In November 2020, DBS announced a series of transformation initiatives for us to realise the new ways of working to embrace the Future of Work, Workforce and Workplace (F3W). These initiatives are a result of gathered research, deep dive experiments and employee surveys conducted by a cross-functional regional taskforce.
Hybrid working is our way to go with the flexibility for our colleagues to have a maximum of 40% of their time to work remotely / work from home. In response to this, our workspace is also evolving to allow more flexibility for our people when working in the office. We are reconfiguring and transforming our office to support hybrid work environment and to optimise our space when we transit to new ways of working. How can we transform workplace to Joyspace to enable greater collaboration? We chatted with Connie LIU, Head of Corporate Real Estate Strategy & Admin (CRESA) to share with us how she and her team reconfigure and transform our workplace to support the hybrid work environment.
“I joined the bank in 2018 leading CRESA to take care of the real estate matters of office and branches in HK. Way before the latest F3W strategy, as a forward-looking organisation, the bank has already started transforming our workplace to Joyspace since 2016 to allow more collaboration in the office. In Hong Kong, we have come up with a 5-year plan starting from 2018 to convert all our office premises into Joyspace by 2023,” Connie said.
“From the name – Joyspace – it reveals that the bank aims to create a great and comfortable environment for our colleagues to work joyfully every day. We started working on Joyspace 1.0 in our offices at The Center by converting traditional cubicles into open offices. This helped facilitating more interaction among colleagues,” mentioned Connie. “In 2019, we have our Joyspace 2.0 transforming at a new premise at Kwun Tong – DigiHub - into flexible seating approach. We re-organised our office with the idea for having more shared spaces. This is not ‘my’ space anymore, instead it is ‘our’ space! To align with our suitability agenda, we made transform our new workplace so as to influence our people and help them with the behavioural changes. Instead of adopting the usual way, we removed most of the general waste bins around the renovated office and encourage our people to sort their wastage by types before disposal. By doing this, we truly embrace “Live more, Waste Less” together with our colleagues! Moving to 2021, we have put in even more thoughts and support to protect our colleagues from what we have learned during the pandemic. In the latest renovated Joyspace in our Quarry Bay office, touchless set-ups are being put in place, such as foot-handler for doors of meeting rooms and automatic hand sanitizer, so as the safeguard our colleagues with the smallest changes we’ve made.”
Connie continued, “The bank really keeps investing in our people, and one of the ways in doing it is to invest in our workplace. Joyspace is not just an office, it’s also a place for us to connect and socialise. The open space set-up encourages us to meet with someone new each day, bonding us together under the same roof. Non designated seating arrangement enables our colleagues with more flexibility, greater collaboration, ideation and social cohesion. Besides, we design the Joyspace to provide choices for our colleagues – one can choose to work in quiet zone, a shared space, or enclosed phone booth to suit their individual needs at that point of time. Workplace technology, from a simple charging cable and monitor to network and WiFi set-up, are also prepared for everyone to work anywhere, anytime with anyone in Joyspace!”
“We also recognise that there is no one-size-fit-all space. We work together with different departments to design their Joyspace according to their needs. CRESA acts as the bridge between the Joyspace end-users and the interior design house. We are fully engaged in the entire user journey from a colleague stepping out from the elevator all the way to entering to the office and settling down at a workstation . I am so pleased when I received the feedback from our end users that they are happy and satisfied after moving to the new Joyspace.”
”During these 3 years with the bank, I am deeply impressed by our senior management’s efforts to take care of us and how employee obsessed we are! I still recalled that our Group CEO, Piyush and HK CEO, Sebastian, played a visit to our newly renovated office of DigiHub in 2019. They were not just touring around, but they did catch up with colleagues and asked for feedback to improve. After getting feedback from the ground, they really take actions to continuously improve the employee journey and experiences in different aspects.”
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank my 3 managers! The first one is Nimish PANCHMATIA. He is very approachable and I won’t hesitate to share with him the challenges that I faced when I first joined the bank. He also empowered me to push the envelope to try out new and different ideas.” Connie continued, “The second one is Erwin CHONG – our regional CRESA head. I learn from him that the physical space is just a starting point - it is far more than creating a great physical workplace. It not just impacts the way we work and relate with each other, but also help strengthen the culture we want to build so that we can live out our PRIDE! values every day!”
“Last but not the least, my current manager Alfian SHARIFUDDIN, who gives 100% support and trust to CRESA. Apart from focusing on technology investment and operations digitalisation, he also puts in efforts on people agenda for staff engagement and transformational leadership in which all our T&O colleagues are being taken care of regardless of ranks.
At the end of the chat, we asked Connie to use a word to describe her life at DBS. She replied, “Blessed! I am so blessed for getting full support and trust from my managers and also my team. You know, I am a person who cannot sit still. I am so blessed for my recent role in CRESA which allowed me to visit all of our office premises. I am pleased for having the opportunities to engage different department heads and colleagues from different functions and understand more about their needs on workplace so as to come up with contextualised environments to allow them live fulfilled in the new Joyspace.”