December 22, 2010
“One,” you say. That’s a tempting response, but leaving politics aside and focusing just on the PRC, what plays in Beijing is likely to flop in Shanghai and go unnoticed in Chengdu.
For any company going global, especially in China, subtle differences are key. China is set to overtake the United States as the world’s largest economy by 2020, so there’s great allure to “the China market.” But China is really multiple markets. Multinational companies looking to house employees there have to do as marketers do: Actively seek out cultural influences and integrate them into the business. That can give corporate real estate and facilities people a better understanding of cultural nuances.
And that, in turn, can make it easier to provide office space that balances both local and corporate needs.
July 23, 2010
As the world becomes more connected, the number of companies expanding into other countries is increasing. This expansion involves adapting to a variety of cultures and customs. If this step is overlooked, the company could face an embarrassing situation.
The use of color, for example, is an important cultural element that companies need to consider because of its implications for office design. David McCandless’ infographic cleverly demonstrates the meaning of a color according to its cultural context. It shows that the Chinese associate red with good luck, success, and marriage. For Hindus, red symbolizes energy and money. In South Africa, it symbolizes death, and in Russia, power.
So where does a company start? First, it’s important to learn about a country’s culture and how its people view things such as color. Only then can you design appropriate environments for those who will work in them.