Last month, Zebra Technologies Corporation opened its expanded Asia Pacific (APAC) headquarters at Frasers Tower in Singapore.

The nearly 21,000 square foot space is home to Zebra’s regional functions such as sales and operations, marketing, finance, legal and specialist roles. It also incorporates advanced facilities including:

  • Zebra’s Research and Development (R&D) Center focusing on printer innovations
  • A new Global Enablement Center (GEC)
  • The largest Zebra Experience Center (ZEC) in APAC

Following the opening, Human Resources Online spoke to Doreen Cheah, Director of Human Resource, Zebra Technologies APAC, to find out why creating a culture of respect, collaboration, inclusion, and innovation starts with having an innovative and interactive workplace; how the workspace contributes to productivity and more. 

Q How does creating an innovative and interactive workplace help with the company culture?

We believe that a workplace contributes directly to a strong company culture. Zebra takes pride in creating a culture of respect, collaboration, inclusion, and innovation. To do so, we need to ensure that we create an innovative and interactive workplace, where employees are encouraged to share their thoughts and suggestions freely.

As part of our 12 Zebra competencies – Creating the New & Different, we want to encourage an environment of ideation where employees can have conversations that can potentially turn into great ideas.

This spirit of openness and innovation is crucial to our sustainable growth. Our culture of innovation has driven our innovative streak of products that have won industry awards around the world. We challenge our employees to continue to be bold in their ideas, and to question the status quo, just like how we help our customers tackle their business challenges by finding the best solution.

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Q Does having an engaging office space help improve productivity, and why?

There are two aspects to how an engaging office space can help improve productivity.

Firstly, when we provide our employees with a cosy environment, they can be comfortable enough to work anywhere in the office, not just at their desk. They could be working on their tasks while having coffee from our well-stocked pantry or taking calls at one of the phone booths which provides complete privacy. Studies have shown that a well-designed office space with the infusion of nature, colours, and comfortable furniture helps alleviate stress, enhance creativity, increase attention span, and ultimately drive productivity.

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Secondly, with an engaging office space, employees can also make use of collaboration areas, instead of having meetings in traditional conference rooms. These collaborations areas help them lighten the mood, allowing teams to bounce ideas more freely, collaborate better on work solutions and more.

An engaging office space allows employees across all functions and levels to have conversations and discussions without having to overcome barriers such as looking for an available meeting room or taking time to set up formal meetings. These cross-functional interactions encourage employees to engage each other at a flexible work environment instead of strictly through formal work engagements.

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Q What advice would you give other companies that are planning on redecorating their offices?

In line with the inclusive culture, it is important to involve the employees in the planning stages of the redecoration, ensuring that their needs are met, and their thoughts are heard. An employees’ committee with employees from various functions and levels should also be formed, to avoid overlooking any ground-level needs.

The employees committee and the management/planning committee must work together and keep an open mind to each other’s inputs. By doing so, the management can receive and digest first-hand feedback from employees, allowing them to identify the strengths and improvement areas within the work culture and environment.

Companies planning for redecoration must also be prepared for a transition phase, especially if significant and drastic changes are made. During the transition, working styles, thinking habits and experiences might be affected. For example, moving to hot desking will incur questions such as where to place personal belongings, who is in charge of keeping the desks clean and tidy, and more. Change may be uncomfortable. However, if the change is for the better, then it should be welcomed. Lead with employee benefits, and you will improve the working environment and better foster a culture of innovation.

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Photos / provided

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