IKEA offers post-pandemic workspaces in Singapore

Ikea’s refurbished Singapore headquarters ensures all staff are seated at least one meter apart.

The Swedish furniture giant IKEA is catering to post-pandemic workspaces in Singapore and the company has reinvented its headquarters in the city-island state to meet social distancing rules and attract people back to the workplace.

In a recent article published by South China Morning Post, Gwinna Wareewanish, Ikea Southeast Asia’s head of interior design explains that to meet the government’s new social distancing rules the company in April decided to rebuild their office in Singapore’s Tampines neighborhood. The process started with a survey of the office’s 180 staff and the aim was also to create an inspiring office space employees wanted to return to after nine months of working from home.

Gwinna Wareewanish oversaw the refurbishment and says, “We initially asked for their opinion on working from home, their feelings about returning to work, and what they thought the old office could improve on. IKEA’s headquarters is back at 50% capacity for now and the company also looked at how every individual worked through the pandemic in different tasks, such as focused individual work at home and connecting online, and their efficiency.

The new office design provides a showpiece which has also prompted a relaunch of IKEA’s B2B offering, Ikea for Business and the company can through the design highlight its interior design planning, product knowledge, and project coordination services under the “for the many” prices concept.

Speaking about IKEA’s B2B offerings, Christian Carlsen, Ikea for Business’ regional manager for Southeast Asia says, “Even the day when hopefully Covid has all gone, I think we will have a much higher percentage of co-workers and colleagues working at home at any point in time. This model gives you different functionalities, a better combination. That, we think, is something that has come to stay.”

Meeting pods at Ikea’s Singapore headquarters are designed for calls, virtual meetings or simply personal reflection.

About Mette Larsen

ScandAsia Journalist • Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. • Thailand

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