Starting August 2016, Dentsu Aegis Network Malaysia officiated its brand new headquarters in Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur. This was a landmark moment for all employees, as all 13 brands within the network were brought together under one roof.
This makes Dentsu Aegis the first and only global advertising group in the country to do so.
With a team consisting of 400 talented employees, the co-location was aimed to enhance seamless collaboration and maximise business opportunities across the group as a collective commitment to deliver innovative solutions to clients.
“As we are part of a larger global network, we wanted to create an inspiring and creative space that is exclusive to us. Malaysia is a melting pot of culture, rich in heritage and diversity – and that’s what makes us truly unique,” shared Gan Mei Lian, talent management director of Dentsu Aegis Network in an interview with Human Resources.
This inspired the creation of a typical office pantry, cheekily named ‘Kopitiam’, together with other Malaysian elements such as a heritage wall highlighting Malaysia’s history, a trishaw added on the forefront to symbolise Penang, and floor tiles with Peranakan motifs.
Besides Malaysia, the office hosts zones dedicated to various other countries, such as a classic red phone booth to represent Aegis Media’s British legacy, and a Tokyo zone adorned with murals of the famous Shibuya crossing and Osaka Castle to commemorate Dentsu’s Japanese roots.
We quizzed Gan Mei Lian, talent management director of Dentsu Aegis Network, on the various facets of this workplace, and the impact it has on employee motivation.
How does creating such an innovative office help your company culture?
Instilling a collaborative work culture is one of the five corporate values we inculcate in Dentsu Aegis Network. Guided by that, we emphasised on having collaborative spaces within our workplace, accessible by all staff. We encourage everyone to make the most of these collaborative spaces to hold discussions between agencies, to host and welcome guests, to have a change of view, a quick rejuvenation, or simply to mingle and socialise with fellow colleagues across the group.
Besides that, we also practice an open office concept – just a few meeting rooms for more sensitive, closed-door discussions, but other than that, nobody gets a private room, not even the group CEO! We are literally removing barriers to better collaboration. It is through effective collaboration that we are able to live up to our mantra and deliver innovative solutions to clients.
Has having everyone under one roof helped improve employee productivity?
Engaging can be in many forms, and I think a collaborative office space is definitely engaging and indeed helps in improving productivity. In our case, Dentsu Aegis Network is made up of 13 agency brands in Malaysia. Our operating model sees us manage all agencies in the Group as one business under one Profit and Loss (P&L). This incentivises cross-disciplinary teams of specialists to collaborate freely to develop and execute integrated and innovative solutions for clients.
Prior to moving into Wisma Guocoland, our 13 agencies were geographically separated at four different locations. As much as technology helped in connecting everyone, there was still the geographical barrier. Co-locating all our teams in the same building now removes that barrier to better collaboration, and thus generates new opportunities for our teams to create value together.
What advice would you give other companies looking to move into a new office space?
I think it is important to ensure that the work space reflects the company’s culture and values. In our case, we identified agility and collaboration as two key values that would bring our business to the next growth cycle, hence our work space was designed accordingly – co-locating for maximum agility and building open, collaborative spaces for effective teamwork.
The icing on the cake – a fantastic view of KL icons, the Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower to greet staff everyday!
Photos / Provided