Back in January 2017, media intelligence and social monitoring software firm, Meltwater grew too big for its office in Clarke Quay. The result? A brand new workspace at Mapletree Anson for a growing team of 85+ employees.
In this feature, we speak to Ross Candido, Meltwater's area director (Southeast Asia), who tells us why it was important for the team to lookout for a space that was functional to an open office concept but flexible enough to allow them to create unique spaces for meeting and collaborative moments.
Fast forward to today, the new office comes packed with a large boardroom, three smaller meeting rooms, and three phone booths for private calls (pictured below).
The pantry doubles as a unique marketing space, loaded with a full spread of healthy as well as sugary cereals, weekly fruit delivery, spread of drinks, and a Jura coffee machine featuring local artisanal roasts (currently serving Toby’s Estate).
The pantry even has a recreation area with pool table, which Candido says is one of the first things that visitors comment on: "Our employees will often play at lunch and after work as a way to socialise and relax," he says.
The office also boasts a bar area which the team sometimes uses for post-work drinks.
Being a data-driven company, there are a number of TV screens around the office that showcase things happening at Meltwater worldwide.
Candido explains: "We use a TV plugin called EnPlug that has predetermined features from our HQ as well as some we’ve chosen locally, allowing us to showcase our culture. Anything tagged with #meltwaterlife on social media will appear on everyone’s TV screens worldwide!"
As a sales organisation working on regular revenue targets, the Meltwater team lives by three culture principles - fun, winners and respect. As such, they frequently come together to celebrate victories, which often involves office-wide theme days, where past fancy dress themes include Harry Potter, 80s Retro Sports Gear and Baywatch (pictured below).
So does this office layout make employees more productive? Yes, says Candido. "Our (open-plan) office makes our environment very collaborative - and this is a concept replicated in Meltwater offices globally. Your manager or director could be sitting next to you rather than in a corner office, meaning that we can make decisions and give feedback quickly."
With height-adjustable tables as well as a treadmill desk in play, Candido cites research on how working whilst standing up makes employees more alert alongwith the added benefit of burning calories and less back pain.
Finally, having experienced an office move first-hand, Candido provides some advice for other companies looking to redecorate their offices:
- Work closely with designers and vendors to ensure your vision and brand are kept aligned
- Visualise how the people in your organisation work and collaborate to develop relevant spaces
- Think of your organisation culture and create spaces that strengthen them
- Keep a fluid space design
- Integrate corporate colours and images tactfully so it’s not overbearing nor too sparse