Privacy and Collaboration at McKinsey & Company’s Hong Kong Office

  • Client McKinsey & Company,
  • Year 2012
  • Location Hong Kong, China,
  • Industry Consulting / Business Services,
  • The consulting professionals at McKinsey & Company Hong Kong have a fairly new office space with an incredible view. Designed by OMA, the office has a well thought out plan for achieving a greater sense of collaboration and community.

    More about the project from the architect:

    “The new office plan draws inspiration from the black bands on a universal barcode. Different functional spaces are organized in a set of horizontal bands arranged across the office. This design deviates from the traditional corporate office by emphasizing openness yet allowing for confidentiality where needed. Each band respectively accommodates rooms for partners, research teams, staff and clients. Rooms are no longer isolated cubicles solely occupied by one person, but rather a space that different staff members can share depending on their needs. Double glazed glass walls enhance the openness of the office while providing the levels of privacy that the client needs.

    The band above the curved bay overlooking Central employs an open plan for both traveling consultants and some of the full time Hong Kong staff. The traveling consultant can choose where to sit when in town, while Hong Kong based staff have permanent seating. Flexible seating encourages efficient utilization of office space while accommodating the needs of a highly mobile consulting staff. The openness of the area also encourages interaction among the staff, echoing the spirit of teamwork that is central to how McKinsey works internally, as well as with clients.

    The central band, with common areas for staff of all levels, is dedicated to promoting interaction between all staff members and cultivating a stronger sense of belonging. The warm wood of the reception area, fashioned into a playful tree pattern, welcomes visitors as they step into the office. This tree pattern extends into the office, suffusing the main work area with a strong hint of nature. The lounge at the eastern end of the central band, boasting a stunning view of Victoria Harbour, offers the best location for McKinsey Home Fridays. This monthly event gathers the travelling staff and the Hong Kong-based staff to share their experiences as a unified office. During regular work days, the staff can bring their laptop to the lounge and work while enjoying the Harbour view. At the other end of the central band is the Quiet Area, a secluded corner for contemplation or rest.

    With staff sitting mostly in open areas, a feature of the new design is the addition of several dedicated spots for private conversations. Four circular glass telephone booths are located throughout the open area and lounge for this purpose. The phone booths glow red or orange depending on their vacancy. The colors not only add life to the neutral palette of the office, but also serve the functional purpose of letting staff know when a booth is available. A larger phone booth is provided for conference calls requiring more space for participants.

    The new McKinsey & Company Hong Kong office accommodates the needs for both privacy and interaction, promoting efficiency in terms of the use of space while boosting staff productivity as well as their sense of community.”

    Design: OMA
    Photography: Philippe Ruault