JY Pook, Vice President, Asia Pacific (and APAC’s Chief People Builder)
How does creating an innovative and interactive workplace help with the company culture?
Tableau has always believed in bringing the power of innovation and data analytics to everyone, regardless of profession or age. However, this is more than just a company vision, it is embedded into every aspect of our workplace.
We recently opened our expanded Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore, and had set out to design this space as a reflection of our brand – one which looks at enhancing the human intellect with technology, creativity and collaboration, and building a sense of community as we accelerate our mission to help people see and understand data. In fact, our offices all over the world are fitted similarly (in terms of technology and design), allowing out-of-town workers to easily assimilate to their environment and not have to re-learn new equipment.
The office itself creates a sense of community and collaboration; it is intentional that none of the Tableau offices across the globe have printers on two sides of a big floor or multiple coffee areas. There are, instead, so many comfortable, common areas for knowledge sharing.
We believe that everyone should have the ability to make data-informed decisions, by introducing intuitive applications that shape how everyone in the office works. Tableau is used internally as well, from reporting to discussions, bringing data-informed insights into everything we do.
Does having an engaging office space help improve productivity, and why?
It definitely helps improve productivity. Tableau is a game-changer in helping organizations raise efficiency, productivity and inspire creativity across the board and us using Tableau internally yields these benefits.
At Tableau, we are people-builders. Our employees are at the center of what we do, and so we always look to engage our teams with the Tableau brand experience every day. Let me give you some examples.
Aside from the software that we use, our entire office is fitted with smart technology - we have hand sensors that automatically open our restroom doors, meeting room bookings happen anywhere and everywhere, and the office is equipped with similar video, telephone and conferencing equipment as all our offices across the globe. This allows our staff to save time on the mundane tasks and get right into the task at hand.
We have also integrated our culture into the office design itself, lining vibrant blue rugs along walkways between workstations that represent our ‘scatter-plot’ vizzes, which also act as sound barriers. In addition, acrylic poles similar to histogram vizzes flank our halls and envelope the whole floor, allowing our staff to see different ‘viewpoints’ depending on where they stand. These poles are meant to inspire employees to create great things, and builds a sense of discovery – a dataset can bring different insights depending on how you look at it.
As mentioned, the collaborative workspaces around the office also definitely help with workplace productivity. However, at the same time, there is a real opportunity to focus and get individual work done efficiently. All individual workspaces can be adjusted according to personal ergonomic and productivity preferences, with standing tables and adjustable chairs.
What advice would you give other companies that are planning on redecorating their offices?
It is important to have balance. Our employees are set up for daily successes, whilst maintaining a right blend of collaboration and personal space in the workplace.
Our ‘collaboration rooms’ are fitted with video and call conferencing equipment, a big television and surrounded by clear glass. If anyone walks past one of these rooms and sees something they can add to the discussion, they are readily encouraged to do so.
Our work desks can be adjusted according to our personal ergonomic and productivity preferences, allowing us to stand while we work and get that blood circulation going!
The design of the pantry is important as well. Having a pantry that has an open concept, but also includes more intimate spaces, will bring out a sense of community whilst providing a space for more engaging discussions. Having a well-stocked pantry with a wide variety of food and drinks will draw staff to the space as well and coffee conversations will happen more often, allowing relationships to be formed.