The other side of Akaba

Sometimes we forget that behind the brands and companies there’s an entire team that makes it possible for us to have a good product or service. But it’s also true that when we get to know it better, our perception changes and we see the company in a new light.

At Akaba we’d like to dedicate a space to the team that’s there by the day behind the designs and production of elements that accompany you in your projects. That way you’ll be able to learn a little about their history and professional development with the brand. 

This time round we’re talking to Ainara Diez, from our commercial and communication team, about her time at Akaba and the aspects that have had the strongest impact during her professional career

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For many, our fist day of work may give us an idea of our future within the company...

Ainara: To be honest I can’t really remember my first day. It was so many years ago!

What I do remember about my early years at Akaba is seeing an office full of sheets of paper that was bustling with activity and direct and continuous contact with international collaborators.

Compared to what we have today, I can say that Akaba feels like a different company to the one of all those years back in the way it functions.

 

Needless to say, the personal aspect is also important, we spend most of our day with our colleagues and in the work environment, experiences come and go, but there’s always the odd one you have particularly good memories of.

Ainara: I have fond memories of my first international trade fair. It was the ORGATEC trade fair in Cologne. A hugely intense experience. We worked almost round the clock, inside the fair and out. A week packed with activity; I met all sorts of collaborators and international partners, but I also got to know my workmates in another setting, as well as discovering Cologne. It was a hugely enriching experience.

 

It’s one thing to see the evolution of the brand from outside and quite another to live it from the inside, where every decision affects your life, because whether you like it or not, you’re one of the cogs in the wheel that keeps the company turning.

Ainara: the biggest change for me came with the new premises, moving into a new building with more than 10,000 square metres.

A new way of interacting with open spaces, meeting rooms to work in as a team, the coffee corner, new production facilities, a main automated workshop, the painting facility, the showroom with more than 400 square metres.

For me this was certainly an enormous change and a new way of working, more closely adapted to the needs of the time. I see it as a place made by us and for us.

 

When companies grow, sometimes the work loses focus and only the big decisions matter, but nothing could be further from the truth...

Ainara: when you work as a team, your work always influences other people. No doubt about it.

 

Of all the projects you’ve worked on, what’s the one you enjoyed most, and why?

Ainara: the Spark project, in 2019. That was a very special project for me because all we workers at Akaba had a part in it.

We all joined hands to compose the company’s vision and strategic challenges. The whole process was completed at different sessions, which were highly enjoyable and productive. I have very good and fun memories of moments with colleagues that I don’t usually have anything to do with in my everyday work.

 

At Akaba we have a clear-cut vision of the impact of contract furniture on the people who use it. But what does someone working on the inside think?

Ainara: the furniture design itself generates a feeling or sensation in people and I think that’s the key to creating warmer and more pleasant atmospheres where people feel good.

 

It’s hard to imagine the future, and even more so after what we’ve been through in 2020...

Ainara: I’d rather not talk about COVID, mainly because I prefer to look towards the future. However, it is true that contract furniture design will see the incorporation of new criteria devised in line with the situation.

 

Ainara, what do you enjoy most about arriving at work?  

Having a coffee! (Ainara smiles)  I love coffee and I drink lots of it. I like it with milk and no sugar and I have 2 or 3 cups a day.