People First: SM Retail’s New HQ is Green and Healthy

A meditation room, gym, a green Sky Garden, and a priceless view of the Manila Bay – the new and impressive SM Retail Headquarters makes you remember that your wellbeing is your top-priority.

Home to the creative minds behind The SM Store, SM Markets food retail business, and other specialty brand companies of SM Retail, the two-tower, 14-storey building spans a floor plate of 148,000 square meters, with a 2,000 square meter space Sky Garden on the sixth floor.

With indigenous tropical balitbitan trees and ample grass grounds, employees can take their lunch and coffee break outdoors, or have a Zumba or Yoga session to decompress after work.

An Investment on Everyone’s Wellbeing

Wellness in mind and body begins with a space conducive to a healthy lifestyle for the occupants of the building. The SM Retail HQ received the WELL Health-Safety Rating for facilities operations from the International Well Building Institute. Launched in 2014, WELL’s mission is to transform buildings and organizations in ways that advance health and well-being to help people thrive.

The mediation room for employees, for example, is a space for relaxation and centering one’s self. It helps improve a person’s mood, promotes rest, boosts motivation, and allows for a grounded and less anxious psyche. Located nearby is the chapel for those who seek spiritual guidance and comfort.

“Everyone deserves to live their best and highest life.”

The WELL Philosophy.

Staying fit in the office

Keeping in-shape throughout the day is not a problem. The building itself provides a most efficient way to exercise and keep fit. The stairs are visible and accessible, with an ideal height and width to make it less taxing for the knees without sacrificing the cardio! For a deeper or more thorough workout, a gym equipped with treadmills, mats, and weightlifting equipment will open soon.

Designated cozy pantries with strategically-located plants allow everyone to snack, recharge, and engage in catch-ups, made more enjoyable with the provision of free coffee!

Also, the additional greens in the space helps improve the air quality, which is essential in pandemic times. Indoor plants can help reduce noise, provide beauty, and is known to decrease stress – no small benefit and a big boost to help the immune system.

Let’s not forget the cool canteen area with copious seat space. It houses the food concessionaires to give employees a variety of affordable and yummy meals!

Spirit of collaboration

Bringing its own signature personality to the office space, SMRI HQ provides avenues for a healthy work environment for its employees. Collaborative spaces are aplenty. The abundant sunlight in workstations and meeting areas provide a cheerful atmosphere, and the generous areas provided for meeting nooks and huddle hubs for quick informal meetings bring out the camaraderie and rapport with teammates.

The workstations at the 12th floor is where the daily (and magical!) operations happen. The modern workspace can be described as lean, technology-enabled, economical, energy-saving, ergonomic, and environmentally friendly! It supports flexibility, collaboration, and agile work systems, to foster a positive, free-flowing and productive exchange of ideas.

Sustained Green Habits

Waste is segregated from point source. A centralized waste bin program was launched to remove the individual trash bins under each desk. The bins are classified into four categories: (1) Food scraps, (2) Waste, (3) Plastic, Glass, Cans, and (4) Dry Paper.

In the canteen area, motion detection ensures that lights are automatically switched off when not in use to save power. Bathrooms and wash areas have stickers to remind everyone to conserve water and consume less toilet paper, and a bike-friendly culture is supported by having over 130 inverted U bike parking slots.

The WELL Philosophy

It’s safe to assume that our work space has a significant impact to the work we do.

The role buildings play in human health and well-being has never been more evident or more important. WELL is a science-based method for organizations to demonstrate their commitment to employees – that their physical, mental, and spiritual health and wellness matter.

Coming to work should inspire us, bring out our creativity, and fill us with joy. The SM Retail Headquarters gives hope that offices in the future will provide the same care and nurturing space for all types of demographic.

After all, we spend a big chunk of our time in the office with colleagues, doing projects that fulfill us and give purpose to our being. At the end of the day, we are all human beings that dream to be part of an ideal larger than ourselves, and to live our best and happiest lives!

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