AIA says new headquarters to feature campus-like workspace, as insurer plans for next 100 years

By Enoch / | April 5, 2019 10:25 AM SGT
AIA plans to adopt an "urban campus" concept for its redeveloped Wan Chai headquarters as it seeks to attract the next generation of employees, according to its chief executive.
Ng Keng-hooi, group chief executive and president of AIA, said redevelopment work is expected to begin on its 50-year-old Stubbs Road headquarters this month.
The project, first reported by the Post in December, is expected to last four years.
"We call it an urban campus. We hope that it will become an iconic building in Hong Kong. So it's a great start for the next 100 years," Ng said.
"We will ensure that it looks very nice. It will have facilities in the building where people can mingle with each other," he said.
While AIA did not disclose figures related to the project, analysts expect construction to cost HK$1.4 billion (US$178 million). When completed the site will be valued at HK$8 billion.
Ng said the building, completed in 1969, reflected the hierarchical structure of corporate culture at the time.
AIA, established in Shanghai in 1919, wants the new headquarters to encourage a collaborative working culture based on flexible seating and shared communal space that appeals to millennials, or those ranging in age from 18 to 35.
"We want them to feel the new office to be an exciting place to work and enjoy life," Ng said. "When we look at the future office, we wanted it to be something which is special and will show how we transform and grow as we are entering the next 100 years."
Ng Keng-hooi, group chief executive and president of AIA. Photo: Xiaomei Chen
Ng said the new headquarters will be equipped with exercise facilities to conveys the company's mission to promote health and active lifestyles among staff and customers.
Citibank, which moved its headquarters across the harbour from Central to East Kowloon in 2016, has also adopted a sharing concept favoured by younger staff. An internal survey following the move showed that more than 80 per cent of staff believed the new office environment boosted productivity, 83 per cent believed it encouraged greater collaboration, and 87 per cent said it allowed easier access to management.
The attraction of co-working concept continues to gain ground in Hong Kong.
Across the city there are more than 80 co-working locations spanning more than 1 million sq ft of work space, according to a Nomura report in January.
The facilities are run by about 50 individual co-working operators, the report said.
This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2019 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
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