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Workplace Design in the New Era of “Made in China"

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Workplace Design in the New Era of “Made in China"

We wake up, we get dressed, we go to work, and the pattern repeats. At one point or another, one loses excitement and even questions his or her purpose at work. The relationship we all have with work had always been a linear relationship, we go to work because we need to. Companies have been doing their best to attract talents by creating modern, fun and beautiful workspaces. One step further is to provide staff the autonomy to choose how they work each day. But is that enough? This linear relationship is being questioned because no relationship can sustain if it is one-sided.


Growing up in the US, Cynthia Chan, Regional Managing Director of Space Matrix, North Asia, was taught to associate products “Made in China” as “cheap and inferior quality goods.” As a kid It made her feel being Chinese meant a certain degree of disadvantage but nonetheless, it became a strong motivation for her to make a difference so she moved to Shanghai in 2001.


Many years later, China is proving to be leaders in many industries, particularly workplace designs, and construction capabilities. China has become the platform for innovations and it embraces “agents of change” and “disruptors.” China is no longer interested in copying other people’s designs because being a country that fully embraces change, it is only reasonable to create and originate innovative designs based on real-time scenarios. As the country booms, many organizations are asking for help in workplace designs hoping a change in the physical environment can bring about total cultural transformation to their businesses as well.


However, “beautifying a space” and providing different types of working areas in an office for staff to choose is not enough, because the working relationship remains linear and one-sided according to Cynthia. Recently, at Space Matrix, Cynthia shared with us a case with a large scale local organization where they explored the concept of a true two-way interactive work relationship with the founder. Because Space Matrix specializes in unique and immersive work experiences that inspire people and impact business, they see design and technology as tools to align staff experiences with the employer’s business visions.


“Instead of expecting staff to show up for work every day, what if we invite them to work each day?” A concept being explored between Cynthia and her client. Many organizations take employees for granted assuming “we pay you so you must show up for work.” However, showing up for work is different than wanting to come to work each day. Cynthia and her client want to show employees the care the company has for them not only in the physical sense but the care for their mental and emotional well being as well. With the help of technology every morning the employee is invited to work and the work environment is being prepared before he reaches the office. For example, how a person feels that morning, lighting, color, music and even fragrance can be adjusted accordingly to bring about a suitable environment according to the mood or behavior of that person. Whether the person wants to be in a more private or open environment or even as simple as a request to sit closer to friends can all be arranged prior to stepping into the office. The ultimate goal is to let the employees feel respected and cared for, thereby improving productivity through work enthusiasm.


"This project uses big data to collect the working patterns and emotional states of employees, it helps analyze office behavior and usage to consistently improve the environment to better suit the business. Employees work more happily and effectively, and the productivity of the entire organization will inevitably increase.” Such a concept was generated locally based on a local scenario with a local solution. “Made in China” these days has a very different meaning.


Today's office space has gone beyond the scope of the office environment and has become an effective tool to promote corporate change, improve work efficiency, and attract, retain, and motivate talent. At the same time, it is a strategic asset that expresses corporate mission, brand and cultural information. Space Matrix is committed to collaboratively creating a user-centric, aesthetically and functionally integrated office space. Help customers improve their business through customized workplace design and combine business vision with the experience of each employee through design to deliver sustainable, future-oriented, profitable workplace solutions. Space Matrix has 15 offices in Australia, China, India, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore (headquarters) and the United States, as well as relevant project experience in more than 80 cities. Today, Space Matrix pays more attention to its development in China, demonstrating its ambition to deeply cultivate the Asian market.


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