Connecting experiences beyond the workplace
13th October 2020
When Doni Santos and Flora Cheung from our Singapore office wanted to take the engagement and excitement around a client’s new office beyond the workplace and reach employees’ families, they produced a brilliant innovation – to recreate the fit-out in the virtual world of Minecraft and ask children to design the workplace of the future.
One of the most important elements of any workplace change programme is to engage people in the change process by showing them what the new space will look like and how it will function. Working with a global technology client, Doni Santos and Flora Cheung from our Singapore office wanted to take this one stage further, to not only engage employees in the new move, but their families, too.
Doni and Flora created a three-tiered engagement plan to achieve this objective:
- Digitally recreate the building fit-out in Minecraft for staff and their families to visit and tour virtually
- Create a “wow!” moment for the media to engage with as part of the official launch of the building
- Partner with a local primary school to explore the thoughts of Grade 5 students about the “workplace of the future”.
Building a virtual fit-out
The priority was to get staff engaged with the layout and flow of their new workplace and to address concerns about the size and scale, relative to the existing office. This is always challenging, especially over a 12+ month project. So in addition to sharing visual layouts, graphic renderings and site visits, a digital version of the fit-out was created in Minecraft to allow people to walk the new building and visit their new floors, in their own time.
The re-created layouts, while not exactly true-to-life due to Minecraft’s natural interface, proved to be so popular that a demo of the experience was retained in the office for people to use as an engagement point and a virtual tour for visitors.
Creating a “wow!” launch event
Following the success of stage one, we were asked to help coordinate an experience that would leave a lasting impression with the media at the official opening of the office. Tanner Liechty, also of our Singapore office, worked closely with the client’s brand and marketing, facilities management, and IT teams, to create an experience that literally transcended reality.
In the final moments of the event, the guest of honour led the Minecraft ‘hero’, Steve, through the virtual office and into the same room the real visitors were stood in. After pressing an in-game button, confetti shot from the ceiling both in-game and in real-life. A truly unforgettable experience!
Doing it for the kids!
With the first two successful engagements complete, the team turned their attention to the most fun activity – a competition for Grade 5 students to create the “best” workplace of the future.
Originally planned to be an inter-school competition, it was turned into a virtual event due to the pandemic. Nonetheless, the MovePlan team was able to create a new plan that allowed for students from two classes at one school to compete against each other.
With each team having one-week to design and build their ideal workplace of the future, the end results were incredible. What were their biggest recommendations? 90% greenery and water spaces (to bring nature into the office), and 10% workspaces (desks, presentations rooms, and enclosed spaces.). Food for thought for tomorrow’s workplace designers!