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PepsiCo’s new agile HQ is no fizzer

In December 2016, PepsiCo Australia and New Zealand completed the transformation of its corporate HQ in Chatswood, Sydney. Its traditional, siloed office was canned and replaced with a more agile working environment. The transformation at the multinational food, snack and beverage company was led by CIO Ursula Phillips. Phillips and her team have created a truly mobile workforce. All 300 staff members, including the CEO, received a laptop, mobile phone and Bluetooth earpiece. Office walls were replaced with open workspaces or 'neighbourhoods' where staff can collaborate at hot desks, in meeting rooms, chat spaces, and purpose-built video conference rooms.

  • PepsiCo's Australia and New Zealand CIO, Ursula Phillips is enjoying the sweet success of a new office transformation. Since the transition in December, PepsiCo has seen a 12 per cent increase in employee engagement scores.

  • A digital waterfall, which is mounted in front of an internal staircase, showing PepsiCo's latest brand campaigns.

  • New PepsiCo branding

  • A test kitchen where a new flavour of your favourite salt and vinegar chips - whether they be Smith's or Red Rock Deli - may be trialled by research and development staff.

  • Staff lockers

  • Pepsi logo sculpted with cans

  • A breakout area for staff to mingle and chat to discuss ideas and ask questions as they bubble to the surface, often during training sessions.

  • Sick bay with a bed and a defibrillator which thankfully has not been required.

  • Too close for comfort? A room for staff to 'huddle', not 'cuddle'

  • The service desk screen lights up when things go 'pop'

  • Easy access to sample confectionary sweetens the deal for PepsiCo staff

  • A wall of ovens including two allocated to vegetarians makes lunch easier to swallow.

  • An agile space

  • Prayer area mainly used by PepsiCo's staff who are of the Muslim faith

  • Seating underneath the internal staircase

  • Social listening mission control driven by the Crimson Hexagon software. This is used predominantly by the marketing, R&D and corporate affairs teams to analyse social media sentiment around PepsiCo's various brands.

  • Using machine learning, the software has been trained to recognise true consumer sentiment, allowing for complex linguistics, such as sarcasm and humour. PepsiCo also uses the data to identify influencers, Phillips said. "Last year, we identified Smiths as gluten free for the first time. We can use this tool to identify who is particularly influential in the gluten free space and let them know that we are certified gluten free," Phillips said.

  • Olympic sprinter and world record holder Usain Bolt, who is the face of PepsiCo's Gatorade product. Gatorade is a sponsor of the AFL in 2017 and social listening tools have shown a spike in conversations about the product towards the end of the AFL finals, said Phillips. "People are joyous when talking about Gatorade but then you get 'disgust and sadness' when you dig into it. Some of it is that they didn't like the flavour. Some of it is about the performance of their [AFL] teams and not actually the brand so you've got to dig into that."

  • Everyone needs a bit of greenery of their lives, even at work.

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