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[Photos] Agility beyond funky furniture, wall colours and foosball tables at DAN’s Singapore office

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Global marketing services group Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) uses the ‘agile working’ approach to empower employees to responsibly deliver their results, while they hold greater control over how, when, and where they work.

This concept aligns with the company’s operating model, which in turn promotes collaboration and allows maximisation of cross-network opportunities.

In line with that, the company has designed a open workspace that promotes the ‘agile’ culture and in turn, encourages the best productivity from its employees.

Simon Prior, Regional Talent & Organisation Development Director, Dentsu Aegis Network APAC shares: “Creating an agile workspace that stimulates innovation and interaction unleashes our people from more traditional ways of working and unlocks the potential of our people and teams – helping them to be the best they can be which is the key to defining our culture at Dentsu Aegis.”

He shares more about the motivation behind such a workspace, and the further benefits reaped in an interview with Priya Sunil.

Q What spurred your company’s decision to create this office concept?

Dentsu Aegis Network has positioned itself to win in the digital economy and to achieve this, moving fast and with agility is essential. With this in mind, we developed an approach that enables a different but efficient and effective way of working – ‘agile working’.

Priya-May-20190-L22-Main-pantry-provided-resized

Main pantry – a variety of fixtures that serve different purposes of activities. It has a communal area for meals, office parties, discussions and more. It can fit over 700 employees and is used for town halls.

‘Agile’ is one of Dentsu Aegis Network’s five values and it defines some key behaviours that will help us be successful – that is to be nimble, quick and flexible, thinking and acting differently from our competitors.

Through ‘agile working’, we wanted to bring our values to life alongside other actions and behaviours that help us firmly focus on the quality of work, collaboration and being responsible. The combination of these qualities depicting ‘agile’ is also very timely.

As we evolve, we will need to work more transversally across brands, driving innovation for our clients through collaboration with colleagues. Agile and collaborative working environments and better space planning are essential to drive the innovation we need for our rapid and sustained growth.

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

​Culture is the result of the behaviours we display at work – which is directly driven by the motivation of our employees. We know our people are increasingly wanting more choice about how they work and are seeking flexibility to balance work around other aspects of their life.

Agile working provides this flexibility and drives engagement. Building an agile working environment promotes and encourages interactivity which in turn nurtures innovation as a result of diversity of thinking, skill-sets and experiences that are brought together in this type of workplace.

Creating an agile workspace that stimulates innovation and interaction unleashes our people from more traditional ways of working and unlocks the potential of our people and teams – helping them to be the best they can be which is the key to defining our culture at Dentsu Aegis.

Priya-May-2019-L21-MKTG-workspace-provided-resized

MKTG workspace and brand wall – categorised by neighbourhood zones, each brand is given free rein to design a wall that gives their space a unique brand identity.

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

We define ‘agile working’ as ‘working where, when and how you need so that you maximise your effectiveness – being mindful not to impact the effectiveness of other people’. At the heart of agile working is a focus on empowering our people to responsibly deliver results and as individuals, it puts each of us in greater control over how, when, and where we work.

This flexibility and movement creates more moments of collaboration maximising the​ benefits of having all our brands and functions, all under one roof. ​In essence, we create a company culture that’s high performance, empowering and trust based focusing on output over input, on what is produced rather than where it is produced.

Priya-May-2019-A-central-stairway-resized

A central stairway that connects over 750 employees working across 10 network brands on four floors.

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

It’s more than funky furniture, wall colours and foosball tables. Environment and technology to enable more agile and collaborative work is important – but it is the agile working behaviours that will maximise the impact and culture.

So plan for the long term that goes beyond ‘move in day’ to ensure you reap the benefits. Engaging and empowering your people to play a central role in the co-creating of the required change is key.

Agile working involves trust and responsibility which must come first at all times. This involves changes to organisational culture and individual mind-set, particularly by leaders. A focused shift is needed to embrace new ways of working, in a more agile way.

Leaders will need to relate the implementation of agile working practices with an opportunity to transform their business, deliver better results to clients and engage and motivate your people.

Priya-May-2019-L23-Dentsu-Sports-Asia-workspace-provided-resized

Dentsu Sports Asia workspace – the brand has a television screening the latest sports news to keep abreast of the sports industry.


Photos and captions / provided



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