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Liberty Receives Global Recognition for Unique Workplace Transformation

12 July 2023 Liberty

Liberty has been selected as a finalist in the prestigious 2023 CoreNet Global Innovators Awards for their dynamic office redesign.

The project focused on creating a hybrid working environment combining the best elements of contemporary office culture, with the flexibility to switch seamlessly between work and home.

As companies contended with the evolving world of work globally, Liberty revamped its head office in Braamfontein in central Johannesburg, making it one of the first corporates in South Africa to fully embrace a dedicated hybrid working model environment to allow its employees a healthy working life balance, and to enhance its clients' experience of the company.

The nomination is recognition that the transformation competes with global class leading workspaces around the world.

"This is an extraordinary honor and the first time an African company has been nominated. It proves that Africa is able to compete with global excellence in leading workplace transformation that is truly world class," says Thiru Pillay, Liberty Managing Executive for Group Real Estate Service (GRES).

The 4th Place
Globally there is recognition that traditional workspace allocation standards are no longer valid and that there is no going back to the way we worked before the pandemic.

Over the last few years, '3rd Places' such as coffee shops and other social spaces were trendy, getting the attention and recognition for ensuring productivity outside the office.

"To add to the innovation, we named the Campus 'The 4th Place.' We conceptually branded the space during the project, and the outcome converges home, traditional office and 3rd places into one," adds Pillay.

The concept of the 4th Place centres on the design of the experience which is underpinned by three pillars; space/place design, services design and technology design. User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) are the two concepts adopted and entrenched in this new way of managing the facility. The concepts together speak to merging the physical and digital worlds in pursuit of excellence.

"Our vision was to transform our offices and future proof for the hybrid world in a manner that manifests both our physical and digital evolution in that we make decisions that are human centred rather than technology centred. We are a company that embraces a human approach enhanced by technology.

"The judges also recognised that our redesign offers a competitive advantage in efforts to attract and retain talent, partners, as well as clients," adds Pillay.

Liberty's office redesign has also been noted for driving infrastructure rejuvenation in the inner city, assisting in employment creation and leaving a legacy in the communities they serve.

Liberty is a financial services organisation with over 5000 employees, providing insurance, investment and asset management products in 12 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is a division of The Standard Bank Group which is the largest banking group in Africa.

CoreNet Global is a non-profit association headquartered in Atlanta in the US representing nearly 10 000 members in 50 countries with a mission to advance the best practice of Corporate Real Estate.

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