Nov 4, 2019
PAPERSPACE, an expert in work design, has unveiled that the trend for the workplace is offices are getting much smaller in 2030 and dedicated desks will disappear. Artificial Intelligence will become a part of the workplace. Mindshare Thailand recently organized an “open house” to showcase a major office renovation for future work, centered around Activity Based Workplace, a design concept widely adopted around the world to create flexibility and agility for out-of-the-box aspect of work for the digital age. The new design can allocate more staffs but the office space is kept the same. An effective work space is expected to help add competitiveness that drives business growth.
Sombat Ngamchalermsak, Co-Founder of PAPERSPACE, said, “In the next decade, becoming a Global Citizen will make it easier for everyone to access resources no matter where you are in the world. The wall of language differences will collapse. Not only does the lifestyle change, but the trend of workplace will also change. The office space will be smaller. Offices will be located at different locations. It helps save time on commuting for several hours a day. Wearable devices will be combined with a projection screen that allows colleagues to communicate. While Artificial Intelligence (AI) will determine appropriate working environment, including the ability to adjust the use of space. In designing the office to suit the future work, it’s necessary to consider these dramatically changing work lifestyles. Currently, around the world, one of the principles that office space designers have adopted is Activity-Based Workplace (ABW) or the usage of office space that focuses on practical use only.
"In Thailand leading companies have already adopted this concept in designing their offices. Mindshare Thailand, for example, the number one media agency in Thailand also took on this approach whilst aligning the global identity and collaboration with other offices around the world. The Thailand office wanted to improve the space to be ready for future work. We applied the ABW concept to combine with our original office arrangement. Before the design, we conducted a thorough study of the current work habits to be used as the initial data in the design. From our past experiences, it is found that to be successful in designing a new office, designers and corporate executives must see the same picture at the end. The management of Mindshare Thailand has a vision to take the organization to the New Way of Working."
Pathamawan Sathaporn, Managing Director at Mindshare Thailand, said in an era that the industry is driven by information and technology, a world-class agency like Mindshare has to redesign its office space to suit the real working situation and support future work and maximized success.
"Mindshare's employees today are driven by our values of speed, teamwork and provocation, in a world where media is evolving and adaptive. We needed to be agile and move to the pace of technology and digital. They need speed for their work and working as a teamwork. So the question is which kind of workspace would fit these people's way of working to add more capability, creativity, and to ultimately deliver the best results for our clients. This came to the idea that we needed to create a new way of working for our office, which makes our current employees proud to work here. We can also retain and attract talents.”
Meanwhile, in the era of data being used to create competitive advantages in business, it’s necessary that all types of information are needed to come up with a result. The new office space is based on the agile principle, which helps enable fast work, reduces procedures and documentations, helps create collaboration between departments and reduce the hierarchy of employees for a better interaction. More sharing and learning within the team and between teams take place to the work, under the concept 'Client-centric team', which means the center is clients and the job is to deliver robust marketing solutions in all aspects to them. The staff of each team will have the opportunity to cooperate and learn from experts in the team as well, which will help everyone to work better and help develop the client's business to the full.
"Mindshare's office was designed 10 years ago. At that time, the work procedures were quite different from the present. At present, Mindshare’s employees require flexibility and agility in their work. With the developed technology, it is no longer necessary to sit at your personal desk. Also, the number of employees has been risen over the years. It’s necessary to design the office to support the changes. We have collaborated with PAPERSPACE, a workplace design expert. Their work in office design is seen in many of the world's leading companies."
On the design direction of the new office at Mindshare, Mr.Sombat added, “It started from analyzing staff’s behaviors, their daily work, and the objectives from the management that staff from each department need to increase their interaction; the redesigned working space need to allocate the growing number of staff but it’s not necessary to expand the space; and the company can come up with a new organizational culture.
Major issues are, for example, that the space for work is cramped and the office space is not relevant to the nature of work. Desks are redesigned to be smaller. In the digital age staff do not need huge space to place piles of document. The space should support technology. Assigned desks for staff are changed to shared space in different forms of working areas, except some positions that still need to have their own fixed space such as staff working in the financial, accounting, and human resources departments.
For those positions that do not need to station at office, they have choices such as Hotdesk, Phonebooth, Meeting pod, just like those offered at Co-working space. The idea is to allow staff to use space as they want in different times of a day with the flexibility.
It’s also found that the common space at the office, which is very outstanding, is rarely used. PAPERSPACE redesigned the space to have more light, colors, and better environment for greater collaboration of staff. More usage functions are added to encourage the staff to use the space such as chat space, a coffee corner, an recreational area, and fitness. The space is also adjusted to serve as both formal and informal meetings. All in all, the design is to support the company’s growth and staff’s capability to become proactive.”
On the outcome of the redesign, Ms. Pathamawan said, “We get positive feedback from our staff. They have better interaction from different departments and the work appears to be flexible. On top of that many of the management from other Mindshare offices said Mindshare Thailand is one of the best Mindshare’s offices around the world.
Many of the staff feel that the office is their second home and it helps them work better for Mindshare’s clients. The space and the design help tear down the walls of exclusive privacy to become a new family space such as the large-sized living room, a room for a new mother (for breast pumping) and the friendliness to environment such as #PurpleGoGreen project.
Currently, the common space, after being renovated, serves as a reception room and the center to hold activities for the staff. They can come to meet and get to know each other in the friendly environment and the space for the “purple” family members come to meet up.
“Despite the trend that people tend to work at home, offices remain necessary in the future. They need adjustment to suit the era of being paperless and using data. The size of the office, which is smaller, helps improve the efficiency. Some companies do not need to have their own workplace. But they still need a co-working space for employees to meet, talk, and exchange ideas. Work space that helps support staff’s work will grow efficiency and business," Sombat said.