We recently remodelled our Hong Kong office, creating a brand-new space that is meant to inspire and drive people to be their best in and out of the workplace. The whole endeavour is part of a change management programme, which aims to embrace the culture of an agile company that is shifting the ways we live and work together. The new space is a way to give back to our employees, as a people company, we want to match and exceed their needs, wants and interests based on new research and trends, as well as what various generations look for in a workplace.

The design principles behind our new office

Our new office is built on two main principles – creativity and science. One of the objectives at the beginning of the project was to create a space completely different from what we used to have and what is out there, but at the same time, something completely and uniquely Colliers. We used subject matter experts, best practices, and hard data collected from staff and their daily interactions with the space to create something that would not only look and feel great but would be highly-functional as well.

The office design takes inspiration from both our company culture and brand, as well as the city we’re based in – Hong Kong. Some design features are more noticeable than others: the colour blue (synonymous with the Colliers brand) encircles the entire office, a neon sign that reads ‘Colliers International’ glows in the common area, and Hong Kong street inspired art covers some of our walls.

Then there’s activity-based workspace...

The fundamental design of our new space stands on the concept of activity-based workspace or ABW, a workplace strategy that gives people a variety of settings for specific work activities. Rather than assigning desks, ABW gives employees a choice of spaces – so they can choose how and where to work best for a specific task. Following this train of thought, we designed the office around four key company values – productive, active, collaborative and enterprise, or as we call it, the PACE framework.

PACE is now more than just a design framework, it’s the driver behind our ‘new ways of working’ and the wellness elements that make for better living. The new space and the ABW principles that lie behind it, should encourage employees to increase their productivity, to engage in team-based working, to be more active and collaborative throughout the day, and to be more enterprising.

We want to create memorable experiences for both employees and clients, and, as our core values state, accelerate success for everyone.

What’s new in our office?

Other than the whole renovation, one big change was shifting to unassigned seating. We provide employees with a variety of workspace options, as well as lockers to keep their personal work items. There are private phone booths, focus rooms and desks, collaboration areas, open plan areas with height adjustable desks and a community space – everything to help staff be more productive, collaborative and active within the workspace.

Acoustic comfort

The office is split into different acoustic zones, creating areas that support different noise levels. We have a combination of loud, quiet and mixed zones, all in accordance with international office guidelines. And to create quiet zones, acoustic panelling was installed to increase comfort and minimise distractions.

Air quality monitoring

We wanted to ensure our office always has air of the highest quality, because cleaner air can improve cognitive performance. So we installed monitors throughout the space to measure the levels of particulate matter and carbon dioxide, and allow every employee to see the most up-to-date information through a website.

Access to nature

We introduced a variety of plants, used natural materials such as wood, and made sure all workstations have access to natural light and unobstructed views. Colliers embraced the concept of ‘biophilia’ – giving employees a constant connection to nature in the office space, which is essential for the human psyche.

Healthy eating and sharing in the café

We want to instil better eating habits for all our staff, so we set out to create an area that promotes healthy diets and a sense of community. Healthy food and snacks such as fruits are provided and the pantry area has the look and feel of a café, it’s a place where people can sit together, enjoy a meal, chat and share.

The space also doubles as a communal space, an area equipped with AV equipment, where we can gather the entire team for a company update, a social event or even a learning session about healthy eating habits and sustainability.

What feels new in our office?

Aside from the physical changes, we’ve also incorporated some elements designed to emote certain reactions or behaviours in people.

Inspiring symbols

Our new office is a highly visual environment. There are digital screens showcasing the latest company as well as industry news and updates. There are different pieces of street art which link our company with the local community and reflect our workstyles, culture and entrepreneurial spirit. Some murals portray Hong Kong street scenes – our home, a giant chameleon stands for constant change and adaptability, and a hummingbird represents our fast and agile pace.

A place to enjoy

We believe staff should be in an environment that stimulates some 'play', so it’s easier to reach the open mindset – for greater creativity and working better together. To create this type of enviornment we added ‘bold’ colours to the office, this is seen through the artwork as well as some of the more unusual collaboration areas. We have a yellow picnic table, swings, blackboards with lounge areas and a red telephone box.

Our ultimate goal, what we really set out to accomplish, was to create a workplace that will empower our people and foster their well-being; and while we’re still in the process of adopting our new space and all the principles and protocols that come with it, we continue to build an even more inclusive culture – a place focused on greater sustainability and wellbeing.

We have noticed a great change in our productivity, our collaboration, our culture and sense of community. It is a place where people can be the best version of themselves and where they can realise new and exciting opportunities. So far it's been a great learning experience.

Let us know if you would like to visit our new office, reach out to our Head of Office Services Fiona Ngan at fiona.ngan@colliers.com, and we will be more than happy to give you a private tour and show you all the amazing things we have.