Competing for lucrative business is not new to Hong Kong companies. But trying to outdo one another in the fabulousness of their workplaces? That’s the latest trend to have hit this bustling peninsula as businesses have now resorted to redesigning their workspaces in order to project the public image they desire and attract the talent they need.
Ed Ng and Terence Ngan, co-founders of the interior design firm AB Concept, immerse their clients in uber-luxury at AB Concept Atelier, their new office in Causeway Bay. Since starting out in 2001, AB Concept has carved a niche in the high-end hotel, residential and restaurant sectors.
Their Hong Kong headquarters are the perfect showcase for the firm’s trademark upscale interior detailing, furnished to the nines with pieces from their personal collection like a Salvador Dali sculpture; original Eames chairs by Herman Miller; a bright green toy pony, which is in fact a chair, made in 1973 by Eero Aarnio to name but a few of their many eclectic treasures. In addition, Ng and Ngan’s employees enjoy a first-class staff gym and a steam shower; a staff dining room to rival a restaurant and a materials library with finishing samples; and a real piano, which staff are welcome to play.
“When clients come up to our office, we want them to see we are serious about our profession: that we live up to what we promise; that we understand how people use a space,” Ng says. It is good for staff morale, too, he adds. “We don’t want people feeling they’re suffering at work – we want them to be joyful.”
AB Concept is not the only business venture to think this way. The article is peppered throughout with examples of other industries that have followed suit. In short, a fun-filled and creative workplace helps attract talent and new business.