play and recreation areas in the park-like grounds – will be used by the ZF children's daycare center "ratZFatz". The facility will be organized by the private operating company educcare according to a concept specially drawn up for ZF. The director and most of the staff have already been chosen.
The other major beneficiary is the company doctor service, due to occupy a spacious 715 square meters in the upper story. ZF employees will also be able to use a 455-square-meter physiotherapy and gym area here. Its previous home was demolished to make room for new construction of a ZF test bay near the R&D Center.
ZF invested a total of EUR 6 million in the new building. During his speech at the topping-out ceremony, Jürgen Holeksa, Board Member Human Resources and Director of Labor Relations, underlined the significance of the facilities to be installed in the new building: "Company children's daycare centers considerably improve the work-family balance. The health and fitness center is an important element in preserving health and can also enhance quality of life. Health and care facilities like these are key characteristics of an attractive employer such as ZF – they clearly demonstrate our commitment to our employees' wellbeing and also indirectly boost our competitiveness."