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Stylish offices in S'pore keep employees engaged

Publication Date : 26-12-2013

 

Going to work can be a drudge for many people so it certainly does not help if your office is as drab and dreary as your mood.

Human resource consultants in Singapore believe firms that make an effort to create a welcoming office environment will lead to people enjoying going to work more - and will bring about intangible benefits like staff retention.

Ian Grundy, the Asian head of marketing and communications for recruitment consultant Adecco Group, tells The Straits Times: "We all want to work in inspirational places that not only are cool - but that also are functional and that support workplace efficiency."

Robert Walters Singapore associate director Joanne Chua agrees, saying: "Having a nice or cool office is evident that the senior management is putting effort into the well-being of employees by ensuring they have a conducive environment to work in."

Companies do not always prioritise the layout and look of their office, often because of budget or space constraints.

But if more effort can be put into creating a better work environment, staff might feel more motivated, especially Singaporeans, who are among the least engaged employees in the world. A Gallup poll in October found that only 9 per cent of Singapore employees are emotionally invested in and focused on creating value for their firms, against the global average of 13 per cent.

Gallup polled about 224,000 staff from around 140 countries.

Of course, other factors like salaries or job prospects could account for an employee's lack of motivation, not simply the type of office environment.

Chua says: "More defining factors include the job scope, chemistry with the immediate manager, corporate culture within the organisation, and the opportunities for future growth."

Still, having a pleasant office can whittle down the employee's push factors when considering whether to stay or go.

Grundy says: "With Singapore's tight labour market, hiring companies always need to offer competitive and fair remuneration packages - that's a given.

"However, office environment does play a part in attracting talent - as does the products or services that a company offers."

With that in mind, some employers - Ascendas, Cisco, SAP, Spencer Ogden and Warner Music - are not scrimping when it comes to having an aesthetically delightful design layout.

A common theme for these five offices is a bright and cheery setting, with plenty of natural light or vibrant colours that can chase away even the worst Monday blues.

 

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