What Is Canon's New 'Live Office Infrastructure?'

They have created a space where employees are not working in silos and can actively engage with their colleagues, as well as customers and partners, thereby creating a playground for innovation and collaboration


Building on its legacy of transforming to Delight, Canon India has unveiled a unique Live Office concept that provides employees a space that is adapted to the new ways of working and designed to empower collaboration and creativity. 

While candidly conversing with Manabu Yamazaki, President and CEO, Canon India, he told BW People that the workforce is regarded as one of the most important pillars contributing to the success of Canon in the country. Committed to prioritising employees by facilitating convenience and development, the state-of-the-art office offers an innovative infrastructure and aims to foster an environment that contributes to growth - both of the workforce and Canon India.

1. What is the 'Live Office' concept launch by Canon India?

For Canon, 2023 is the year of ‘Henkaku’, which means ‘Transformation’ in Japanese, under which we aim to accelerate our growth in India, by bringing the required ‘Transformation’ across three pillars - organisation structure, product & service offerings, and corporate infrastructure & workflow. In this regard, the ‘Live Office’ marks a concrete and significant step in bringing alive the spirit of ‘Henkaku’, by creating an end-to-end experience and informative journey for key stakeholders.

As we further solidify our industry leadership as a futuristic and innovative technology brand, the unique office infrastructure brings to force an integration of technology and experiences, while getting Canon’s entire ecosystem on one single platform for our Employees, Partners, and Customers.

The concept was first launched in Mumbai (West) followed by Kolkata (East) and will next be unveiled in Bengaluru (South) among other locations.

2. What is the main objective behind introducing 'Live Office' in India and how is it adapted as per the new ways of hybrid working?

Experiences have emerged at the heart of the relationship between a business and its stakeholders, be it internal or external. In today's competitive ecosystem, businesses can no longer rely on traditional marketing and sales strategies to attract and retain customers. Similarly, competitive salaries and benefits are no longer enough to attract and retain top talent; providing a positive and engaging employee experience has become imperative.

With the market performing well post-pandemic, experiential activations have made a comeback. Employees too have missed out on much-required on-ground collaboration and conversations while working from home. Keeping the same in mind, we have created a space where employees are not working in silos and can actively engage with their colleagues, as well as customers and partners, thereby creating a playground for innovation and collaboration. It also helps ensure that the new office space is used to its full potential.

3. What are the different stakeholders that are benefitting through the 'Live Office Infrastructure'?

Bringing together customers, partners, and employees on the same one platform with ‘Live Office’, Canon India is taking the next step in elevating experiences by showcasing technological prowess while also building on its legacy of educating and empowering stakeholders.

With the 'Live Office Infrastructure,' employees are provided with an opportunity to enhance creativity and collaboration. They can directly gather valuable feedback and insights from customers, enabling them to better understand their needs and aspirations. On the other hand, customers and partners can gauge a comprehensive understanding of Canon's offerings, establishing a strong connection with the brand's values. This empowers them to make well-informed decisions that align with their preferences.

All in all, the 'Live Office' platform serves as a unified ecosystem that integrates Canon's extensive range of flagship products, including cameras, printers, surveillance cameras, copiers, and multifunctional devices. By consolidating these diverse offerings into one cohesive platform, we are ensuring a seamless and engaging experience for all stakeholders likewise.

4. Is this concept the reason behind asking employees to come back to work? If so, then how?

Canon India considers its people as one of the most important pillars that have contributed to its 25 years of success in the country. With a steadfast commitment to the growth and well-being of employees as one of our key priorities, we have embraced a hybrid work model in response to the evolving needs of today's workforce, providing the desired flexibility.

At the same time, we understand that ensuring efficiency, fostering a collaborative culture, and enhancing employee morale are equally vital priorities. To address these aspects, we conduct comprehensive training programs that focus on building cohesive and trusting teams in the new normal, equipping managers with the skills to utilize cutting-edge productivity tools and striking a harmonious balance between digital and physical collaboration.

Canon India's vision extends beyond the present, as the company strives to cultivate a flexible mindset, embrace experimentation with novel ideas, and actively involve its employees in shaping an organization that is both vibrant and futuristic. Hence, the ‘Live Office Infrastructure’, is also in line with the Hybrid work model that we follow at Canon India, where employees have the flexibility to work from both home and office depending on their work profile. The advanced meeting rooms, training areas, and working cafes within this infrastructure create an environment that encourages face-to-face interactions and human connections, acknowledging their crucial role in boosting productivity. By nurturing such a dynamic culture, we aim to continually adapt and evolve to meet the ever-changing demands of industry.

5. What kind of facilities does the Live office offer employees?

Integrating technology and experience, the ‘Live Office’ has innovative Demo Zones which display Canon’s 360-degree imaging portfolio including cameras, printers, surveillance cameras, copiers, multi-functional devices, and much more. Hence, employees, customers, and partners can experience the latest and innovative technology under one cohesive platform. Such engagement enhances product knowledge of the employees and thereby also understand evolving customer needs and demands.

With the belief that transformation isn’t just important within, but also in the environment around, the office comprises sleek infrastructure such as standing desks that encourage an active lifestyle. Transformative spaces also need transformative furniture, and the foldable training rooms ensure that spaces can be efficiently used depending on the requirement - whether it’s a roundtable conference, an office-wide Town Hall, or any other occasion. Open Work Zones and multiple Meeting Rooms offer ample space for employees to collaborate and create so that they can reflect, plan, experience, and innovate. Furthermore, the office also comprises of work cafes, where potential meets creativity and employees can engage among themselves and with external stakeholders.

6. How is such an infrastructure advantageous to the employees and what benefits are they deriving from it?

The 'Live Office Infrastructure' is designed to promote collaboration, productivity, professional development, and social engagement. It creates an environment where employees feel supported, motivated, and empowered to thrive in their roles.

Enhanced Collaboration: The state-of-the-art meeting rooms, training areas, and work cafes provide a conducive environment for employees to collaborate effectively. Face-to-face interactions and in-person discussions foster better communication, idea sharing, and problem-solving. This facilitates a more seamless and efficient collaborative work experience.

Increased Productivity: An open workstation infrastructure acknowledges the importance of human connection and face time. By providing employees with opportunities to physically interact and engage with their colleagues, it helps create a positive work atmosphere that boosts morale and motivation. This, in turn, enhances productivity and performance.

Professional Development: The training areas within the ‘Live Office Infrastructure’ offer employees the chance to participate in various skill-building and development programs. These programs are designed to enhance their capabilities, allowing them to acquire new knowledge, learn innovative techniques, and stay updated with the latest industry trends. This investment in professional development contributes to their personal growth and career advancement.

Networking and Engagement: The infrastructure facilitates networking and interaction among employees. The working cafes and shared spaces create opportunities for informal conversations, networking, and building relationships across different teams and departments. This fosters a sense of belonging and camaraderie, enhancing employee engagement and satisfaction.

Strengthening Customer Connect: At Canon, we believe in ‘GEMBA’ culture, which means staying close to customers to understand their requirements. The new live office is a testament to the same, as employees get a platform to directly engage with customers, gain market insights and build a stronger connection with them.

7. How is Canon supporting its employees in the digital transformation journey through innovations at the workplace?

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the digital transformation of HR functions. As workplaces underwent drastic changes, we prioritized the adoption of technologies to facilitate collaboration in the era of hybrid work. We are always looking at new ways to build a dynamic digital workforce by leveraging the right technology. With the introduction of a flexible workspace, there are no fixed seats for employees in the new, Live Office, hence we have a digital-first Mobile App for employees to book seats, meeting rooms, demo zones etc., ensuring a seamless and tech-savvy experience for stakeholders.

Using a mix of homegrown software and digital solution providers, we have introduced multiple platforms for smooth virtual meetings and to enhance productivity through management tools. We have implemented platforms for seamless virtual meetings and productivity management tools that have resulted in efficient remote collaboration. Additionally, we have automated workflows, particularly those related to core HR processes like leave approvals, travel requests, and expense management. Furthermore, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has introduced a digital workforce, relieving employees of routine and monotonous tasks.

Over the last decades, we have leveraged a robust HR Information System (HRIS) as a foundation in deriving comprehensive people analytics to design an engaging employee experience. This approach has been instrumental in gaining valuable insights into employee needs, preferences, and behaviors. By analyzing this data, we have successfully identified the drivers of engagement and detected important behavioral trends. Moreover, this strategy has empowered our HR team to develop customized strategies that align perfectly with our overarching business goals. Another outcome of our analytics journey has been the identification of diversity and inclusion gaps. Employee demographics, promotion rates, and compensation data, have fostered a more inclusive workplace culture at Canon. This has brought about tangible improvements and furthered our commitment to creating an environment that values and respects every individual.

8. What steps has Canon taken to foster employee engagement and collaboration, and what is the company's vision on this front?

In line with our employee-first and inclusive work culture, Canon India has always promoted open communication by encouraging employees to express their ideas, concerns, and feedback. Regular town hall meetings, feedback sessions, and employee surveys are conducted to ensure that their voices are heard and taken into consideration. Cross-team collaborations are encouraged, and employees from different departments are encouraged to collaborate on projects, share knowledge, and leverage diverse perspectives to drive innovation and solve complex challenges. ‘Breakthrough’ ideas by employees, however small or big they may be, are encouraged.

Canon's vision regarding employee engagement and collaboration is to create a culture where employees are actively engaged, motivated, and empowered to contribute their best.

Further, our CSR initiatives also create an excellent platform for employees to come together and collaborate to give back to the community. This is driven by our corporate philosophy of ‘Kyosei’, indicating the ‘spirit of living and working together for the common good’, which is considered foremost in our way of working and day-to-day operations.

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