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On the way to 'New Work' with a German automotive organisation

Case Study: New Work at a German automotive organisation


Development of a new working environment that supports a modern, flexible and sustainable way of working.


A new-work space concept developed by employees for employees, which promotes greater belonging, flexibility and collaboration.


Key Facts

Client: a German automotive organisation

Category: Automotive / Mobility

Service: New Work | Workplace Design | Culture Design | Interior Design

Methods: Decoding & Designing the human experience Human-Centred-Design | Vision Talks | Co-Creation | Worktype personas | Prototyping | Interior Design

Year: 2021

Facts: 15 User representatives from all areas in the project team

70% Employees' voices collected

90% Virtual project work

25 Interactive MURAL Boards

6 Vision-Talks with Management team

8 Department Diaries

3 Design Territories

5 Prototypes



The automotive industry is undergoing fundamental change, having to cope with increasing pressure to innovate, rapid digitization, and environmental challenges, among other things. This also has a strong impact on the structures, working methods and working environments of the companies. As a body representing the interests of the industry, our client was also facing up to these new requirements of its members. And was therefore setting out to change its structures, corporate culture and working environment and to develop more personal responsibility, flexibility, affiliation and creative collaboration under the heading of 'New Work'.

In addition, the corona-induced shifts to home office and virtual collaboration have created new perspectives and expectations of what the reality of work should look like, even after the pandemic. For the project, this also meant that the process had to be conducted completely remotely and digitally and ideally trigger a transformative learning effect for all participants on how new forms of collaboration can also look virtually.


How might we design a flexible, future-proof office environment for employees that supports the relevant aspects of their (collaborative) work in the best possible way (while discovering new, digital working methods and tools themselves)?

Our approach

For us, a new, sustainable working world has the goal of unlocking human potential in the best possible way. The working environment should support this in the form of increased relevance, resilience and resourcefulness.

With a cross-departmental project team with user representatives from all departments, we collaboratively explored the needs of employees in new and digital collaboration formats over a period of 6 months, derived 6 specific work types from this, developed design criteria and translated these into 5 prototypes for the new work space design. These were tested with employees, and based on the feedback, a final concept for a new working environment was developed, which translates the specific requirements of the work types into space and workplace concepts.

Approach in detail (click on arrow for more details):

Kick off & ‚winning hearts‘

Empathise Space & Define Line

Design Space & Test Line

Implement Space & Evaluation Line


A work typology specially developed for the VDA with 6 work types

Design criteria for the future development of the working environment and culture

A concept tested with employees for the design of the new working environment across all floors, taking into account the design criteria and space requirements for each work type

Learned new ways of working and use of modern digital collaboration tools.

The results and findings from the concept development are now being implemented by the client within the framework of a 'test floor'.


Head of HR
"I always found the cooperation great! The super good interaction with you guys. Informal, personal, always also individual and a friendship level. It's just incredibly easy to work with you and to talk openly and discuss things. And also the approach, the innovativeness you show, the digital structure you follow with your processes and just the modern and progressive approach you have taken always and every time. Thank you very much!"


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