Rethinking the world of work: ADA presents Mindful Working

With the launch of the brand “ADA. Mindful living”, we are simultaneously opening a new chapter in the world of work: Thomas Neumann, Head of People & Culture, places emphasis on the concept of Mindful Working and explains in an interview how he would like to shape the future of ADA with innovation and heart.

You have been working in HR for around 17 years. What made you decide on the title “Head of People & Culture” instead of “Head of HR”?
The decision in favour of “Head of People & Culture” reflects our new orientation and our conviction that running a successful company is about more than just business processes. It’s about people, community and culture. At ADA, we focus on people’s needs, skills and potential. We want to create a culture in which employees actively participate in shaping the future and are there to support each other.

Can you give us an insight into what is behind the concept of “Mindful Working”?
We at ADA view “Mindful Working” as a holistic perspective on the working world. Not only do we integrate the concept of mindfulness and conscious living into our furniture: we also actively put it into practice within our company. With the pillars of Mindful Working, Mindful Growing and Mindful Leading, we are shaping an innovative new corporate culture. Our clear objective is to create a working environment marked by sustainability and mutual appreciation in which people’s needs, skills and potential are the main focus.

Thomas Neumann, Head of People & Culture

How is “Mindful Working” put into practice in everyday working life?
We rely on various measures, such as promoting good health, ensuring transparent communication, encouraging employee participation and creating “mindful spaces”. The aim is to strengthen the sense of community within the company and to create a working atmosphere in which employees feel comfortable and can grow together.

What changes can employees expect to see at ADA in the near future?
We are pursuing initiatives that strengthen the team, allowing it to grow and realise its potential. Change can be frightening, but we are taking a path that will ultimately have a positive impact on the entire workforce. We want to create opportunities to grow together as people, allowing them to share ideas and to work together to shape the future of ADA.

You grew up in a carpenter’s and a tailor’s workshop and harbour a natural love of craftsmanship. What potential do you see to drive digitalisation in the furniture industry? How do you plan to make ADA “fit for the future”?
So far, the furniture industry has made too little use of digitalisation, but we see it as a great opportunity. The combination of digitalisation and a down-to-earth attitude can be a great driver of innovation that can help companies achieve sustainable growth. We believe that the love of craftsmanship that all our ADA employees share will be the key to our success.

As a final question: what does ADA mean to you personally?
For me, ADA is more than just a company. We break down cultural boundaries and build bridges between all our locations. The heart of our enterprise is mindfulness in our treatment of each other and our passion for craftsmanship. We want to be share success and support each other as a team – like Libby Sartain aptly put it: “If a brand doesn’t live on the inside, it can’t thrive on the outside.”