We sort of decided that this year’s theme for the Fujikawa zemi’s company visits will revolve around companies with progressive workplace environments that foster innovation.
So. Yoshi Fujikawa, my professor slash zemi advisor arranged a trip to SIGMAXYZ for us after class, earlier this week. Some of us were confused at the suggestion at the beginning, because we’re not sure why we were visiting a consulting company that we had never heard of.
Then, as we arrived at SIGMAXYZ, our jaws dropped. At the entrance there trees projected on screens. Behind it, were the projections of a forest.
Established by a former consultant, SIGMAXYZ is in the business of consulting and a growing name in Japan (they now have an office in Singapore). The range of their services is diverse — they provide solutions in the areas of strategy, finance, risk management, supply chain, CRM, HRM and IT. What makes them very different than other consulting firms… is their workplace!
Then on the inside of the office, all we saw were people sitting on tables and chairs arrange liked a cafe. I thought that it was like a lounge where people hangout together to discuss their work, but apparently, it’s where they work!
At SIGMAXYS, the consultants don’t have their own desks and chairs. There are several separate open areas with different themes and desks and chairs that they can choose from. After they clock in at the front door, they can sit wherever they want — just pick a seat, drop their bags and start working on their laptop.
Even the senior management don’t have their own room, but an area with open glass walls. They’re reachable and don’t have set seats either.
For someone who’s been working at conventional workplaces, it’ll look odd. Where are the drawers, boards and thick folders?! There is almost none. The consultants rely a lot on technology, hence their work are made digital and kept in the company’s system. Their reliance on digital information is so high, that for an office filled with 400 staff, there’s only a single printer and scanner!
There were several themed meeting rooms that can be used. Some with artificial grass flooring and artificial stone seats.
In the middle of the workplace, is their “market”, where art by senior management and clients were displayed and where (real) flowers can be picked on Mondays, after 6PM.
So why are they doing this? They’re trying to create a workplace that increases the collaboration between people and fosters creativity and according to them, so far it’s been effective.
It’s an eye-opening experience. Who would’ve thought that a Japanese consulting firm has such a cool workplace? 🙂
Learn more about SIGMAXYZ.