SENNHEISER AND WILKHAHN EXPLORE THE INTERSECTION OF WORKPLACE DESIGN AND AUDIO IN NYC
Vibrant discussion on the next-generation workplace yields new ideas, working models
Amidst a push towards the next wave in workplace technology to maximize productivity and worker satisfaction, Sennheiser recently invited industry thought leaders to its SoHo pop up store location last week to discuss “the intersection of workplace design and audio”. The event, which was presented to dealers, integrators and a host of brand-name end user companies, featured industry thought leaders and yielded vibrant discussion — while briefly recapping the generational evolution of the workplace.
With panelists including Andy Niemann, Director Business Communication, Sennheiser; Simone Vingerhoets – Ziesmann, CEO of Wilkhahn; and Robert Badendoch, Associate Principal of TAD Associates, discussed topics included audio technology integration, furniture selection and AV infrastructure considerations. The event was introduced by Sennheiser co-CEO Daniel Sennheiser.
“The future of the workplace requires audio input and interfacing on many more levels than ever before,” said Daniel Sennheiser. “That is why business communications is one of the focus areas for us. Since its founding Sennheiser has always been about the future of audio, and it is clear that high quality audio is an essential element of the future of the workplace.”
Niemann discussed how Sennheiser’s business-centric audio solutions have been tailored to meet the emerging needs of the workplace within an ever-evolving business culture, with contemporary businesses focusing on collaboration and fluidity more than ever before. He noted that Sennheiser products — such as TeamConnect Wireless conferencing solution and the MB 660 wireless headphones — are designed to be adaptable enough to address today’s needs while anticipating the needs of tomorrow.
“The advent of digital audio introduces new processes, and with that, the potential of increased creativity and productivity,” Niemann commented. “Sennheiser recognizes that the changes looming ahead require more advanced communications solutions.” Sennheiser has risen to the challenge with a range of solutions that encompass the worlds of telecommunications, unified communications and mobility.
An Eye for Innovation
With 72 years of experience, Sennheiser also has an eye on the future, recognizing how business leaders are continually adapting their environments to leverage a generationally diverse talent pool. “When we go into the office of a big tech giant in New York we see that it’s not just an office, it’s a lifestyle,” Niemann explains.” “It’s about open spaces where everyone can talk and cooperate on projects. Our overall goal is to help advance creativity and collaboration, and that requires great communication where every word can be heard. Our products reflect that.”
The MB 660, Sennheiser’s flagship headset for business use, is designed with the open office in mind, delivering a high degree of sound isolation even in a noisy, bustling workplace. “Not only is the MB 660 certified across multiple operating platforms, but it gives users the silence they need inside while serving as their preferred means of communication to the outside,” Niemann says, citing a critical need for occasional quiet expressed by many open office employees.
Simone Vingerhoets-Ziesmann, CEO of furniture manufacturer Wilkhahn, cited the importance of modernizing communication through the intelligence of spaces, while optimizing furniture selection and placement. “Flexible communication technologies are key,” she explained. “The old model of the fixed conference room with a table and everything hard-wired with cables is outdated, and we are seeing that we needed to give people the tools that allow them to communicate wherever they want.”
Wilkhahn’s Confair range stands for the perfect combination of high design and modularity. The mobility and innovative functions found in the Confair® folding table promote participation, self-organization and interaction. If required, the table supports cable channels, power supply connections and innovative technimodules to provide fascinatingly simple, interactive access to modern media technology.
“The flexibility to work in different spaces with different mediums gives employees a much improved workflow,” adds Vingerhoets-Ziesmann. “The ability to take your conferencing system and carry it to the next room is a key element in today’s way of working.”
Sennheiser’s TeamConnect Wireless is an elegant conferencing solution, able to accommodate NFC-enabled Bluetooth wireless or USB/3.5mm jack wired connections, while featuring intuitive touch sensitive controls and exemplary speech intelligibility. Able to accommodate groups of up to 24 people, TeamConnect Wireless is fully portable and can be located wherever a meeting is required.
Open-minded AV design
The final speaker to present during the discussion was Robert Badendoch of respected audiovisual and digital media design firm TAD Associates. “The requirement of today’s office is that the user is never blocked from access to the most popular applications and environments, such as the software they are using on their laptop or in their office,” Badendoch says. “The laptop or PC is now the center of the conference room as well, and manufacturers like Sennheiser are offering good examples of technology that can replace fixed, hard-wired devices such as old table microphones with versatile, portable solutions. These microphones connect via Bluetooth or WiFi to any number of technologies, whether they be consumer electronics brought from the home or commercial computing technologies.”