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At Nuffnang, a global blog advertising community, HR understands that to get the best out of people, employees must work in an environment that encourages relaxation, breathing space and places to unwind.
Michelle Tay, regional HR, said creating this innovative workplace in both Malaysia [pictured] and Singapore started by providing an open and welcoming culture.
“Basically, we have a very open culture, to the extent that staff aren’t just co-workers but friends,” she said. “We encourage two-way feedback and are open to sharing thoughts, ideas and opinions.”
Like many offices, this means it doesn’t have cubicles and instead focuses on face-to-face interaction around large tables or in spaces which encourage collaboration and communication.
“In the Singapore office, we recently revamped an outdoor area into a garden-like area floored with carpet grass. We have realised staff enjoy this part of the office greatly.”
For visual stimulation and to involve local staff in the look and feel of the office, employees also attended an “art jamming” session where they painted five canvas pieces, which are now displayed in the offices.
Tay is also aware of the need to allow staff decent and relaxing break spaces and the offices allow for this.
“When staff spend long hours in the office, it is inevitable that at some point or another, they will experience weariness. Having an engaging office space allows staff to take a breather and take their minds off work for short periods of time,” she said.
“Allowing them to engage in relaxing activities or even catching 40 winks enables them to recharge and continue with their work with refreshed mindsets.”
The company has staff lounges for this purpose, filled with beanbags, cushions and sofas as well as a TV and Wii and PlayStation consoles.
“The walls in our offices are also painted with bright colours with the aim of brightening the workplace, making it livelier,” she said.
“Singapore’s office is painted a cool shade of blue, promoting calmness, while Malaysia’s office is painted with hues of bold orange, which is rather stimulating.
“An engaging work space also allows staff to connect and generate innovative solutions which is key to a more efficient workforce.”
When looking into how your workspace could be redesigned to work better for your employees, she suggested getting the employees’ feedback and involvement throughout the entire process – from the initial brainstorming to the decor and final execution.
“After all, they will be spending long hours in the office and have more definite ideas on their ideal office space.
“In addition, by giving staff the opportunity to participate in this, employees’ voices are heard and staff are made aware the company values their input, thereby boosting staff morale. After all, a team effort beats a ‘management decision’!”