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  • Michael Baker
    Smarter Writer

    Michael Baker is a retail consultant and vice-chair of the ICSC's Asia-Pacific Research Council

    Michael Baker
    Smarter Writer

    Michael Baker is a retail consultant and vice-chair of the ICSC's Asia-Pacific Research Council

    Some very familiar names grace Glassdoor's 'Best Places to Work 2015' ranking. What makes them so popular with their employees?

    Canon sustainable workplace plants
    “We believe that competitive workplaces need to be tailored to personal working styles.”

    - Ian Flemington, Canon Australia

    The new workplace

    Australian companies have caught on to the idea that while compensation is important, it doesn’t drive employee satisfaction or productivity by itself. Culture is critical, and an important part of culture is employee engagement.

    For example, when Canon Australia moved its headquarters to Sydney’s Macquarie Park in 2014, the company was launching an experiment in workplace practices and design that emerged after a long collaboration with its own employees. This new ‘workplace of the future’ is based on four themes: sustainability, active lifestyle, easier commuting and superior information flow, the latter achieved partly through digitisation, but also through redesign of office space to accommodate the fact that different employees work differently and have different needs.

    Ian Flemington, human resources and communications director for Canon Australia: “High performance working is about creating an environment that increases employee engagement and productivity. Employees had a large role to play in the design of our new headquarters in Macquarie Park. We believe that competitive workplaces need to be tailored to personal working styles, instead of a one-size-fits-all approach.”

    Great workplaces

    The Glassdoor ranking indicates that great workplaces are created around company culture, values and – let’s not forget – compensation. If those building blocks are in place, productivity takes care of itself.

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