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Building a support-minded culture: HARMAN Car Lab Renovation

Creative minds are a must in our industry – and our colleagues seem to champion it in so many ways! After building their Car Lab in Garching from scratch, they took it upon themselves to help other locations recreate it. Find out how the process went.
​​​​Stefan, Acoustics System Engineer and Muhammed, Acoustics System Technician in HARMAN’s automotive division, are based in Garching, Germany. Their lifelong passion for cars and sound systems helped them make their way to HARMAN more than 5 years ago. Stefan joined HARMAN in 2015, and his eye for mechanical integration was key in shaping a strong career. Muhammed, who’s always found tuning and retrofitting sound systems fun, joined HARMAN one year later, in 2016. To both of them, working on projects for brands such as BMW, Maserati and Alfa-Romeo sounded like a perfect fit.  

The outcome of their hard work? Bringing a smile to any customer’s face as they play their favorite music in a new car. 
Creative minds are a must in this industry – and our colleagues seem to champion it in so many ways! After building their Car Lab in Garching from scratch, they took it upon themselves to help other locations recreate it. Find out how the process of renovating the office of our colleagues in Turin went: 

What was the need behind creating a tailor-made working environment? How did you decide to get involved in this project? 

Muhammed: Once we built up our Car Lab here in Garching, we received such great feedback from our HARMAN colleagues: So, we decided to also renovate one of our favorite Car Labs, this time in Turin. We also plan to support our other locations globally. 
Stefan: After his business trip in Turin, Muhammed asked me if we can support our team in Italy to help them renovate their working place. That’s when I said, “sure we can!” Working in an environment where you can be both creative and efficient is not only helpful for performing your daily tasks, but it also adds up to the overall wellbeing of our employees and, in the end, of our customers. Whenever they visit us, they get to see and feel the creativity and power of such a tailor-made lab and workshop, and realize the passion behind our work.  

What were some key aspects you had in mind when building the plan for this project?  

S: Firstly, we talked to the colleagues we’re working with every day in this lab and brainstormed ideas to help create an improved working environment. Right after, we had a clear picture of our needs.  Personally, I believe it’s important to spend, from time to time, some energy on reorganizing your workspace. 
Especially when we tune a car, a must-have for us is access to a big monitor in front of the windshield. This era where you tune cars using only a little laptop screen and juggling four running apps, should be over.  

Tell us about the team involved and how you divided roles and responsibilities to make this happen.  

M: We are always in close contact with our colleagues within our department, so it was easy for us to split tasks. We divided our team into groups: wood making, painting, purchasing and electrical work. Thanks to Stefan’s professional background as a carpenter – beyond among other things - it was not a big deal to select the right materials. The planning took us about 4-5 weeks. It was a great time to support each other with tasks we don’t normally work on. 
S: After a couple of pandemic years of working from home, it felt like a real team-building event. Once we had a detailed plan, it was really fun to work together with everyone in the team. Driven by the idea to have one corporate design for our Car Labs in Europe, we managed to paint, woodwork and install everything within one week – all with an enormous passion for detail. 

What do you like best about this new workspace?  

M: I like that the lab gives you a feeling of comfort and, thanks to the calm color combination in this modern room, you instantly feel energized.  Additionally, we brought plants to maintain a good indoor air quality. 
S: Personally, I like the three new big clocks on the wall, where you can see the three important time zones (Novi, Bangalore and of course Turin) and our little construction corner. It was an awesome experience to work with our colleagues until late at night and sense such a strong team spirit all around. Especially since we all had one common target in mind. 

What did you learn from this project? 

M: Definitely, the value of teamwork – maybe you read this small word again and again, but if you complete projects in-person, instead of calls or meetings, you get fantastic experiences that you can remember and talk about every now and then, which also bonds the team. I really enjoyed this project and look forward to more like this. Thanks to the ASE Team! 
S: To me, work-life balance starts in a good and healthy working environment. Every time you have a chance to get to know your colleagues better, take that chance and build a good fellowship out of it. To me, it was a true team-building event!      
​At HARMAN, building a culture of mutual support is something we live by and people like Stefan and Muhammed perfectly exemplify this value. Inspired by their story? Envision your career with us by checking out our job opportunities