Shell CoLab

Transforming Workspace for Cultural Change

Shell, a global energy company, stated the imperative need for a substantial transformation in their workplace environment. The development of CoLab stemmed from the recognition that the nature of activities in the energy sector was undergoing a significant shift due to the energy transition. To effectively meet customer demands, Shell needed to adapt its operational methods accordingly. The outdated office facilities were impeding Shell's ability to nurture collaboration and innovation, which were pivotal for the organisation's future prosperity. To address this challenge, Shell embarked on a project to redesign their office space, focusing on promoting effective collaboration and cultural transformation.


Cologne, Germany

Igniting Innovation

Shell's primary objectives in this project were to inspire its workforce by crafting a workspace designed to achieve three key goals: First, they aimed to foster more effective collaboration among their employees, acknowledging that teamwork and innovation are pivotal to their success. Second, the company sought to make a visible impact on its organisational culture, striving to enhance its identity and values. Lastly, Shell aimed to create an environment where employees feel genuinely engaged and inspired, ensuring a workspace that sparks creativity and motivates their team to excel.

Agile Synergy

To streamline their project delivery, Shell adopted an agile approach, assembling a dynamic scrum team of graduates led by a dedicated project leader who provided support and guidance to ensure project success. This young team conducted extensive research within and beyond the company to pinpoint optimal solutions, setting the stage for innovative breakthroughs.

The Haworth International Ideation team started its collaboration with Shell through digital and virtual workshops, translating invaluable insights and user feedback into visionary spatial concepts. This adaptable approach allowed them to respond to evolving needs and priorities as the project unfolded.

The result? Unprecedented efficiency in bringing room concepts to life. From the initial ideation to the final transformation, the innovative project was achieved in four months.

Breeding Ground for Innovation

 In the heart of Shell's visionary workspace, CoLab is a testament to their forward-thinking approach. This cutting-edge design is the birthplace of collaboration and creativity, embodying Shell's future work ethos. Within this compact space, a glimpse of the future of work unfolds, with small interactive teams, dynamic workshops, and agile formats at the forefront. These changes have revolutionised how people work together, nurturing a culture of collaboration that led to enhanced employee engagement and a tangible mark of success for the project.

I appreciated Haworth’s creativity in starting this project and their exceptional support during implementation. It allowed us to achieve fantastic results quickly.

Michael Hansen

CoLab project leader

Results and Success Metrics

Shell's project success is quantified through a dual lens of employee feedback and practical data. Notable outcomes encompass heightened teamwork, amplified collaboration, enriched employee engagement, and a workspace that dynamically adapts to evolving needs.

Lessons Learned: Navigating Cultural Transformation

Amidst the hurdles in catalysing internal change, Shell unearthed invaluable lessons. Witnessing the transformative impact reinforced their commitment to cultural evolution, highlighting the pivotal role of change in the journey towards a brighter future.

Expanding the Culture of Innovation

Shell's future vision is brimming with promise as it sets its sights on extending this transformative initiative to a larger campus. Their commitment to nurturing a culture of collaboration and innovation is poised to endure. Shell's journey is a testament to the transformative potential of innovation, adaptability, and a commitment to cultural change. Embracing modern work practices, they have forged a workspace that empowers employees to be engaged, inspired, and effective collaborators.

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