As a result, Wolfgang Ebermann, Insight's EMEA president, initiated the “Smarter Working” scheme, provided the necessary budget and appointed Birgit Köther, Facility Manager, as project lead. Quickly, she gathered a team of enthusiastic volunteers which started the planning phase. The goal was to create an activity-based working environment that provided dedicated work areas for different types of working – collaboration and quiet zones as well as lounge areas. Identical flex desks meant that teammates could easily move from one area to another according to their current task. In the planning process, teammates were encouraged to feedback on their individual requirements and preferences regarding headset and monitor types, light sources, shelf space and locker sizes to store personal belongings. All of this was collected, aggregated and incorporated in the rollout plan. Regular updates on the project status were given in staff meetings and posted in the Insight Digital Workspace™, a Microsoft Teams based collaboration and communication platform developed by Insight, to ensure everyone was in the loop.
"An office needs to give everyone the flexibility to choose the space ideally suited for their ever-changing, specific work requirements. Only then can an office truly be a center of communication and collaboration, and a place where people are happy to go to every day."
Wolfgang Ebermann, Insight EMEA President
While the office near Frankfurt moved to a new location, the office near Munich remained, scaled down, in the same building. The newly designed facilities have 2.800 sqm less floorspace yet feel spacious and light and provide a total of 95 stationary workspaces (for 56% of current 2020 headcount). Large hydroponic plants and discreet sound barriers separate the groups of desks as well as the different work spaces from each other. Stand-alone, non-bookable phone cubicles are placed close to the collaboration areas so that confidential calls can be made spontaneously without having to block entire meeting rooms. All office walls are accentuated in Insight corporate colours, as are items such as sofas, coffee mugs and individual locker boxes.
"The key challenge was to create a work environment where people could move easily and flexibly to different work zones as required - for teamwork, quiet work, meetings."
Birgit Köther, Insight Experience and Facilities Lead
Each workspace consists of Steelcase electronically height-adjustable desks (that also serve as high desks) as well as Interstuhl office chairs with built-in weight regulation. Large natural light ceiling spots and table lamps can be individually adjusted. Each desk is also equipped with an Acer 34” curved monitor with integrated USB hub. This serves as the central connecting hub for all individual devices.
The range of individual devices consist of a Lenovo ThinkPad or HP Elitebook, a Logitech Bluetooth mouse and keyboard as well as a Poly noisecancelling (ANC) DECT 8200 series headset (choice of mono or stereo version). When they are not used, the individually named devices are put on centrally located charging devices; when in use, they are easily connected to one of the docking stations on each desk and are instantly ready for IP telephony use. Thanks to DECT technology, the headsets have a wider reach so users can freely move in the office while on the phone. In addition, ANC actively cancels background noise which significantly improves the call quality.
The newly designed offices were launched after one week of setup and installation. Employees immediately embraced the flexible work style that the new offices brought. Every day, more than 75% of flex desks are used by people who benefit from the unique quality that face-to-face interaction brings to collaborative work, and again see the office workplace as a place not just to work, but to connect, collaborate and socialise.
"My four recommendations to make a change project successful: set clear goals; identify challenges; ensure training; be prepared to steer the ship through rough water."
Birgit Hauptmann, Adoption & Change Management Consultant