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[Photos] A fresh coat of culture and creativity at Shiseido’s APAC HQ



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Step into level 18 of Shiseido’s Singapore office and you’ll instantly feel a sense of calm, as you take in the simple, yet elegant setting of the reception area.

This space, officially opened in the heart of Singapore’s central business district in January this year, is home to the Shiseido Asia Pacific headquarters, the global headquarters for Shiseido Travel Retail, and the affiliate office of Shiseido Singapore.

It also houses three targeted centres – the Asia Learning Centre, APAC Innovation Centre and Life Quality Beauty Center. Roselin Lee​, Vice President, Human Resources, Shiseido Asia Pacific and Shiseido Travel Retail​, shared her thoughts on this fresh concept in this exclusive with Human Resources Online. Interview snippets and photos below:

“The new office represents a clean canvas and we seized this opportunity to ensure that every corner of the new space was designed to meet the needs of our employees. We also wanted to take the opportunity to address some of the existing pain points of the previous office, which included a conventional office layout and limited meeting rooms,” Lee explains.

Following this, the management realised a need to cultivate collaboration and creativity across all the Shiseido divisions.

To achieve this, both Shiseido APAC (SAPAC) and Shiseido Travel Retail (STR) executive teams came together to create the aspirational statement for the new office – to create an environment that inspires creativity, empowers our people and represents our innovation heritage and value. “A workplace that enables choice in the way we work, collaborate and invent,” Lee adds.

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Lee describes this final layout as the “collective decision of not just both executive teams, but also all of our employees as we’ve incorporated their feedback on what would empower them to be happy at work.”

“From pantry to meeting rooms to informal workspaces and training rooms— we’ve brought a new lease of life to our new space which now houses SAPAC, STR Global HQ and the Singapore team.”

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With employees being key to the decision making, a number of workshops were conducted by CBRE to gather their feedback on what they would like to see in the new office space in order to create a conducive working environment for them.

Through these workshops, the team derived 10 key drivers, whereby the workspace is meant to spark:

  1. Collaboration: Foster and promote collaboration across all divisions.
  2. Inspiration: People are happy and motivated to come to work.
  3. Innovation and creativity: Enable people to experiment and learn.
  4. Cutting-edge: Sophisticated and able to achieve industry standards.
  5. Brand identity: Showcase Shiseido’s minimalist and elegant identity, while amplifying the company’s purpose and vision.
  6. Technologically-advanced: Employees can work remotely and more productively.
  7. Flexibility and agility: Grant flexibility to employees to work productively at their convenience.
  8. Consumer-centric: Situated in the heart of the central business district, while keeping in view that the office is close to both retail stores and the airport (for the Travel Retail team).
  9. Focus and contemplation: Promote a good balance between focus and contemplation.
  10. Harmony in diversity: Empower synergy and teamwork between employees of 14 different nationalities.

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So how has all of this played out? Lee says: “We have definitely improved productivity and efficiencies all round. This is due to the drastic increment of meeting rooms and collaborative spaces to allow both formal and casual meeting settings for our employees. We now have up to 16 meeting rooms to accommodate our team of 300.

“This is not inclusive of all the collaboration spaces and pantry areas peppered throughout three levels and the Asia Learning Centre on level 20. Our employees now have significantly more options to hold team meetings, brainstorm or even take phone calls in private.”

Further, the company’s digital transformation has also empowered its employees—from Cisco Jabber that enables remote networking and communications to WebEx that provides on-demand collaboration, online meeting and web and video conferencing from any time and any place.

Overall and through her experience, Lee shared her thoughts on how companies can implement effective office redecorations: “We have learnt that an office revamp must be a team effort. It is not a top-down process – the executive team should put away their own preferences and instead, place your employees’ needs first.

“Whether we are redecorating or implementing policies, we should always have a mindset of people over process. Gone are the days of ‘office administration’ where we are just providing our employees with a working desk—workplace engagement is about asking the right questions on what more the management can do to empower our people.”

She concluded:

“Companies need to remember that it is our people who bring about the success of an organisation.”

View more photos in the gallery below:

Photos / provided

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