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Company: IBM Corporation

Nomination Category: Achievement in Workplace Design - for More Than 100 Employees - Single Location


Nomination Title: The IBM Shanghai AIsland office - designed to deliver excellence in the workplace


Achievement Essay

It was a two-year effort that culminated on December 17, 2018, when the IBM Shanghai AIsland office went live. The IBM Shanghai AIsland office, which has the appearance of spirit and style, is surrounded by water on three sides, allowing its tenants to realize the maximum growth of their creative inspirations for the future of technology. The whole space combines comfort, agility and intelligence to make collaboration and co-creation the best possible.

The office occupies the entire building and contains 16,553 sqm in 6 floors. The building space is designed according to the IBM Agile office guidelines and features:

-A well thought out open floor plan providing panoramic window view maximizing the access to natural light.
-A variety of local elements making the office feel both international and local.
-An ergonomic design, where thousands of workstations are powered height adjustable benches to unlock the most comfortable position.

Some of the key areas of the office include: a spacious lobby, IBM Client Center, briefing rooms, Learning Center, Design Studio, Waiting and Public Areas, meeting rooms of all shapes and sizes, discussion and huddle areas, open flexible working areas, shop and pantry. Building also contains several outdoor areas designed to allow employees and visitors to relax and enjoy the views of surrounding.

Being the first IBM Client Center (850 sqm) in Shanghai, it showcases IBM’s technology and solutions, providing IBM client & government visitors an intuitive and holistic overview of IBM business with immersive displays making it addictive. This enables IBM to cultivate thriving relationship with client and win new business.

A new Conference Center (640sqm) is defined by modern functionality, technology and beauty making it the ideal business destination for training, learning and corporate events of any type. An adjacent balcony space (500 sqm) was designed into a refresh and collaboration space, which provides an outdoor breakout space. This will bring the trainings that were previously held in hotel back to office, with significant external venue cost saving.

Multiple new office technologies are implemented to upgrade the employee experience:

-All meeting rooms are equipped wireless presentation system and stand-alone cameras to enable video conference. Room also fitted with smart screens synchronized with the enhanced online booking tool where booking rules are built into.
-Way finding kiosks on every floor to enable the employees and customers to navigate the office and identify the best path to their destination.
-Applied soft phone for all workstations by eliminating the deck phones.

Employees were fully engaged in the office design and relocation. Biweekly/weekly project committee meetings lasted for months involving the representatives from every business unit. Compared to the previous office, the new office reduced the footprint by half generating $24 million saving in 10 years and largely improved the office utilization.

It is also important to note the flawless logistics and execution of the employees move from the old location to the new office. All 1,700 office employees were moved to the new office over a weekend. Achieved last mile excellence via seamless onboarding.

-A bilingual Welcome Package introducing all staff amenities. A briefing session was provided to all staff via webinar before the move.
-Welcome letter in both soft and hard copies to all staff on day 1.
-A welcome session on day 1 (Dec 17, 2018) morning.
-An Office User's Manual introducing the details of the office facilities. A townhall briefing session was provided to all staff on day 1 afternoon.

Grand opening ceremony took place on Jan 17, 2019 involving 14 Greater China Group leaders, 86 VIP guests from government and client, a hundred journalists from public media. There were 17 original reports published in media within 24 hours with 180k readers. All reports had very positive comments on the office and the smooth relocation.

Achievement Summary

-The 1st IBM agile office of entire building in GCG, 16553 sqm in 6 floors.
-The new office reduced the footprint by half generating $24 million saving in 10 years.
-Built the 1st IBM Client Center (850 sqm) in Shanghai.
-Multiple new office technologies to upgrade the employee experience.
-A new Conference Center (640sqm) with 500 sqm balcony breakout space.
-Biweekly/weekly project committee meetings lasted for months with improved the staff engagement.
-A dedicated ferry and shuttle bus routes were put in place, including 20 shifts per day for the ferry bus, and 22 shifts per day of the company shuttle bus (7 routes).
-Move all staff over a weekend. Achieved last mile excellence via seamless onboarding.
-Grand opening ceremony on Jan 17, 2019 including external press and 17 original reports in public media within 24 hours with 180k readers.

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