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Whatever you say boss (Part 2)


By Arthur Tam

PROJECT AFTER 6: Cube Culture
opens next week! You may have already heard about this original English musical comedy co-presented by Swire Properties and Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation by now. Focusing on the inane nature of a Hong Kong workplace, it stars 30 cast members who work or live in Quarry Bay. Earlier, we spoke to several of these actors/actresses and their bosses – and here’s part two of what more of them have to say about job satisfaction, work-life balance and how this show brings together the entire community.

Boss: Rose Yeung, Marketing Director
Employee and cast member: Kary Hon, Marketing Manager
Company: Ocean Park, Hong Kong

How would you describe the workplace culture at Ocean Park?

Yeung: Working at Ocean Park is inherently fun due to the very nature of a theme park. I would say the culture here is open, creative and collaborative. Because our business is quite diversified and we focus on F&B, entertainment and wildlife, we always have to do research. So, sometimes we go hang out and have dinner together at new restaurants or watch shows to scout what other people are doing. So, we get to enjoy work and entertainment at the same time. In two weeks we are actually going to see the Peppa Pig show.

Hon: I agree, our workplace culture is indeed very fun and friendly. We aren’t like a regular office. When we have meetings we just go somewhere in the park, even with clients.

What are your thoughts on corporations developing creative activities for their community?
Y: We do quite a lot of CSR. As a Hong Kong theme park we are dedicated in engaging the local community and support minority groups, for example by providing educational classes about nature and wildlife.

H: The engagement programmes under PROJECT AFTER 6 are very meaningful. I really appreciate how Swire Properties (Swire) is branching out to the community, which includes me. So, I’m really experiencing the best of both Swire and Ocean Park.

How important is it to have an identity outside of work?

Y: Life outside of work is essential. And for me, I’m a yoga practitioner and I also appreciate onstage performances, which is why I’m especially excited for Kary’s upcoming show. I believe it’s a very positive activity and I support her wholeheartedly. I prefer stage performances more than movies because you feel more engaged with all the collaborative teamwork happening right in front of you.

Why did you want to engage in Cube Culture in the first place Kary?
H: For me, it has a bit to do with fate. I used to be in an a cappella team called Orange many years ago and coincidently, Swire invited us to perform. At that time it was also Babby (see our interview with Babby here) heading the event. We were very grateful that Swire would support such a budding group. A few years later I bumped into Babby again at an ArtisTree event and she’s the one who told me to pay attention to the upcoming auditions for Cube Culture. As it had extended to the greater community this time, I’m in!

Boss: Wong Mei-tak, Principal
Employee and cast member: Christopher Tsui, English Teacher
Company: St Paul’s School (Lam Tin)

How would you describe the workplace culture here at St Paul’s?

Tsui: Teaching at St Paul’s is actually my first job out of university. Now it’s my fourth year here and the culture is very positive and my colleagues are very encouraging, friendly and passionate about helping students achieve their best.

Wong: As a principal I think our culture should always be based on congeniality and collegiality. Our staff is very supportive of one another and I’m glad to hear Chris' feedback.

What sort of team building activities do you engage in?
W: We do not have many opportunities for this type of activities but Chris is helping to put together some as he is the staff representative in our welfare community. We also have professional development days (PDD), where we set aside three days a year to socialise outside of school. Last year we went on a retreat to a campsite. It was time to reflect, socialise and play games. I got to see some of the colleagues from another perspective and it helped all of us appreciate each other more.

T: Before Easter we also had another PDD where we had a latte art workshop and a Chinese acupuncture workshop. I remember when I first worked here, the PDD were more academic-oriented, but in the past few years, Ms. Wong has been trying to help the staff bond with each other better, so she introduced other relaxing activities where our staff can have a good time, share ideas and gain inspiration from one another.

What kind of value do you think these bonding moments bring to the school?
W: As Chris just mentioned, being a teacher is not being on an individual island. We are all linked together and we have to communicate and get along. What we are doing to support students is providing a network of adults that students trust.

What do you think about Chris being part of the musical?
W: When he first told me I was very excited. As a colleague, I would like to see other colleagues pursuing their dreams and showcasing their talents. We always tell our students to be lifelong learners and I think Chris is leading by example. I’m hoping that he’ll share his experiences with the students.

What do you think about Taikoo Place engaging with the Quarry Bay community?
T: I think it’s pretty amazing because in the past four years I have made a lot of new friends with the incredible teachers here. But, I haven’t really been able to expand my circle outside of education and now I’ve gotten to know people from different walks of life, who are all unique and passionate about drama. It’s been an honour and pleasure working with everyone and sometimes it takes an initiative like PROJECT AFTER 6 to bring everyone together.

Boss: Kelvin Cheung, Chief Operating Officer
Employee and cast member: Warren Luk, Social Innovation Consultant
Company: The Good Lab

How would you describe the workplace culture at The Good Lab?
Luk: I would say it’s very open, flexible and friendly. It’s great that everyone can come together and bounce ideas off each other. What do you think?

Cheung: It doesn’t really matter what I think. As the boss of any company whatever I say is basically lies. It’s more important to know what the members think. If that’s what Warren feels, that’s what I want, a place where people can be open and just talk to each other and be their real selves. There are a lot of work places I don’t think you can be your real self. There is misconception that there needs to be an ‘at work self’ and an ‘at home self’. I fully support Warren in his singing because I think everyone needs their passion and hobby. For me I’m a cyclist. Sometimes I cycle to work or I’ll come in late because I’m cycling. It’s fine because we are all doing overtime. When approaching the millennial generation, the more flexibility you offer, I think the more you’ll get out of them.

Flexibility does seem to be a high priority in today’s workplace.
C: I haven’t seen Warren take a nap, but when I’m tired, I just take a nap. I am demonstrating that as a boss it’s okay to take a nap because sometimes, all you need is 15 minutes.

How important do you think it is to have an identity outside of work?
L: it’s very important to have more than one identity. For me, I prefer having a more dynamic lifestyle and trying to explore other things like singing and acting. That motivates me and sometimes that causes competing priorities, but it’s a good experience trying to manage everything.

C: I don’t think it’s competing. It’s synergetic. Warren needs to facilitate a lot of workshops for work, which requires him to have a commanding voice. So, where does he hone that voice? In the musical, in Cube Culture. I teach indoor spinning twice a week and through that I’m able to hone my voice for workshops that I lead. Also, it’s necessary to have a hobby outside work and family. You get to meet different people, who can give you insight that you might not otherwise get from people in your regular circles.

L: That’s a good point. Having another identity allows me to meet different people. People at Good Lab would be different to the music groups I meet in Hong Kong. I enjoy interacting with all these different people because it broadens my horizon.

What do you think about Taikoo Place engaging outside of the office complex?
L: It’s a cool idea. I’ve been living in the Taikoo Shing area for almost 20 years now and having seen this initiative from Swire is impressive and it really helps to build a community. I think the sense of community is something that is disappearing from Hong Kong, which makes this type of activities even more important.

Find out about PROJECT AFTER 6:Cube Culture here.

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