More than Just a Salary
China’s young generation has its own ideas about work. This demographic consists mainly of only children, who expect more from their working life than just a decent salary. Instead, they seek purpose and meaning through their work, and wish to work for a company whose culture reflects their beliefs and worldview. Only then are they willing to invest their time, knowledge and energy, because work is then an essential component of their identity. With this target group in mind, an office must be less static and hierarchically structured, and more able to adapt and encourage self-organisation.
Our show office spans five storeys in a building situated in the MAX Zone Technology Park. The owner, Beijing Gold Concord Group, specialises in research and development of advanced office ecosystems for high-tech companies. To show potential buyers different ways of designing their work environment, we began by identifying four core functions of everyday work: concentration, communication, collaboration and contemplation. On the individual floors, each of these core functions is expressed to a varying degree and is presented in different spatial situations. The first floor functions as a communication centre, while the fifth floor is a modern interpretation of the traditional CEO floor.
The ground floor opens itself with a 270° degree perspective. This openness translates into a warm gesture of welcome, extending an invitation to communicate. The vibrant colour palette has an additional activating effect. Flowing lines on the floor and walls, and the undulating movement of the ceiling lights serve to direct your gaze to the reception counter. Additional spaces for interaction and communication are provided by a coffee corner for a casual chat, a hot desk or the lounge.
The Customised Workplace
The second floor exemplifies the possibility of having a diverse, personalised, yet flexible workspace that promotes communication and collaboration. Depending on the task, employees can choose the area that suits them best. The hybrid conference space, for example, allows for immersive meetings involving both physical and virtual participants. While a multifunctional open-plan arena can be used for lectures. Green plants create oases of inspiration. This not only takes individual preferences into account, but promotes a positive work atmosphere based on mutual trust and support.
Space Follows Tasks
The next two floors are designed to highlight the possibilities and potentials of activity-based working. A landscape of non-territorial workspaces invites employees to optimise their workday by working wherever they feel they would be most productive. Those who don’t want to be interrupted or disturb others can retreat to one of the phone boxes or into a one-person office. Hot desks, alcoves and lounges are scalable with your communication needs. With a two-storey conference room on the third floor, we make playful and efficient use of the space. On the fourth floor, a ring occupies the centre of the space. It serves as a zoning element, while at the same time, this powerful visual creates a strong sense of identification and belonging to this floor.
The CEO’s office on the fifth floor is characterised by vibrant greenery and spatial elements that are more reminiscent of a hotel lobby. The reception counter and the spacious waiting lounge are signs of hospitality and an appreciation of visitors. The CEO’s spacious work area remains visible through a glass wall, thus standing for an open and transparent management culture. A conference area and lounge are an expression of the reality that people talk to each other here. A high-quality materials world and opulent planting create a home-like atmosphere. This floor symbolises a new understanding of leadership and corporate culture: one that is less about hierarchy and more about the soft skills of its employees.
Young, Dynamic and Forward-Looking
Taking the project as a whole, it becomes clear how forward-looking it is in the context of the Chinese market. Until now, office concepts in China have been characterised by efficiency, hierarchy and a minimalist aesthetic. We counter this with an a lively, dynamic and functional work environment that appeals to a new generation of employees. This generation has a choice when selecting a job. And they will choose a company, which can credibly demonstrate that it fits their lifestyle and life purpose.