Transition to an Activity-Based Work Office Environment – Case Study – Bosch

Transitioning to an Activity-Based Workplace: A case study on workplace change management to support agile working in the automotive industry

Activity-based work (ABW) as a component of your workplace strategy

Activity-based work was at the forefront of Bosch transitioning its Chassis Controls Division to a brand new building–an addition attached to their current Plymouth, Michigan, technical center. Bosch was interested in implementing what they called “Inspiring Working Conditions,” a workplace strategy centered around activity-based working that allowed Bosch’s associates and leaders to choose from a variety of spaces in which to work. Most leaders and associates were skeptical, and voiced concerns about losing privacy and becoming distracted in a more open work environment.

Resistance to rolling out activity-based work by leadership

As the building neared readiness for associate occupancy, Bosch leadership sensed increasing levels of concern and resistance to this new workplace strategy stemming from both leaders and individual contributors. Many CC-NA associates feared the loss of a private workspace, a reduction of space for tools and equipment, and a more open environment in general. Leaders with direct reports struggled to understand how they would manage their direct reports as they became increasingly more mobile. 

Workplace change management as the secret ingredient for introducing activity-based working

SCG led change management efforts to prepare the workforce for Bosch’s new workplace strategy, first assembling a project team and working with key leaders to understand the concerns they had and the challenges they suspected the managers under them would have in dealing with this new dynamic.  SCG worked with Bosch’s human resources group to develop a change readiness survey that was administered to the affected workforce.

The results of this exercise uncovered the specific departments that needed the most hand holding to prepare for new ways of working, and, the mindset of the general population as the move to Inspiring Working Conditions fast approached.  From this, our team was able to craft targeted messaging to begin to allay concerns and build excitement for the new work environment. 

SCG customized and facilitated a series of training sessions that not only explained the business case behind the transition to inspiring working conditions, but also introduced the new spaces and the new workspace protocols that would ensure people respected others’ privacy and desire to conduct focus work. By the end of the training sessions, Bosch associates had become increasingly optimistic, and even excited for the move to their new space.

Consulting expertise to help your company introduce activity-based working

Introducing any type of new workplace change can be met with resistance, but one that is dramatically different from what your employees are used to?

Without thoughtful planning and effective change management, activity-based working can quickly become activity-based chaos.

If you’re interested in strategic planning and change implementation to align your workforce and workplace strategies, take the first step by reaching out to Stegmeier Consulting Group through the form below.