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TBWA is known for creating some of the most iconic advertising on the planet – breaking rules, shattering conventions and making brands famous. So what is the company’s secret to such success in today’s very competitive advertising industry?
Liz Ho, HR manager at TBWA\Group Singapore, sheds some light on the company’s secrets to success.
“At TBWA, we have one special way of thinking that allows us to create some of the most iconic advertising on the planet – a methodology called Disruption®. Collaboration, connectivity and creativity are the lifeblood of this process, and therefore, having a workplace that enhances these three factors is essential.”
Knowing the importance of giving employees every opportunity to be disruptive in their work, TBWA believes in having no boundaries – and has minimum enclosures with open concept spaces to create a workplace where everyone can communicate freely and bounce knowledge, information and ideas off one another.
“Employees are the most valuable assets for our business. Their creativity is critical in generating disruptive ideas, so we want to encourage them to interact more, and bring their creative minds together to spark off truly impactful work.”
Not wanting their employees to be stuck to their desks all day, the company has focused on creating a more engaging workspace.
“We reconfigured our 30,000-plus sq ft of office space so that cross-category teams could spark off each other, creating breakthrough disruptive thinking,” Ho said.
Whether working together in their innovative and interactive meeting spaces or discussing ideas over freshly brewed coffee on a sofa at their breakout area, Ho revealed: “Our employees are always welcome to leave their desks and work where they’re most comfortable, and therefore, most productive. Creativity is enhanced when people are more active and move around the office.
“Having short breaks also ensures they aren’t cooped up in their work, and allows them to be more relaxed to generate more disruptive ideas.”
As such, the workspace also sports a table tennis and billiards table for employees to enjoy a more social environment to engage with one another, allowing them to “refresh their creative minds over short breaks and come back to their work reinvigorated”, Ho said.
“In our culture, we believe in creating an engaging workspace and environment that employees can relax and have fun. This allows them to truly enjoy coming to work, and really associate themselves more with the company, and therefore, wanting to make more positive contributions.”
Apart from that, connectivity also plays a part in TBWA’s success. As such, the company is constantly enhancing its information technology capabilities with new innovative systems allowing it to better plan and organise its work.
At the same time, this helps ensure it is always on, always connected to modern culture, and always creating relevant content.
“We recently introduced ‘Disruption® LIVE’ as the engine to drive the future, and invested heavily in data and analytics tools to provide more accurate, relevant, real-time intelligence.
“We’ve built new meeting spaces inside our agencies with bespoke ‘tech stacks’ of data and listening tools on large screens, allowing us to respond to the changing market dynamics and the needs of today’s connected consumers.”
Additionally, diversity also plays an important role in TBWA’s workforce as it strives to gather inspiration from different cultures.
“With employees of different backgrounds, it is vital to keep them engaged in conversations even more to spark off positive relationships among the employees, teams and managers, and encouraging them to work better as a collaborative team.
“We have many relaxing areas for people to work away from their desk, get together and interact more with one another to spark off disruptive ideas.”
While reconfiguring the office, three things TBWA took into consideration were comfort, relaxation and the organisation of its work space – something Ho suggested for other companies to do as well.
“Taking into consideration the employees’ needs and ensuring they are comfortable at the workplace is a key to boosting productivity.
“Creating a relaxing and interactive atmosphere helps to reduce stress and allows employees to build better relationships and work in harmony.
“A well-organised and connected workplace allows for better co-ordination between colleagues and teams, which helps everyone work more efficiently.”