Sennheiser Singapore – Evolving In Change

 In

Activity Based Working at Sennheiser

Embracing the Change

THE
BACK
STORY

sennheiser

In September 2018, Sennheiser Singapore’s lease was due to expire. They engaged design firm, DNDB, in their search for a new environment which would be able to accommodate their Sales and R&D teams, along with their customer service centre. During the course of their search, Sennheiser’s Managing Director, Mr Martin Low, was introduced to Veldhoen & Company to understand how Activity Based Working could help engage their teams in new ways of working.

“The purpose of opening this office is to introduce to the Sennheiser staff the collaborative nature of working. This new office is an ‘Activity-Based Workplace’ or ABW in that inculcates a culture of networking, moving about, and constant collaboration. This is yet another way for us to show the world that this company consistently and constantly adapts and improves to deliver better products and services to our customers

Daniel Sennheiser – Joint CEO

THE
CHALLENGE

After the initial leadership and employee workshops, three key aspirations were identified, which formed the cornerstone for all decisions relating to the physical design, IT and workplace behaviours that would be needed for this transformation. To facilitate the adoption of a more global mindset and drive more innovation,  employees recognized the importance of communication and collaboration. Exercises were carried out during the employee workshops, to co-create the daily desired behaviours that would support the identified aspirations.  The introduction of flexible work practices as well as ‘ways to use our office’ reinforced the adoption of a new work style.

DNDB utilised the inputs gathered from the various leadership and employee workshop engagements in designing the work settings that would specifically support Sennheiser’s future work activities and behaviours (e.g. special innovation areas). The employee experience was enhanced with the addition of a very large café that doubles and a collaboration area for casual touchdowns as well as more formalised townhall gatherings. Employees were even upskilled in the art of coffeemaking and were treated to a barista introductory course!

One of the aspects of successful ABW implementation is the integration of technology into the physical environment. Advanced meeting room booking systems, which automatically releases meeting room when participants fail to show up, as well as the digitisation of many processes leading to a higher degree of paper independence, are examples of such technologies. Sennheiser also took the opportunity to integrate two of their products, into their environment – thus truly living up to their ambition “shaping today the audio world of tomorrow”.  The main meeting rooms and discussion areas also come fully equipped with Sennheiser’s very own speakers – the TeamConnect Ceiling which features beamforming technology that automatically focuses on the speaker’s voice, regardless of position; and the award-winning TeamConnect Wireless, the first portable wireless conference speakers for online meetings, allowing for greater flexibility and mobility to have conference calls in dedicated meeting rooms or any open or semi-enclosed meeting space in the office.

“An activity-based way of working and sitting arrangement since Sennheiser adopted this concept has accustomed the team to be comfortable with change because it’s a new environment and group of people around you daily. It has taught us to be adaptable and mindful, and that work can be done in different configurations. As most of us are working from home now, while the physical environment has changed, we are still equally ready to embrace change, and adjust ourselves.”

Martin Low – Managing Director, Sennheiser Asia

THE
RESULTS

Employees have provided very positive feedback on the transition towards new ways of working with the majority indicating they are able to focus better as their office work settings are built to support specific work activities. They’ve also seen an increase in collaboration among cross-functional teams and a greater sense of flexibility and empowerment in their daily work allowing them to work more efficiently.

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Some images from our work in this space

Interior Designer: DNDB Singapore

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For more about this project please contact Iolanda Meehan

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