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C&W Services transforms headquarters into a ‘living lab’

The new office is set to be the ground for the firm’s new facilities management technologies.

Working from home may be fun, but imagine if you could work at a place with temperature-controlled rooms, good air quality, robots roaming around, and even vending machines full of healthy snacks—these are few of the many things that employees at C&W Services get to enjoy at their Singapore headquarters, which has been recently transformed into a "living lab."

True to its name, this “living lab” ensures that the employees working at the site feel alive whilst creating and testing the firm’s new technologies, systems, and tools.

“One great and fun activity we're doing at the moment is we have a security robot that we're trialling here in the office, and it's a bilingual security robot that at the moment is being programmed to make sure that people are wearing their face masks correctly,” Natalie Craig, managing director of C&W Services Singapore, told Singapore Business Review.

By testing their new technologies in the headquarters, Craig said the company can drive better client service, and more importantly, support employee experience.
 
More than getting to test the company's new technologies, employees at C&W Services also gets to have "access to different settings that best fit the nature of their work" with quiet zones, phone booths, and even a "chill room" provided for them. 

Another feature of the “living lab” that Craig takes pride in is that the space is energy efficient, with over 270 motion and photocell sensors as well as air-conditioning sensors.

“We have created a space here that focuses on giving our employees the experience that they can't get at home, a chance to come together face to face to learn and to be mentored. A space that really drives creativity and collaboration,” Craig said.

An inclusive space

Just like a lab where you can find multiple tools and a variety of equipment, C&W Services wanted its reimagined workspace to be a place of diversity and inclusivity.

C&W Services has put up a multi-person prayer room and a mother’s room for working parents.

Automated doors, 60 power-assisted height-adjustable workstations, and ramps were also installed to accommodate workers with physical disabilities, according to Craig.

C&W Services has also partnered with community groups and social enterprises like Autism Resource Center and the Art Faculty in designing its office space and putting up murals made by artists with autism. 

Meanwhile, the firm’s lanyards, coffee mugs, and other new staff accessories were also designed by artists who are part of SG Enable’s “I’m Able” programme. SG Enable is  an agency that supports persons with disability.
 
The firm’s efforts on inclusivity also go beyond the walls of its 36,000-square-foot headquarters.

To fully integrate inclusivity, its Singapore office also welcomed the induction of a local chapter of the firm’s Leading with Education and Awareness of Disabilities Resource (LEAD) group, which will be led by Paralympian Maximillian Tan, Its purpose is to support staff with disability and those who are caring for others with a disability.
                            
“The group was really a very important part of how we approached the design of our office space because, as I mentioned, we wanted to make sure that it was fully accessible and inclusive,” Craig said.

Craig also mentioned plans to employ more people with disability in the SG headquarters in partnership with SG Enable.

“We've set ourselves a target of at least 1% of our staff being represented by people with disabilities. It's actually a commitment we made to Singapore's president when she visited us last year to undertake a tour of our facilities, and it's a commitment that we will continue to pursue,” Craig told Singapore Business Review.

Apart from this goal, Craig said the firm also aims to get an Enabling Mark from SG Enable, which is an accreditation given to firms for their commitment to inclusive hiring practices.

“We benefit from that approach more than anyone because when [we set our mind] to be diverse and inclusive, what we're doing is opening ourselves up as a business to a potential talent pool that is much greater than if we didn’t have these particular values,” she added.

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