How would you like to start your working day at the bar?
It might sound like a dangerous offer, but at Diageo, it isn’t just allowed, it’s encouraged.
Take its Singapore office for example, which boasts not one but two watering holes.
A main bar sits at the “heart” of the 17,000 square-foot workplace, while the world’s only in-house Johnnie Walker whisky room provides an exclusive backdrop for all-important client meetings.
The two bespoke spaces are not simply a ploy to keep spirits high at the global alcohol producer.
They’re all part of its strategy to create a collaborative and inspiring environment, as Leesa Rawlings, head of talent engagement for APAC, told CNBC’s “Office Envy” during a tour of the building.
“Our whole space here was actually designed along Diageo’s global design principles, which are really about how to be inclusive, how to bring people into the work space and also how to make sure that people work in a collaborative fashion,” Rawlings said.
The main Diageo bar is part of a wider open-plan work space, which incorporates a living room area and a hot-desk layout to encourage teamwork among the office’s 174 staff.
“We have ‘hot-desking’ in the purest sense of the word — we have no desktops, we have no screens, we have very little cords,” explained Rawlings.
“IT BECOMES A PLACE AT NIGHT WHERE WE CAN BRING OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY.”
“Everything is hidden to create a clean and uncluttered view and we can move to any work space that we want to, depending on what the work is that we need to do.”
The central bar, which showcases Diageo brands such as Baileys, Smirnoff and Guinness, is accessible as a work space for staff throughout the day.
But it also plays host to regular internal and external events and is open to guests at the end of the week.
“It becomes a place at night where we can bring our friends and family every Thursday and Friday night, to celebrate the wonderful products we have and the amazing view,” said Rawlings.
The piece de resistance, however, is the exclusive Johnnie Walker whisky room.
Dubbed “the million-dollar room” on account of the value and rarity of the whiskies housed inside, it is the company’s only bespoke in-office whisky room in the world and it requires an invitation to enter.
“This Johnnie Walker House is very exclusive, because it’s actually invite-only, and it is the only Johnnie Walker House that we have inside an office, in the world,” noted Rawlings.
Diageo is the world’s largest producer of spirits and a key producer of beer.
Each year, the company generates over 6.5 billion liters of its branded products, from more than 100 manufacturing sites scattered across 30 countries.
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