The Leader Magazine

SEP 2016

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day, choosing various types of workspaces and tools, and exercising control day, choosing various types of workspaces and tools, and exercising control as to how and when they would like to work; they are very comfortable with as to how and when they would like to work; they are very comfortable with as to how and when they would like to work; they are very comfortable with non-dedicated space. The desk-bound worker surrounded by equipment is quickly giving way to cloud-based storage, portable computing, smart- is quickly giving way to cloud-based storage, portable computing, smart- phones and headsets. Mobility has become the default workstyle. phones and headsets. Mobility has become the default workstyle. phones and headsets. Mobility has become the default workstyle. phones and headsets. Mobility has become the default workstyle. a shifting offi ce landscape Dynamically changing workstyles, along with the pervading infl uence of Dynamically changing workstyles, along with the pervading infl uence of Dynamically changing workstyles, along with the pervading infl uence of Dynamically changing workstyles, along with the pervading infl uence of the start-up culture, are responsible for the continually blurring lines that the start-up culture, are responsible for the continually blurring lines that the start-up culture, are responsible for the continually blurring lines that separate the worlds of life, work, and play. Group-based work has started separate the worlds of life, work, and play. Group-based work has started to become the norm the world over – and for good reason. Collaborative to become the norm the world over – and for good reason. Collaborative work is the demonstrated linchpin of productivity linchpin of productivity linchpin of productivity and innovation. BMC workspace design tenets foster engagement, teamwork, and creativity. A casual and creativity. A casual and relaxed atmosphere, abundant choices for places to work, and social spaces with a wealth of amenities support a new way of working; networks way of working; networks way of working; networks replace hierarchies. The complex and frequently changing business chal- lenges of today require real-time collaboration between multi-faceted networks of teams. Such a real-time collaboration between multi-faceted networks of teams. Such a real-time collaboration between multi-faceted networks of teams. Such a real-time collaboration between multi-faceted networks of teams. Such a connected and open workplace generates workers that are more loyal, satisfi ed, innovative, and productive. Given these facts, we developed the OOTF design tenets to reduce the number of private offi ces, move meeting rooms and private offi ces to the natural light into the offi ce, giving the workspace a vibrant feel. natural light into the offi ce, giving the workspace a vibrant feel. design elements: the offi ce home and hotel To facilitate BMC's global workplace vision and benefi t from effective To facilitate BMC's global workplace vision and benefi t from effective To facilitate BMC's global workplace vision and benefi t from effective space planning, the design elements included creating a vibrant, agile offi ce space by incorporating an open-desking system and collaborative, offi ce space by incorporating an open-desking system and collaborative, technology-rich offi ce furniture. To strike a balance between "we" and technology-rich offi ce furniture. To strike a balance between "we" and technology-rich offi ce furniture. To strike a balance between "we" and technology-rich offi ce furniture. To strike a balance between "we" and "me" spaces, the workspace is interspersed with private nooks across the open fl oor for a focused and solitary work experience. open fl oor for a focused and solitary work experience. open fl oor for a focused and solitary work experience. Even whilst being a multi-national corporate identity, BMC embraces a Even whilst being a multi-national corporate identity, BMC embraces a quasi-casual workplace standard with an open environment. While a certain number of traditional meeting rooms have been retained, a large propor- tion of space has been devoted to informal meeting or breakout areas. Dubbed "family lounges," these spaces are outfi tted with couches and fl oor lamps and are designed to support small groups and huddle sessions. lamps and are designed to support small groups and huddle sessions. Creating a warm and welcoming environment at the workplace today is critical to retaining employees. This atmosphere may be fostered by the inclusion of soft "hospitality" touches such as concierge services, and the inclusion of soft "hospitality" touches such as concierge services, and the inclusion of soft "hospitality" touches such as concierge services, and the inclusion of soft "hospitality" touches such as concierge services, and the inclusion of soft "hospitality" touches such as concierge services, and stocking the pantry with complimentary and locally sourced fare. Work- stocking the pantry with complimentary and locally sourced fare. Work- stocking the pantry with complimentary and locally sourced fare. Work- stocking the pantry with complimentary and locally sourced fare. Work- stocking the pantry with complimentary and locally sourced fare. Work- stocking the pantry with complimentary and locally sourced fare. Work- places need to feel like an extension of the home. In line with this, the BMC places need to feel like an extension of the home. In line with this, the BMC places need to feel like an extension of the home. In line with this, the BMC offi ce in Pune hosts an on-site café and nursing/resting area for women, offi ce in Pune hosts an on-site café and nursing/resting area for women, and offers on-site tech/meeting support. and offers on-site tech/meeting support. and offers on-site tech/meeting support. The hospitality approach enforces a people-centred view of work that The hospitality approach enforces a people-centred view of work that The hospitality approach enforces a people-centred view of work that supports the roles of creating lifestyle, building community, and enhancing supports the roles of creating lifestyle, building community, and enhancing supports the roles of creating lifestyle, building community, and enhancing supports the roles of creating lifestyle, building community, and enhancing employees' work-life balance. employees' work-life balance. In response, the BMC offi ce design has taken on a new life, with In response, the BMC offi ce design has taken on a new life, with elements of residential and hospitality design adding a welcoming touch elements of residential and hospitality design adding a welcoming touch elements of residential and hospitality design adding a welcoming touch for employees to collaborate, relax, ideate, focus, or socialize. This new, for employees to collaborate, relax, ideate, focus, or socialize. This new, for employees to collaborate, relax, ideate, focus, or socialize. This new, "immersive" workplace planning approach cultivates an environment of dynamic fl ow and meaningful interaction, and creates collaboration and dynamic fl ow and meaningful interaction, and creates collaboration and dynamic fl ow and meaningful interaction, and creates collaboration and innovation within a welcoming setting. Since the BMC Pune offi ce has a requirement to host visiting external teams and clients on a regular basis, the site also needs to function at times teams and clients on a regular basis, the site also needs to function at times teams and clients on a regular basis, the site also needs to function at times like a hotel – a hospitality workplace. The Pune offi ce has an impressively like a hotel – a hospitality workplace. The Pune offi ce has an impressively like a hotel – a hospitality workplace. The Pune offi ce has an impressively like a hotel – a hospitality workplace. The Pune offi ce has an impressively designed top fl oor, called the Customer Experience Centre, that is dedicated designed top fl oor, called the Customer Experience Centre, that is dedicated to hosting clients. to hosting clients. implemented globally The over-arching strategic mission in building the OOTF involved providing a consistent employee workplace experience to engender pride, encourage collaboration and increase productivity, addressing the mobile- encourage collaboration and increase productivity, addressing the mobile- encourage collaboration and increase productivity, addressing the mobile- tech-enhanced ways of working. At the same time, the company wanted to unify the portfolio with At the same time, the company wanted to unify the portfolio with intelligent integration of the BMC brand into the furniture, technology and intelligent integration of the BMC brand into the furniture, technology and intelligent integration of the BMC brand into the furniture, technology and intelligent integration of the BMC brand into the furniture, technology and overall design of the spaces. Not only did this serve to remind staff what overall design of the spaces. Not only did this serve to remind staff what overall design of the spaces. Not only did this serve to remind staff what overall design of the spaces. Not only did this serve to remind staff what BMC stands for, but it also communicated the fundamental company values BMC stands for, but it also communicated the fundamental company values to visitors and clients. Whether you're in Pune or Houston or Santa Clara, to visitors and clients. Whether you're in Pune or Houston or Santa Clara, every offi ce has a very similar look and feel; you know you're in a BMC offi ce. every offi ce has a very similar look and feel; you know you're in a BMC offi ce. every offi ce has a very similar look and feel; you know you're in a BMC offi ce. every offi ce has a very similar look and feel; you know you're in a BMC offi ce. every offi ce has a very similar look and feel; you know you're in a BMC offi ce. every offi ce has a very similar look and feel; you know you're in a BMC offi ce. every offi ce has a very similar look and feel; you know you're in a BMC offi ce. Challenges In traditional societies like China and India, fl exible working and the In traditional societies like China and India, fl exible working and the In traditional societies like China and India, fl exible working and the In traditional societies like China and India, fl exible working and the move away from personal desks have, in the past, been met with cultural re- sistance. Most workplaces are still designed to support traditional hierarchy, sistance. Most workplaces are still designed to support traditional hierarchy, with private offi ces for top management and 16-seat meeting rooms. We faced challenges convincing managers to relinquish private offi ces We faced challenges convincing managers to relinquish private offi ces We faced challenges convincing managers to relinquish private offi ces and move to an open desk, and to deal with their concerns related to lack of privacy and confi dentiality. This was met by providing managers lack of privacy and confi dentiality. This was met by providing managers lack of privacy and confi dentiality. This was met by providing managers privacy screens. Our employees had their share of concerns as well, as they privacy screens. Our employees had their share of concerns as well, as they transitioned from traditional workstations with high partitions to linear transitioned from traditional workstations with high partitions to linear workstations with low-height partitions. Better spacing and technology workstations with low-height partitions. Better spacing and technology helped bridge the gap. To change the habits deeply engrained in such a culture requires an approach that is more subtle than radically breaking down the hierarchy at approach that is more subtle than radically breaking down the hierarchy at once. The challenge, then, is to adapt a model of workplace design that is once. The challenge, then, is to adapt a model of workplace design that is built on innovation and personality type, and to tweak it according to their built on innovation and personality type, and to tweak it according to their built on innovation and personality type, and to tweak it according to their built on innovation and personality type, and to tweak it according to their built on innovation and personality type, and to tweak it according to their cultural context. The economic liberalization and global technologies in India have The economic liberalization and global technologies in India have The economic liberalization and global technologies in India have produced a generation that differs from its conservative parents; India's produced a generation that differs from its conservative parents; India's produced a generation that differs from its conservative parents; India's Millennials mix Indian values with modern practices. The country's huge Millennials mix Indian values with modern practices. The country's huge Millennials mix Indian values with modern practices. The country's huge English-speaking and highly educated professional base lure multi-national English-speaking and highly educated professional base lure multi-national English-speaking and highly educated professional base lure multi-national corporations that want to explore India's service capabilities and opportunities corporations that want to explore India's service capabilities and opportunities corporations that want to explore India's service capabilities and opportunities corporations that want to explore India's service capabilities and opportunities corporations that want to explore India's service capabilities and opportunities corporations that want to explore India's service capabilities and opportunities corporations that want to explore India's service capabilities and opportunities corporations that want to explore India's service capabilities and opportunities for research, engineering, and innovation. This is in stark contrast to the previous generation's struggle for independence, a time when being Indian was of supreme importance. Today, the youth of India want to be addressed within a global context. They are keen to try out multi-cultural cuisine, buy the latest iPhone, and They are keen to try out multi-cultural cuisine, buy the latest iPhone, and stay globally relevant. They have a strong voice and like to be heard. stay globally relevant. They have a strong voice and like to be heard. stay globally relevant. They have a strong voice and like to be heard. Change management Handling any change in organizations is diffi cult, and the project to Handling any change in organizations is diffi cult, and the project to transition from the old offi ce to the new design was no different. transition from the old offi ce to the new design was no different. We were keen to engage our employees and empower them to help in the decision-making process. We recruited "workplace champions" in the decision-making process. We recruited "workplace champions" 46 SEPTEMBER 2016 F E A T U R E A R T I C L E Photos taken by BMC employees adorn the phone kiosks.

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