Accenture’s office in Singapore is a sight to behold. One area has geometric sofas and wood-paneled ceilings, while another has artificial grass flooring and bright yellow partitions. The pantry features an industrial look with its concrete screed countertops, though its colorful Peranakan tiles add a welcoming feel.
Spanning five of the top floors of Raffles City Tower, the newly renovated workplace boasts panoramas of the bustling cityscape and glistening waterfront.
But as stylish as it looks, it’s more than just a pretty space.
Driven by core values
“In Accenture, it’s 100 percent hot desking. It promotes collaborative work, inclusion, and diversity – the Accenture way we live by. We can practically work anywhere we want,” shares Ong Sock Hwee, the firm’s Singapore workplace lead.
Indeed, this office doesn’t have cubicles separating employees or walls segregating departments. People are free to roam and interact with whomever they want.
“No one is entitled to any room or seat permanently, regardless of career levels,” Ong says. This allows people from cross functions build relations and connections, she says. It encourages racial and gender inclusion as well, making it easier for people from all walks of life to intermingle.
The Singapore office was also designed to cater to staff with specific needs. For example, new mothers can use a private room that’s fully stocked with toiletries and equipped with a breastfeeding couch, an oven, and a refrigerator. People with disabilities won’t have a difficult time going about their daily business, as the office has ramps, wide entrances, and height-adjustable workstations.
An abundance of choice
According to Ong, the office has a variety of workspaces, with rooms for “just one person, four people, or even 50 people.” Giving employees options was “one of the key objectives we wanted to achieve,” she adds.
Accenture has ThinkPods designed for focused, individual work, while open, collaborative spaces are also available for group projects. Apart from large meeting tables, there are trapezium-shaped workstations as well as informal breakout areas for “relaxed conversations to spark ideation,” Ong says.
Staff can choose from window seats with ergonomic, noise-reducing chairs that face the Marina Bay skyline, or high benches that allow them to work standing up. Dry-erase paint turns a wall surface into a whiteboard that offers ample space for doodling and brainstorming.
As Ong explains, “There are spaces suitable for all kinds of work settings, be it formal meetings, brainstorming sessions, focus discussions, teleconferences. And the best part is, anyone can utilize them so long as you book them. All’s fair.”
A design that fuels productivity
Accenture employees “are given flexibility to change their day-to-day work environment” because doing so “can help maximize their productivity,” observes Ong.
This level of freedom – along with stylish interiors, functional furniture, a well-stocked pantry, and a view of the city from the top of the building – turns a run-of-the-mill office into a second home for staffers.
With its LED lights and 100 percent recyclable and PVC-free carpets, Accenture’s Singapore office is not just an energy-saving and eco-friendly space. It’s also a showcase for natural light. According to neuroscience researchers at Northwestern University, people working in sunlight-filled settings sleep better, are more physically active, and have a better quality of life than those working in windowless environments.
All these elements add up to optimize employee happiness – a vital ingredient in boosting productivity. A 2015 study by the Social Market Foundation and the Centre on Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy revealed that happy workers are as much as 20 percent more productive than unhappy ones.
Accenture states on its website, “We believe our diversity makes us stronger and more innovative – and [that’s our] competitive advantage.”
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