BSH’s Living Office Where teams work as one to create exceptional value

The home appliance sector is transforming at a rapid rate. BSH Hišni aparati d.o.o., part of the global BSH Group, has embarked on a major organizational change project to cement the company’s position as a customer-centric industry leader. As part of this move, leadership has initiated a cultural shift, along with a complete revamp of the Ljubljana office space. Understanding BSH’s aspirations, values and ways of working, Kragelj has helped create a work environment that paves the way to a bright future for the business and its people.

Home Appliance Industry Trends

Technology advancements, societal trends and lifestyle changes are transforming the home appliance industry globally. Customers are looking for smart appliances with advanced functionalities that are easy to use, and which make their lives easier and more comfortable. It’s increasingly important that the products they use at home support their health, and offer positive experiences while preserving the resources of the planet. With intensifying competition between brands, manufacturers need to rethink their business and operation models in order to maintain a strong market position.
Major factors shaping home appliance purchasing trends:

Changes in demographics, lifestyles and buying habits

Experience-based living and product development

Advancing technology and digital transformation

Rising demand for smart and connected appliances

Growing interest in health and wellness

Increasing environmental and social awareness

Intensifying competition between manufacturers

Growing market share of e-commerce

Business Needs to Change

Industry trends are presenting new opportunities and challenges for home appliance manufacturers. To maintain a strong market position, they need to frequently develop new, innovative products and functionalities, focusing on R&D and taking advantage of emerging technologies.

As smart appliances are revolutionising the market, it’s also time for industry players to review and evolve their business strategies. Attractive pricing, user-friendly features and value-added services are necessary to set themselves apart from their competitors. It’s essential that manufacturers understand what makes them unique, and what their customers need and value. But it’s just as important that they communicate with the market compellingly, demonstrating how they can improve people’s lives.

INNOVATION ON ALL LEVELS

Beyond developing advanced products and services, industry players also need to adapt their business models and strategies.

INNOVATION ON ALL LEVELS

Beyond developing advanced products and services, industry players also need to adapt their business models and strategies.

WHO IS BSH

BSH Hausgeräte GmbH is one of the world’s leading home appliance manufacturers, and the largest company in Europe, incorporating well-known brands such as Bosch and Siemens, along with numerous local brands. Despite intense competition in recent years, BSH has been able to maintain its market share thanks to a strong focus on its customers, quality and innovation.

The company aspires to improve customers’ life quality with superior products that not only function seamlessly but people also love and feel proud of. Over the company’s more than 50-year history, BSH Hausgeräte GmbH has been a driving force in customer-centric research and innovation, with the mission to be the first choice of buyers worldwide.

To add value to customers and meet their evolving needs, BSH is transforming its business model. Beyond supplying products, the company is starting to offer personalized digital functions and services, supporting the use of smart appliances.

Trusting, collaborative relationships are key pillars of the company’s success. Their teams develop and test products with the help of customers, collaborate with suppliers, and share knowledge with innovation partners. BSH sees great value in combining a diverse range of experiences, perspectives and skills, and solving problems through an interdisciplinary approach.

Wolfram von Ohain

BOARD OF MANAGEMENT
BSH Hišni aparati d.o.o.

Our new Living Office is the nicest workplace I have experienced in my 32-year professional career. Stepping into it every morning is a great pleasure, and it’s obvious that all employees enjoy this workplace as much as I do, as there are many smiling faces.

It’s a very inspiring environment with a beautiful, modern and playful design. There are plenty of collaboration areas such as meeting rooms, Skype conference rooms and social areas which allow easy communication between departments.

The Living Office project is part of BSH’s cultural transformation called ONE TEAM. Our new culture promotes trust, openness, generosity and genuine team collaboration. All of this is perfectly supported by the workspace created by Kragelj’s team of architects and designers.

Wolfram von Ohain

BOARD OF MANAGEMENT
BSH Hišni aparati d.o.o.

Our new Living Office is the nicest workplace I have experienced in my 32-year professional career. Stepping into it every morning is a great pleasure, and it’s obvious that all employees enjoy this workplace as much as I do, as there are many smiling faces.

It’s a very inspiring environment with a beautiful, modern and playful design. There are plenty of collaboration areas such as meeting rooms, Skype conference rooms and social areas which allow easy communication between departments.

The Living Office project is part of BSH’s cultural transformation called ONE TEAM. Our new culture promotes trust, openness, generosity and genuine team collaboration. All of this is perfectly supported by the workspace created by Kragelj’s team of architects and designers.

BSH’s workplace culture

BSH’s commitment to creating superior solutions not only drives their product development and manufacturing processes, but also their workplace culture and business practices. The organization continually invests in their employees, developing their skills and potential, seeing them as the foundation of the company’s success.

Leaders are aware that getting to know their people, hearing their views and concerns, is an important step towards generating trust and high levels of engagement. Therefore, employees are invited to share their ideas and experiences openly. BSH Hausgeräte GmbH also makes conscious efforts in maintaining a diverse workforce, and in their workplaces, differences and similarities are both appreciated.

The company sees the physical work environment as an essential tool for agile transformation. Leadership therefore aims to create inspiring and well-functioning workplaces where people can easily share their knowledge, and where ideas can fly.

BSH’s strengths, and how these manifest in their product development and workplace culture:

Continuous improvement mindset

  • Developing innovative products with advanced features
  • Investing in employees, and improving work practices

Understanding people

  • Getting to know customers, seeking feedback about products
  • Facilitating ongoing open dialogue with employees

Collaborative partnerships

  • Collaborating with clients, startups and other product partners
  • Promoting collaboration between individuals and departments

Diversity

  • Offering a diverse range of products, with a variety of features
  • Nurturing a diverse workforce, in a diversified work environment

Focusing on the user experience

  • Creating user-friendly products with superior functionality
  • Providing positive, engaging experiences to employees

Environmental responsibility

  • Developing energy-efficient, eco-friendly products
  • Creating an office space with low environmental impact

THE STARTING POINT

To be able to give people valuable support, you must thoroughly understand their needs, problems and desires.

THE STARTING POINT

To be able to give people valuable support, you must thoroughly understand their needs, problems and desires.

Strategic Overview

In 2018, BSH Hišni aparati d.o.o. in Slovenia (part of the international BSH Group) embarked on a culture change project, called One Team, with the aim to promote trust, generosity and open communication within the organization. In the spirit of the One Team philosophy, employees are encouraged to collaborate with each other effectively, putting aside any individual agendas or differences, with the focus on delivering the best possible value to customers.

This cultural transformation was certainly timely. Before the changes, employees were more focused on their own goals and targets than on the purpose of the company. Trust between departments was low and communication was lacking. All these had a negative impact on productivity, problem solving and innovation.

ONE TEAM

When the whole organization starts to work towards a clear and inspiring purpose – serving the customer – teamwork and cohesion are bound to become stronger.

ONE TEAM

When the whole organization starts to work towards a clear and inspiring purpose – serving the customer – teamwork and cohesion are bound to become stronger.

Existing Issues

Leaders of BSH Hišni aparati d.o.o. realized early on that upgrading the fit-out of the Ljubljana office was critical to the success of the cultural transformation. The existing space didn’t reflect the values or brand of the company, nor did it support new and effective ways of working. In fact, the old office actively promoted unproductive behaviours and attitudes by imposing barriers between departments.

The workplace offered insufficient space for relationship building and collaboration. Some of the offices were much less pleasant and comfortable than others, with very little natural light and no external views, creating a sense of hierarchy. The team offices were small, noisy and crowded. At the same time, a large part of the office – the showroom – was grossly underutilized.

Project Goals

In alignment with the cultural change, company leaders developed a clear vision for the new space. This concept, called Living Office, describes a smart, flexible workplace that stands the test of time and allows the company to grow and evolve. It’s an innovative, modern and agile work environment that promotes communication, collaboration and trusting relationships.

Leaders were also aware how important it was for employees to develop a personal connection with the space, including a sense of ownership and pride. They were looking to create an inspiring, open and transparent environment that offered meaningful choices and positive experiences while meeting people’s personal needs, such as privacy, comfort and quiet space.

SMART GOALS

At the outset, leaders set the goal to significantly increase productivity – and revenue – by improving communication and collaboration between members, and reducing errors.

SMART GOALS

At the outset, leaders set the goal to significantly increase productivity – and revenue – by improving communication and collaboration between members, and reducing errors.

Kragelj’s ROLE

Kragelj’s team was committed to learning as much as possible about BSH and the home appliance industry. Prior to the design phase, they conducted industry research, ran a company-wide employee survey, interviewed leaders and top managers, held user workshops and talked to employee representatives. The collected insights and carefully analyzed data answered a lot of questions, including people’s needs and expectations, along with optimal work processes and practices. With this knowledge, Kragelj was able to steer the project in the right direction from the beginning and ensure smooth, efficient progress.

Boštjan Gorjup

MANAGING DIRECTOR
BSH Hišni aparati d.o.o.

BSH is currently upgrading its corporate culture into what we call ONE TEAM. We expect this process to take several years, but I’m thrilled to notice positive shifts in people’s behaviors already, just one year after the introduction of the culture change.

The renovation of our Ljubljana office has fully aligned with and accelerated the culture change process. In addition, it has helped improve our business strategy and operational processes.

The team of Kragelj Architects has excelled in this mission. After joining our project team, they quickly understood our corporate culture and specific needs. They have designed spaces that help employees connect with each other, promote trust and respect, and support open communication. These behaviors are the foundations of our ONE TEAM culture and the source of increased employee satisfaction and productivity.

Boštjan Gorjup

MANAGING DIRECTOR
BSH Hišni aparati d.o.o.

BSH is currently upgrading its corporate culture into what we call ONE TEAM. We expect this process to take several years, but I’m thrilled to notice positive shifts in people’s behaviors already, just one year after the introduction of the culture change.

The renovation of our Ljubljana office has fully aligned with and accelerated the culture change process. In addition, it has helped improve our business strategy and operational processes.

The team of Kragelj Architects has excelled in this mission. After joining our project team, they quickly understood our corporate culture and specific needs. They have designed spaces that help employees connect with each other, promote trust and respect, and support open communication. These behaviors are the foundations of our ONE TEAM culture and the source of increased employee satisfaction and productivity.

SHARED PHILOSOPHY

In-depth research, close collaboration between service providers and clients, and regular feedback loops are critical elements of successful agile innovation. Kragelj and BSH both embraced this philosophy, allowing them to bring out the best in each other.

SHARED PHILOSOPHY

In-depth research, close collaboration between service providers and clients, and regular feedback loops are critical elements of successful agile innovation. Kragelj and BSH both embraced this philosophy, allowing them to bring out the best in each other.

Kragelj worked in close collaboration with the BSH Hišni aparati d.o.o. project team. Company leaders, managers and representatives provided feedback at every milestone, including concept development and detailed design, helping to refine ideas.

In addition to architectural services, Kragelj managed the project schedule and monitored costs, ensuring on-time and on-budget delivery. They also supervized the construction works, managed contractors and suppliers, and supported BSH Hišni aparati d.o.o. in the change management process.

Managing Change

Smooth change management was also the fruit of this joint effort. Initially, when the open plan concept was first introduced to the whole company, many employees were worried. Since they had only heard about poorly planned and executed open offices before, they were expecting a lot of noise, an impersonal vibe and a lack of privacy.

Kragelj addressed every concern by developing a people-centric, diversified, activity-based workplace designed around members’ specific needs and work styles. The proposed changes received a lot of support from the top. Management led by example, agreeing to work in the open space.

Kragelj presented the design at company meetings, and BSH’s change ambassadors engaged with employees throughout the project. Thanks to the frequent and skillful communication, employees soon became open to new ways of working, and excited about the future of their workplace.

ON-BOARD LEADERSHIP

Without open-minded and supportive leadership, the change project could have taken a very different direction.

ON-BOARD LEADERSHIP

Without open-minded and supportive leadership, the change project could have taken a very different direction.

Innovative Solutions

Whether we talk about office interiors or kitchen appliances, what makes a great design is largely universal. The new Living Office demonstrates many of the qualities that also characterize the industry-leading products of BSH.
Experience-driven and intuitive
The new office has few internal walls. However, it’s far from the factory look that people often associate with the open office. You can only see small segments of the space at a time. As you discover the office, you find a series of intimate shared spaces – including chat rooms, quiet rooms, social spaces and breakout areas – intertwining with one another. The workplace has a fluid, organic feel. It invites you to move around and find a spot based on your mood or the task at hand, whether you’re looking to meet someone, make a phone call or enjoy a quiet moment.

LASTING QUALITY

Through a smart approach to design and a firm commitment to quality, the collaboration between Kragelj and BSH has led to intelligent, future-proof workplace solutions.

LASTING QUALITY

Through a smart approach to design and a firm commitment to quality, the collaboration between Kragelj and BSH has led to intelligent, future-proof workplace solutions.
Connected and private

All departments have their own zones, with shared spaces located between them. This design solution allows employees to have confidential conversations with their closest colleagues, in a space that offers visual and acoustic privacy and feels like the team’s home. At the same time, the workplace invites employees to connect with members of other departments, by meeting in the middle.

Part-time members and visiting remote employees can use any of the shared facilities, or choose a spot in the flexible ‘hoteling’ area. This space is close to all departments, ensuring that even members who spend relatively little time in the office feel part of the One Team. When available, this space can also be used by all other employees, for project meetings or collaboration sessions, for instance.

PRIVACY AND CONNECTION

All enclosed meeting rooms offer visual and acoustic privacy as well as secure internet connection, while allowing easy access to common areas and support facilities.

PRIVACY AND CONNECTION

All enclosed meeting rooms offer visual and acoustic privacy as well as secure internet connection, while allowing easy access to common areas and support facilities.
Multi-functional
The showroom has been revitalized. While it was previously only used on rare occasions, and exclusively by visitors, it’s now the beating heart of the office, enjoyed by clients and employees alike. The new showroom incorporates a kitchen – showcasing the company’s products – along with a small classroom, a couple of meeting rooms, and the cafeteria. The showroom has become the go-to place for employees and visitors to catch up and socialize. The flexible desks in this space can also be used for individual work as well as informal meetings. The open area is able to accommodate 70-80 people, making it suitable for all-company gatherings.
Personalized
The furnishings are highly flexible and adaptable. For example, Kragelj has developed an innovative workstation system, with trapezoid shaped desks, which can be configured in a variety of ways. This system supports the specific needs of departments, and offers the flexibility to add new desks as the company grows. With this innovation, designers were able to reduce the floor area taken up by workstations without making the space feel crowded. The organically laid out desks also contribute to the flowing, natural feel of the workplace.
Sustainable, healthy and beautiful

The new lighting system elevates the workplace, and at the same time, saves energy. The large circular LED pendants complement the fresh look of the work areas, and provide natural looking light that’s comfortable on the eyes. The light levels in different zones can be manually adjusted, allowing members to alter the ambience of the space while further improving energy efficiency. In addition, every area has ample natural light, and views to the outdoors.

Kragelj specified natural materials with minimal environmental impact that look beautiful and welcoming. The bright colours of the interiors, which are in perfect harmony with the brand colours of BSH, contribute to a lively, uplifting atmosphere. Plants hanging from the ceiling also add life to the office. The space is unified and non-hierarchical, with no ‘second-rate’ work areas.

THE DNA OF THE BUSINESS

In a workplace that reflects the qualities valued by the organization, employees are naturally attuned to pursue these qualities in their day to day work, helping the business to succeed.

THE DNA OF THE BUSINESS

In a workplace that reflects the qualities valued by the organization, employees are naturally attuned to pursue these qualities in their day to day work, helping the business to succeed.

The Results

The workplace transformation project has achieved all the desired objectives while meeting financial goals and deadlines. Construction was completed in the astonishing time of just two months.

Employees are impressed by how different the new space looks and feels, and appreciate the warm atmosphere as well as the well-functioning design which offers many great choices. Using dedicated spaces, teams can now collaborate and individuals can focus without distracting each other. Despite opening up the space, the office is actually quieter than before.

In the new open office, without the internal barriers, information between individuals and departments flows seamlessly, and collaboration thrives. People work more productively and make less errors. Employees are more engaged, motivated, and happy to go to work. They feel more connected to the company, dedicated to share their knowledge and to work as One Team.

Kragelj Architects did a wonderful job. They began with an in-depth study of our needs, and collaborated with the project team highly effectively through all stages. The construction was completed in just two months, which is a record time compared to other office renovation projects in the BSH Group.

The Living Office created by Kragelj Architects is one of a kind, perfectly tailored to our needs. I wholeheartedly recommend such a beautiful and functional workplace to any progressive company.

Wolfram von Ohain

BOARD OF MANAGEMENT
BSH Hišni aparati d.o.o.

The new Living Office is a truly future-ready and innovative workplace, embracing the following key principles:

Supporting agile work practices

Promoting equality and inclusion

Inviting relationship building

Facilitating cross-collaboration

Providing positive experiences

Enabling the growth of the company

Conclusion

BSH, with a strong culture of innovation, understands well that successful design requires mutual trust and powerful collaboration between client and service provider. The project team worked closely with the architects throughout all phases of the process, from research and design development through to change management and implementation.

Every business innovates in its own way. Kragelj, an agile organization itself, adapted their approach to align with the work style of the BSH Hišni aparati d.o.o. team, and as a result, the two teams were on similar wavelengths from start to finish. This enabled Kragelj to understand their client very well, and to find the best possible solutions for them, creating a workplace that paves the way to a bright future for the business and its people.

WORKING AS ONE TEAM

Close collaboration and trusting relationships have been fundamental to the success of BSH’s workplace and culture change project.

WORKING AS ONE TEAM

Close collaboration and trusting relationships have been fundamental to the success of BSH’s workplace and culture change project.

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