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At a time when average worker turnover rates have hit an all-time high, employers are stepping up their game in office interior designs to set themselves apart from the rest.
Understanding that a successful implementation of a wellness programme can save a 150-person company at least HK$1.2 to $1.6 million per year, Colliers International released its workplace wellness report “Annual Occupier Survey” in November and remodelled its otherwise run-of-the-mill Hong Kong office according to the results.
The new Colliers Hong Kong office was built on four key company values – productive, active, collaborative and enterprising (PACE). Human Resources highlights the most creative and strategic office features and policy below:
Before and after
The epitome of a flexible workplace
There is no designated working seat in the office. Employees are free to choose any desk they find most comfortable throughout the day. Personal belongings can be stored in designated lockers.
The company takes pride in creating a wide variety of snazzy working options to maximise productivity and collaboration.
Height adjustable desks
Swings for meetings
A soundproof private “phone booth”
Board game themed multi-purpose rooms
“Choices scattering across the whole office can encourage collaboration across different departments. You can also take your conversation or project conversation away from the main work stations,” said Truddy Cheung, associate director of workplace and change management at Colliers International.
To ensure the office is a full-time hub of activity, not only does Collier establish a clean desk policy, it also takes away all the trash cans in the office except the “town hall”, the cafeteria and the centre of the office.
“You don’t want people to be sitting for too long. Tiny movements throughout the day are important. We, as the decision makers, need to encourage that kind of movement for our employees,” Cheung added.
Strengthening the innate affiliation between humans and nature
“Much research has shown that human beings are inherently inclined to nature,” Victoria Gilbert, associate director of wellness consulting at Colliers International, pointed out.
With the advantage of a panoramic view of Hong Kong’s famous skyline, the Colliers Hong Kong office maximises the natural day light with full height glass panels.
Colliers Hong Kong also embraces the concept of biophilia. All employees are assured of seeing some sort of greenery while working.
Little acts of kindness
Colliers Hong Kong has installed three air quality monitors throughout the office that measure the levels of pm 2.5, pm 10 and carbon dioxide. All employees can access the information through the company website and app.
To empower female employees, Colliers Hong Kong provides a mother’s room with soft lighting, a relaxing sofa and a small fridge for milk storage.
Three local street artists and a Korean artist were commissioned to create art throughout the office. A chameleon symbolises perpetual change, which is an aspiration for each employee to grow personally while working for the company.
“We hope to use the art to engage our employees with the community outside of the business,” said Nigel Smith, managing director of Colliers International.
“Hong Kong is increasingly impacted by a workplace wellness crisis with its long office hours and work-related health issues. With more employees becoming health and wellness-conscious, employers are beginning to recognise the importance of workplace wellness as a strategic priority, and owners and occupiers will have limited choice, but to follow suit.
“This may require some additional investment, but the payback is manifold – from a more sustainable and cost-effective workplace to a healthier, happier and more productive workforce, and ultimately, society.”
Colliers International Group is an industry-leading real estate services company with a global brand operating in 69 countries and a workforce of more than 12,000 skilled professionals serving clients in the world’s most important markets.
Colliers provides services, including strategic advice and execution for property sales, leasing and finance, global corporate solutions, property facility and project management, workplace solutions, appraisals, valuation and tax consulting, customised research and thought leadership consulting to real estate occupiers, owners and investors worldwide.
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