Creating a campus-like workplace to spur employee innovation can be a challenge in an urban environment like Singapore, but the model can be adapted, according to Microsoft’s director of real-estate strategy, William Lee.
Speaking on the side-lines at this week’s Urban Land Institute Asia Pacific Summit in Singapore, Lee noted that there’s a “dichotomy of thought” at Microsoft about how to create a workplace that encourages interaction and creativity.
“Half the leaders believe that the campus needs to be much more open to the community for the company to survive for the next 50-100 years,” he said. “There’s another thought where tech companies have a lot of intellectual property and therefore, to protect that, you can’t have a free-flowing campus. A lot of the Microsoft campuses have a strong balance of both.”
But in an urban environment like Singapore’s, where land is scarce, the buildings become tall and “elevator-centric,” he noted.
“It’s not the type of culture you want to create,” he said. “You want to create a culture that’s much more enhancing, where people are able to talk on the way to the office, on the way to the meetings. So the tall buildings and the elevators, socially you’re supposed to be pretty silent.”
The Evolution of Workplace Culture
Research shows that workplace culture can affect employees’ willingness to take risks and can foster a more collaborative environment — a vibrant ecosystem allows people with similar mindsets to discuss ideas and help each other.
Creating such cultures has become a key focus for Singapore’s government, which last year committed just over €12.5bn to support research and development over the next five years.
Last year, a joint study from Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization ranked Singapore as the sixth most innovative country in the world, behind the U.K. and the U.S.
Collaborative Working to Become the Norm around the World
Signature Works has long-since recognised the sharp increase in the number of office workers currently bucking the trend of the traditional 9-5 grindstone. The fact is that the old way of working no longer has relevance in terms of growing and developing new businesses, as we shift reliance to digital technologies that offer today’s workers much more flexibility.
Now the flexible, open-all-hours opportunity that’s available to us as a result of the internet is percolating to the workplace, with businesses beginning to see the significant advantages of losing the office and switching to coworking.
Find out how you can improve your prospects and make huge savings on your operational costs when you switch to working from a Signature Works flexible office in any of three Liverpool venues.