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In May 2019, Facebook Malaysia officially opened its new expanded office space in Kuala Lumpur.
Human Resources Online reached out to Nicole Tan, Country Director of Facebook Malaysia, for a sneak peek into this space where stories are told through the various local-artist designed facets in the office. Interview snippets below:
“When you visit a Facebook office around the world, you will notice that even though they are very similar, each of them is designed with unique local twists,” Tan tells us. As such, Facebook Malaysia is no exception, as it brings the APAC region closer to the energy and culture of Menlo Park through unique voices of local artists to energise, inspire, and challenge the community.
The local twist she mentions lies in the ‘Artist in Residence’ (AIR) programme, Facebook’s on-site art initiative which promotes creativity, innovation, openness, and connectivity.
Check out each of the inspired spaces below:
Reception lobby designed by Fritilldea
In an increasingly globalised world, AIR, Fritilldea still sees us as a network of villages and neighbours. His mural is set on the wings of the cenderawasih, a mythical bird of Southeast Asian folklore and symbol of good fortune. This dynamic depiction of small townships is inspired by various ethnic designs and the graphic style of early video games from the artist’s childhood, suggesting that new friendships and experiences are just waiting to be discovered.
Tan explains on the impact this has on the office: “Working amid handmade art that shares personal stories constantly reminds us that our work at Facebook revolves around the human experience.
“We have a total of two art pieces under the AIR programme and two other artworks in the Kuala Lumpur office, each created by Malaysia-based artists and designers.”
The micro kitchen
All Facebook offices worldwide micro and/or nano kitchens all over the office – each offering snacks, hot and cold drinks to keep employees going through the day.
The micro kitchen in the Malaysian office is built right in the centre of the office for convenience of employees and guests to help themselves to whatever they may need at all times. Just like with other areas of the office; the flooring tiles feature locally designed and manufactured Peranakan patterns.
The ‘What’s on Your Mind’ Wall
The ‘What’s On Your Mind’ wall is a staple in every Facebook office. It’s a homage to the Facebook Wall where people can express themselves and connect with their friends and family by leaving messages.
Additionally all around the office, inspirational posters are featured that reflect many facets of Facebook’s culture of diversity and openness.
Tan shares: “Designed in-house, and incorporating artworks, these posters give inspiration, encourage original thinking, and highlight our mission to help build communities.”
The workspace collage and workstations designed by Nee Wong
This collage by one of the AIRs, Nee Wong, explores the cultural diversity of Malaysia and the greater Southeast region through a colourful medley of tropical fruits. As the natural world continues to grow and evolve, so do our human connections, with conversations that constantly engender new dialogues. Wong describes her process as creative play – bright, tropical colours and surreal compositions mix ready made forms with hand-drawn abstraction.
Apart from the art, every employee has adjustable standing and sitting desks. “We have a dedicated Facebook Ergonomics programme to help create a work environment that maximises employee comfort and productivity,” says Tan.
The recreational area designed by Eddie Putera
Designed by Eddie Putera, a Malaysian artist who combines his photography skills with miniature modeling to create stunning dioramas. In this piece he shares the multi-diversity and multi-layer of Malaysia streets from kampung nelayan (fishermen villages), to beautiful kampung houses and nostalgic shoplots. His attention to detail means new surprises and views every time you look at the piece.
The recreational area provides space with informal atmosphere which allows employees to unwind and relax during or at the end of the work day, helping to boost productivity and creativity.
Facebook Malaysia’s beautiful library section with a custom-made Malaysia batik upholstery is also home to both local and international authors and local knick-knacks. The inspiration is to help employees have a stimulating place to work, gather inspiration, and brainstorm ideas.
As for hiring plans at this new office, Facebook does not share employee numbers by country, region or function. However, Tan affirms: “Malaysia is a key market for us in APAC and we will continue acquiring the right talent based on forward-looking plans to drive our growth in the region.”
“We first started to hire our local team in 2016 and since then have been steadily growing the team. We will continue to focus on skills building for digital economic growth, investing in better connectivity technology and supporting community building.”
Photos / Facebook Malaysia
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