International joint Ecophon and Plantronics seminar and building visit at Plantronics´ European headquarters – where acoustics are central to the New Way of Working.
Plantronics’ (global leader in audio communications) European office in Hoofddorp (Netherlands, outside Amsterdam) is a living lab for working smarter. It is created around the concept of “beautifully human” and features of the building respond to the employees’ needs.
Ecophon and Plantronics utilised this human centric office and organised a joint event (Feb 22, 2018) for architects, acousticians, workplace professionals etc. and provided a useful and inspiring mix of knowledge, centred on sound/acoustics and the latest innovations.
This blog post will not so much focus on this joint event, but rather the human centric building of Plantronics – being not only a visionary workplace but also a place where a lot of people (like Plantronics’ customers and relations) can come and get inspiration and knowledge.
The building is designed to show how the right mix of acoustic expertise, state-of-the-art technology, and biophilic design, or design influenced by the natural world, can result in better employee collaboration, concentration and productivity.
The new Plantronics office, which is located in Hoofddorp’s innovative Park 20|20 office site, is designed to function as an acoustic showcase that accommodates various employee work styles, without the distractions typically found in an open office. Plantronics employees can enjoy the flexibility and comfort of working anywhere in the new space with minimal distraction and optimal privacy. The site also functions as a living lab of a modern work.
The office layout contains both private and collaborative workspaces to support contemplation, concentration, collaboration, and communication. Acoustic technology and carefully selected surfaces that absorb and deflect sound help keep noise distractions to a minimum so employees can work most effectively from anywhere in the building.
Plantronics worked hand-in-hand with Gensler to create an expo space that demonstrates the company’s innovation in action. The building and the entire Park 20|20 site utilize a “Cradle-to-Cradle” design approach. This means the building can be dissembled. Also, it is made with many materials that are 100 percent recyclable and have been processed and produced in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner. They have succeeded so well that the building has been awarded a BREEAM Excellent certificate, the second highest standard for sustainable buildings.
“The ideal open work environment offers both spaces for collaboration and concentration”, says Gideon van der Burg, Benelux managing director at Leesman. Leesman researches worldwide how workplaces support users in their work. The results of the surveys are used in a global benchmark of more than 340,000 respondents for the extent to which employees feel supported in their work. Looking at factors that have a major negative impact on employee appreciation for their workplace work environment, Gideon sees that noise is an important factor in this.
For good acoustics it is not only important to look at the characteristics of the room, such as the room acoustics, the shape of the room and the layout, but also to take individual characteristics into account, says Yvette Tietema, Concept Developer Office Environments at Saint-Gobain Ecophon. Yvette gave as an example that in an open office environment you can influence sound attenuation over distance by using the ceiling surface, but also by taking into account individual characteristics such as the activities that are performed and personality traits such as introversion and neuroticism.
Agenda of the joint seminar
- Park 2020 (Owen Zachariasse from Delta Development)
- How does perfect looks like? (Gideon van der Burg from Leesman)
- Sound and cognition (Yvette Tietema from Saint-Gobain Ecophon NL)
- Soundscaping (Romano Cunsolo from Plantronics)
- Computer Aided Acoustic Design (Rainer Machner from Saint-Gobain Ecophon DE)
- Smarter Working Tour of the building
Links to films and articles about the European Headoffice of Plantronics
ECO Mag article about “The Smarter Working Manifesto” at Plantronics
Press-release: Plantronics opens new purpose-built office in the Netherlands
Film: Plantronics New Office – Hoofddorp, Netherlands
Film – opening of Plantronics Hoofddorp Office Opening – Smarter Working Showcase
Film: Plantronics European Office – Smarter Working (People, Places, Technology) – The People