Case Study: Herman Miller Living Office Showroom (Hong Kong)

A new Living Office showroom in Hong Kong allowed us to become our own client and it’s been great to experience the rewards firsthand

For many years we have been helping clients create great spaces that inspire great work with Living Office. So when the decision was made to relocate our Hong Kong showroom to a more prominent position in the CBD’s Hopewell Centre, it was time to practice what we preach. As Kartik Shethia Vice President, Herman Miller Asia Pacific says: “It was very exciting for us because we were finally going to walk the talk and create this new lovely Living Office for ourselves.”

The Living Office Philosophy: Empowering the End User

Living Office is all about embracing new and innovative working behaviours: celebrating collaboration and creative collision to empower the end user of any give space. It also focuses on employees’ wellbeing and creating environments that are ergonomic and comfortable, so that people enjoy coming to work. Living office brings humanity back into the workplace and it doesn’t get much more personal than designing a space that serves the needs of our own colleagues! In today’s workplace employees should be able to choose from a range of spaces that better support their activities, strengthen their connection with colleagues and help fulfil their specific purpose, so this is what we set out to achieve.

By utilising Living Office’s innovative range of furnishings and tools, the new showroom features a more contemporary layout that caters to the needs of today’s workforce. For example, there are now coves sprinkled throughout the open area, enabling teams to quickly jump together and brainstorm when necessary. And rather than just have one large boardroom, which isn’t often the best use of space these days, our new meeting areas are smaller and higher performing.

A selection of havens, meanwhile, has been distributed throughout the work area for people who need to get work done and don’t want to be disturbed. Additional rooms are available for employees looking to have intimate conversations and yet another variety of spaces cater for seminars and training.

Celebrating Flexibility in the Modern Working World

One of Living Office’s mantras is ‘a place for every purpose, a purpose for every place’ and the new showroom well and truly encapsulates this. It recognises that jobs today are more varied than ever and so our workplaces need to be too. The new forum space is particularly flexible, with tables that fold and move to form myriad configurations, allowing us to customise the space quickly and easily depending on our needs: whether that’s a meeting for six or one for 20 requiring projection onto a digital display. And, of course, it’s not just horizontally flexible either as our T2 mobile smart desks are height adjustable, moving to support the user’s postural changes throughout the day – from sit to stand.

A Living Office Needs to Meet Changing Needs

We have a lot of happy clients enjoying their Living Offices and now our own employees at the Hong Kong showroom are embracing it too. The use of coves has increased by 55 per cent, havens by 40 per cent and the meeting space by 20 per cent. Even usage of the plaza area, where everyone can gather, is up 43 per cent compared with our old space.

Mobile workers have really welcomed the new lockers in our plaza area, allowing them to quickly locate their things and head to a workstation, whilst our Passport tool allows people to find available space for ad hoc meetings or explore the new space and provide feedback. And it’s not just our employees that are benefitting from the new space; the Hopewell Showroom gives visitors a greater experience of Living Office, allowing them to get a better understanding of what the entire concept means and how it meets the needs of the users.

Maximising Efficiency and Productivity

“In the past, sales worked in their own private office but now we are working in the open and it has been really liberating,” says Kenneth Cheng, Commercial Director POSH International. “We work more closely with other departments such as marketing and all have a clear vision of where we are going as a company. The space is enabling us to have different conversations with our clients and help us close projects faster; I think this will translate into higher financial performance here in Hong Kong.”

Living Office aims to deliver an elevated experience of work for people and, in turn, help companies achieve their strategic goals. To this end, it looks like our own new Living Office is working beautifully and of course everyone gets a comfy chair to sit on!