ISG, a construction services company in Singapore, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. As one way to mark this milestone, the company decided it was time to move to a new space, seen as a "great opportunity to address its evolving needs as an organisation."

After all, its previous tenancy, whereby it was housed within a two-storey shophouse since 1999, had been home to the company's evolution and business growth over the past two decades.

Thus, the decision for a new office was made this year to move the team from a traditional workplace to one that improved workplace efficiency. In this backdrop, Steve Ramsden, ISG's Managing Director for Southeast Asia and Middle East, tells Priya Sunil on how the new workspace encourages cross-pollination across departments and roles.

Q What spurred ISG's decision to create this office concept?

ISG's vision is to be the world's dynamic construction company that delivers places for people and businesses to thrive. For us, it is important that our workplace environment echoes and amplifies this core purpose, our corporate goals and values.

Moreover, our previous tenancy has seen the evolution and progressive growth of the business over a period of two decades, so we saw the office relocation as a great opportunity to address our evolving needs as an organisation.

We wanted to move into a linear, open, and welcoming working environment that inspires greater collaboration, increases employee engagement, enhances connectivity, and promotes synergy between departments.

Apart from this, paramount to the business agenda is operational efficiency, so we want employees to be supported with business tools, modular spaces and enhanced technology infrastructure, to enable employees to work productively, efficiently, and comfortably.

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

ISG's first corporate goal is to offer an unbeatable employment experience.
We believe in putting our people first and creating an innovative and interactive work environment will have a butterfly effect on other corporate goals.
Innovation is also important to enable and sustain the growth of our business, so such an environment has helped us shape behavioural changes that improve creative output, attract the right talent, and encourage new ways of thinking.

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

The fluid and open workplace format allows for increased engagement among employees across all levels of seniority and types of roles. This results in an egalitarian environment, encouraging openness and transparency that foster a culture of trust.

Additionally, this facilitates a learning culture through cross-pollination of ideas across various departments. The availability of soundproof and private booths means employees can also switch environments for deep-focus tasks or private calls.

The flexibility in choosing where we work and how we work helps to increase productivity and enhance the way we work as individuals and as a team.

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

Beyond the aesthetics, space planning and optimisation are key factors to lead the design process, ensuring designated spaces correspond to business needs, maximise space utilisation and provide the necessary comfort and appropriate setting for the different work styles within the organisation. Take the time to consult the end-user requirements as they are the primary occupiers of the space.

Doing this ensures that each space caters to the different needs of individuals, and at the same time – businesses will benefit from cost-saving opportunities in preventing redundancy of space.


Photos / Owen Raggett