When German-born audio company Sennheiser Electronic’s Asia arm first moved into its current office last October, the management knew an activity-based working concept would be the way to go.
The team envisioned three ideals to be fostered at this new space – collaboration, creativity, and effectiveness, Martin Low, Managing Director at Sennheiser Electronic Asia, tells Priya Sunil. This is in line with the Sennheiser culture, where the brand focuses on shaping the future of the audio industry based on its history, culture of innovation, and passion for excellence, he adds.
Apart from that, technology also forms an integral aspect of the brand’s long-term culture shaping plan. Low explains: “In today’s transforming work environment, we are no longer rigidly bound to our desks but have instead become increasingly mobile according to the different natures of our tasks.
“Therefore, having a work space that aligns with our values was the first step of many to take.”
Thus, the team set about engaging various stakeholders – from the HR, IT, real estate, and business teams, and even employees early on in the process.
One of the key stakeholders involved was Veldhoen + Company, with Managing Partner of Southeast Asia and Japan, Iolanda Meehan sharing more on Sennheiser’s idea: “Sennheiser Singapore started to consider transitioning to new ways of working as an opportunity to re-direct the focus of the organisation towards increasing innovation, attracting and retaining a diverse talent pool and thinking globally/adopting a global mindset of change.”
In line with that, and together with design partner DNDB, the stakeholders got to co-creating a holistic workplace strategy and concept to support these aspirations. Today, one year on, Sennheiser employees have “embraced the new tools and systems (brought about by technology) with speed and enthusiasm.”
Adding sustainable, permanent value to the company
Considering the fact that an average person spends one-third of their lives at work, Low believes the balance between work and life isn’t just a buzzword anymore, but is integral towards business success. Moreover, seeing that workplace happiness can increase productivity by as much as 12%, the brand’s core objective revolves around adding value to the company sustainably and permanently.
Low shares: “The highlight of our office is the TeamConnect Ceiling 2, which allows us to move around freely while presenting due to its unique, award-winning beamforming technology which tracks the presenters’ voices throughout the room.
“Partnering with Crestron’s control systems, we are also able to effectively harness smart technology to communicate and work together intelligently.”
How has this helped with productivity? “This allows our colleagues to control and shape entire workspaces with the push of a button, thus freeing up resources to focus on important tasks at hand,” Low affirms.
In keeping up with employees’ satisfaction, the management makes it a point to conduct employee pulse-checks, gather suggestions, and host dialogue sessions to facilitate the ongoing improvement of the concept.
Advice for other companies when planning their new office concepts
On honing a conducive and overall productive workplace, Low says: “Passionate about shaping the future, we value modern forms of cooperative work. It is important to us that our employees should be highly-motivated.
“It speaks volumes when the office is welcoming enough to draw people in to stay for a while yet conducive enough to still drive a high degree of productive discussions.”
Further, his team makes it a point to foster open, honest and proactive communications.
“We say what we are doing, and we do what we say. As a family-owned business, we take ownership over our own success and I believe every single action, regardless of scale, has the potential to make a difference.”
He concludes: “Therefore, if you encourage individual expression, and tailor your office to your culture, you can keep the team’s happiness as a main goal and supercharge your productivity.