Office design for hybrid working
The ECCT arranged a special tour of IKEAs sustainable office and hosted a panel discussion on the practical and legal issues that need to be addressed to ensure continued productivity under a hybrid working model. The event began with a tour of IKEAs new offices on the site of its Neihu store. This was followed by presentations and a panel discussion featuring panellists Howard Shui, Partner at Baker McKenzie, Taipei Office, and co-chair of the ECCT’s Human Resources committee; Chafic Nassif, President of Ericsson Taiwan and Co-chair of the ECCT’s Telecommunications, Media and Content committee and Gennie Yen, President of Veda International Corporation and Co-chair of the ECCT’s Corporate Social Responsibility committee. The panel discussion was moderated by Linda Wang, Sustainability Manager at IKEA.
Guests were first taken on a guided tour of IKEAs recently refurbished Neihu office. The office has been designed with hybrid working in mind. Only a few selected staff, such as those in HR, finance, and top executives, have permanent desks while other staff have the option of using one of the shared spaces when they need to work in the office. One section of the office space has work station areas for specific teams so that they can arrange to work together when they are in the office. Each work station includes only desks, chair, monitor and keyboard so that employees can plug in their own laptop computers. The height of all desks can be adjusted if people prefer to work while standing up. Much of the rest of the office consists of a variety of meeting rooms, and spaces designed for collaboration and relaxation. There are several types of meeting rooms to cater to small or large meetings or interviews, with different types of furniture and video conference facilities. The largest room is designed much like a library with desks for working as well as comfortable chairs. Like a library, no eating, talking, or mobile phones are allowed to be used in this space so that people can work without noise or distractions. There is also a large room designed for holding training sessions. There is even a special room with recording equipment to make podcasts.
Much attention is paid in the design to employee wellbeing. There is a large canteen and area with comfortable chairs for eating, drinking, and relaxing as well as other spaces designed for casual brainstorming or just hanging out for a casual chat. There is even a dedicated massage and meditation room as well as a KTV lounge.
Adjacent to the canteen area is IKEA’s kitchen lab, where chefs develop new food products. At the time of the tour, members of IKEAs logistics team were using the lab for a team-building exercise to make dumplings.