Physical Workplace Has Big Impact On Staff Experience

Physical Workplace Has Big Impact On Staff Experience: IBM

HONG KONG – Tech giant IBM said there are several factors that influence the experience of employees and one of those is the office, reported Human Resources Online on Tuesday (9 August, SGT).

These comprise “work-life balance offered by the company and the technologies used every day to manage work responsibilities, but also the physical workplace,” said Jing Hong, Human Resources Leader at IBM Hong Kong

“When employees have a great experience, they are more engaged which directly leads to better results,” he explained.

Notably, IBM renovated its 25-year-old traditional office space in Hong Kong into one for a new, agile way of working.

Before retrofitting the workspace, the tech giant carried out an employee engagement survey to understand the needs of its staff. Due to this, the company learned flexible work options as well as having a space for socialising and networking were the top two priorities for its employees.

With its workplace transformation project, the new office design no longer focuses on individual tasks, but on staff behaviour. This led to a workplace that utilised the neighbourhood concept and breaks boundaries between different departments and functions via flexible space and removable interiors.

Moreover, IBM sought the feedback of its staff regarding the physical workplace through workshops, town hall meetings, post-occupancy surveys, and annual staff engagement surveys.

This has resulted in the addition of facilities at its Hong Kong office to improve staff wellbeing and foster diversity and inclusion. These included a medical room, a mother’s room, relaxation/play/prayer rooms, and disabled-friendly/gender-neutral toilets, as well as 100 percent height adjustable and ergonomic desks.

Sustainability is also another focus for IBM when it designed its Hong Kong office. Consequently, the tech giant reused existing furniture. It installed low-flow faucets and smart lighting and light sensors. For renovation, it utilised low volatile organic compounds (VOC) emission materials. Furthermore, IBM participates in the office landlord’s “Green Performance Pledge Programme” to measure and jointly enhance their environmental performance.

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