…and why Nigeria became Africa’s leading hygiene company’s headquarters
The novel Coronavirus brought a drastic change into the workspaces across the world. In Nigeria, there was a 22% drop in workplace activities by August 2020. Employers and employees discovered that work could and can be done anywhere around the world as long as there was a stable internet connection. Remote work took centre stage and in many sectors, things changed.
Thankfully, the rate of the spread of the virus has continued to drop in Nigeria. Restrictions on movement and gathering have also been reduced by the government, and more Nigerians have begun returning to work. Many have asked the question ‘what’s next?’. Do we return to traditional work? Can we continue to operate the ‘office space’ as we know it?
Reckitt found a way to answer those niggling questions when it opened its state-of-the-art head office for its Sub-Saharan Africa operations in Ikoyi, Lagos. Hygiene, sustainability, COVID-19 precautions, and staff welfare were some of the factors that influenced the aesthetics of the gorgeous office. This workspace will serve as the head office for all of Reckitt’s activities in the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region — Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, and Ivory Coast.
The decision to open its SSA headquarters in Nigeria is monumental. The country has the largest economy on the continent, earning about N3.93 trillion Naira in revenue in 2020. Nigeria is regarded as an innovation hotspot within the continent so, it’s an ideal place for the company to develop its SSA Headquarters. This decision to locate itself within the continent’s nerve centre also lends credence to the company’s positioning on innovation and fulfilling its purpose of creating a cleaner, healthier world.
The new all-inclusive workspace exudes collaboration, flexibility, and a culture of transformation. It also shows that Reckitt understands the evolution of the flexible hybrid workspace that combines remote work and in-office activities.
Although the hygiene company officially closed its office in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is taking a bold step by initiating the hybrid routine as opposed to sticking with the traditional workspace.
During the commissioning of the new office on Monday, June 28, 2021, Ali Akbar Shah, General Manager, Reckitt SSA, shared the company’s journey in the past year, “over the last year, we learned how the world has evolved, and have understood the benefit of a hybrid work regime, hence we are moving from the conventional office space to an all-inclusive collaboration centre where employees could bring their true selves to work. It is in this regard, we have set up a future of the workplace, a first of its kind.”
The office has the potential to revolutionize workspace in Nigeria and Africa. It will facilitate a synergized mode of operations in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, and the Ivory Coast.
Besides promoting collaboration and creativity, the hybrid workspace is also sustainable. Hence, the choice of this office within the first environmentally certified commercial building in the city was deliberate. It also includes user-friendly systems that reflect a commitment to the hygiene and health safety of staff by ensuring that all members of staff adhere to COVID-19 protocols.