Business and pleasure

A morning at Würth International

There are a lot of things about the Würth Campus in Chur that are unusual. There is an art exhibition on the ground floor and a massage room in the basement, while employees can do traineeships both in Switzerland and abroad. In short, it is the perfect place for Würth staff. Digital project manager Sabrina Obermaier takes us on a tour up through the building, showing us many of the things that make this international company so special.

Start with art

Right from the moment you first enter the building, you notice that this is no ordinary office block. The reception hall hosts an art exhibition. Currently on show are works by the artist Anne Hausner, whose depictions of nature draw you into a world of stillness. It is in front of these images that we meet Sabrina Obermaier. The digital project manager explains: “Art is simply a part of life here at Würth. There are also regular guided tours for employees and events whenever a new exhibition begins.” As an art lover, Reinhold Würth laid the foundation stone for the art collection in the 1960s. Today, it includes over 18,500 works. “My favourite is the sculpture park”, says Sabrina. But more on that later.


Massage tables and brainstorming corners

We begin the tour by taking the lift downstairs. Upon arriving, it feels like entering the spa area of a hotel. And it turns out that feeling is not far from the truth, as the basement is home to the company’s very own gym and massage room. The masseur is here one and a half days per week. “I should come here more often but I rarely get round to it.” The fitness facilities here are also available free of charge to the partners of Würth employees. The gym is very impressive. From rowing machines to treadmills, there is every piece of equipment that a fitness lover could wish for.


After taking in some art and seeing the sporting facilities, we get back in the lift to see where the actual work gets done. Sabrina explains: “Here in Chur, we sell all kinds of tools and trades equipment to the Würth national subsidiaries, from drills to brake cleaners. The product managers monitor the market to find new products that could be useful for our customers. If the product is added to the range, we create the data so that it can be sold.” Sabrina’s position was only created in April of this year. Her mission is to find out which steps in the product management process can be improved through digitalisation and IT systems. “My goal is to make life easier for the product managers.” As we rise up through the building, one of the most striking things is how open everything is. It is almost like being in a stylish library. On the second floor, we get out of the lift and enter the Sirius room. “Sirius is the brightest star in the sky. We want our ideas to be the same”, says Sabrina. The colourful furniture, Post-it notes with creative questions and a brainstorming corner create a room for ideas that will light up the Würth universe.


Four sites in two years

Sat down on the sofa, Sabrina explains that she ended up here in Chur almost by chance. Originally from Munich, she studied business engineering on a dual-study programme. After graduating, she wanted to gain experience at an international company. “While I was doing my research, I discovered the International Trainee programme at Würth and found it really interesting.” Over the course of two years, she worked for a period of six months each at a different Würth site. “I spent the first six months working in quality assurance at the warehouse in Landquart, before moving to Ramsey, New Jersey, for the next half year. It was just half an hour away from New York”, she beams. In the second year, she worked in purchasing in Shanghai before moving back to complete her training programme in Chur. Was it difficult for her to find her feet in all these new places? “Not at all. Every site, including Chur, has Würth flatshares where you live together with other international employees. My flatmates came from Switzerland, Germany and New Zealand. It never gets boring.”


Sculpting a career

It’s lunchtime. Together, we go to the restaurant, bathed in light, before taking a walk through the sculpture park. There we see works by Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle. Currently, Sabrina is looking forward to participating in the mentoring programme that has just begun. “Over the next few months, we will meet with our mentors every six weeks to discuss individual questions concerning our career and life planning.” We sit down on a bench made by the artist Robert Indermaur. A fountain babbles behind us as we listen to the birds. “I used to be a city kid and really missed urban life when I first moved here. I now live in Zizers, a village outside of Chur. Who would have thought it?” laughs Sabrina.


The time comes for Sabrina to go back to work, back to making life easier for the product managers. As we leave, we take another look at the works of Anne Hausner, full of calm and inspiration.