Working Above the Rest


For over two centuries, Citibank has been offering world-class banking services across the globe. This year, the multinational banking company is celebrating its 50th anniversary in Indonesia at their new front office in Sudirman Central Business District (SCBD) in Jakarta. We took a look inside the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum-certified office in Indonesia.

PHOTOS BY Mario Wibowo and Bagus Tri Laksono

Not only committed to continuously develop and provide the best financial products and services to its customers, Citibank is also highly committed to the well-being of their staff through endless improvement of their working environment.

In 2014, Citibank initiated Citi Works; a new workspace concept aimed to optimise its working environment by encouraging agile and collaborative working. This concept was then rolled out to Citibank’s offices across the globe under City Plan Projects, including Indonesia.

Citi Indonesia started this City Plan Project in 2015 and delivered the South Quarter General Office by late 2016 and recently followed by this latest project for their front office in Citibank Tower, SCBD.

While the General Office houses back-office functions mainly Operations and Technology departments, this Citibank Tower Front Office is dedicated to the client-facing business units, general functions and the Board of Directors. The Front Office has therefore been designed to welcome clients and hold frequent meetings. With space for up to 700 people, this office is smaller than its sister office, which accommodates 2,500 people.

Clients and guests will be greeted by Citibank’s reception in the lobby and directed to the bank’s executive reception area on the ninth floor. We will be astonished with the exquisite design of this reception area and even in a first glance, you can’t help to notice that there must be a lot of effort made in designing and selecting the furniture of this space. With local perspectives from designer Ted Sulisto, Geyer includes a touch of local elements in the making of the design.

The reception area has a high ceiling and full height windows on one side that give guests a full view of the hustle bustle of Jakarta’s Central Business District. The design concept is basically quite similar to their South Quarter sister’s office reception but has deeper corporate feels to embrace their clients. These can be seen from the nice Bianco Lassa white marble that elegantly covers all walls and floors, giant LED screen in the lounge area and high tech meeting rooms design with automatic privacy films that are nicely exposed to the reception lobby lounge. Beautiful set of Wilkhahn sofa is nicely paired with colourful stools made by a local artist, not only creating a very nice touch in the lobby area but also making a clear statement that local art could blend beautifully with high-end imported brands.

The reception lobby area also houses client meeting rooms, which are all soundproofed, wrapped with modernized Parang batik pattern on its sandblast stickers and equipped with the top notch audio video system for hosting video conference, web-cam discussion, and all other meeting functionalities that we can think of.

As this office is also designed to enhance their employees’ working environment, Citibank also provides a variety of internal meeting areas such as Open Team Meeting area, Huddle Rooms and Work Cafes that are situated in each office floor. It is worth to mention that Citi Work Café was designed to create a café-type ambience and equipped with technology that enables staff to work or collaborate while having their cups of coffee. This work café has a bright, modern colourful design but still shares the same traditional batik pattern, which is unique to Citi’s offices in Indonesia. To ensure that their staff can unwind comfortably for their lunch or coffee breaks, Citibank also provides full pantry services with green rating equipment in their work cafe that includes refrigerators, two microwaves (for halal and non-halal foods), a dishwasher and filtered water dispenser.

The new work concept promotes openness, creativity and flexibility in the working environment. Open-plan workspace and a variety of choice settings allow individuals to use different work arrangements or have impromptu meeting anytime of the day.

This concept allows staff to connect and collaborate easily with one another without the formality of having to pre-arrange meetings and book meeting rooms. So, no need to surprise if you visit Citibank office and find that staff in one department could work in several different arrangements and locations as per their preference. The sit to stand desk/height adjustable desk is one of the top choice for the health enthusiast as this provides option to work from seating to standing up. Focus Pods is the best choice when you need to work quietly and in private as it is equipped with sound-proofing panels.

There is also a lot of flexibility in the use of meeting rooms and other spaces, which have been designated for collaborative work. Through this concept, Citibank offers a choice of settings for group meetings, depending on the number of participants and the nature of the meeting. Graphic information of how to use the room is provided on the front panel of each room. A couple of people can use the Enclosed Touchdown Room to work in close proximity while the Flex Office is more conducive to long-period small meetings, and the Huddle Room can handle up to six people. All of these rooms have high technology equipment and have the benefit of double-layered noise-cancelling glass panels.

Citibank has also invested in the best ergonomic options for their work desks and chairs, with a number of highly reputable office furniture brands on show – such as work desks by Herman Miller and the office chairs by Steelcase.

Informal meeting lounges are available at the corners of each floor. The staff can use these open areas for ad hoc brainstorming and other informal meetings. The Open Team Area is designed for six to eight people with a webcam, a screen and a projector for conference meetings.

Larger meetings and conferences could take place in the Board Room. Located near to the ninth-floor lobby, this room is used for internal board meetings and external meetings with large group of clients, as well as Citibank colleagues visiting from other countries. A grand Wilkahn conference table and ergonomic seating are the centre piece of this 30-person capacity board room. It also features advanced lighting and audio video conference equipment, which include Cisco conference system and two 70-inch screens and four smaller LED screens.

The ninth floor also has two multifunction rooms with moveable panels that can be opened out and integrated into the Work Café for large corporate events.

The office of Batara Sianturi, Citi Indonesia’s Chief Executive Officer, sits in one corner of the building with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, equipped by fully motorised dual screens to ensure his privacy and comfortability. A waiting room in front of his office is flowed open to the adjacent working area, which creates borderless boundaries to his team’s open workspace.

To beat its sister office in the South Quarter, which was the first office in Indonesia to get the LEED Gold certification, this new office is also the first LEED Platinum-certified office in Indonesia, in recognition of its eco-friendly material selection, the use of recycled water for flushing toilets, its waste management policy and its reduced consumption of electricity.

At the end, Citi is confident that through this research-based workspace concept, they will be able to deliver the best working environment that will make their staff happy and proud - which, in turn, enables them to provide the best possible service for their clients.

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Barbara Hahijary
Barbara earned her bachelor's degree in architecture from the Interior Architecture Program of the University of Indonesia in 2013. Historical or heritage buildings, as well as utilitarian design, fascinates her as it is the interaction between people and architecture that remains her favourite topic to explore. Besides architecture, her interests include design, handcrafts, literature and social issues.

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