HOK’s Leigh Stringer was part of a project team in Korea recently and makes great observations on Korean culture and work environment (love the photo, Leigh!). Here’s a selection:
On being there in general:
- We didn’t see a lot of bikes but public transportation is good.
- Gangnam is an actual district where people actually dance Gangnam style.
On the work environment:
- Impromptu space is not necessary – it was value engineered out on day one! Collaboration occurs more formally and in conference rooms.
- Open offices, even for senior-level people, are acceptable. Bench seating for staff is typical. I saw lots of people in open offices – more than we typically see in a US office, where people are more mobile. That said, you could hear a pin drop. There weren’t any loudmouths using a speaker phone. People were super-considerate.
- Conference spaces are bigger than those in the US or Europe because the average size of meetings is larger.