Collaborative & Creative Team Building-Workplace Engagement

Published on 16 Aug 2019

AIA is the largest independent publicly listed pan-Asian life insurance group. Tracing its roots back to 1919 in Shanghai, the company’s 100-year journey has been one of courageous, pioneering spirit.

AIA began the deconstruction of their Hong Kong building to be replaced by a futuristic Class A Prime Office Building by 2023. Faced with significant workplace change, the company sought the assistance of a team building expert, Team Building Asia, to develop a programme to help employees actively engage.

Theme: Future Building Programme



        • Capitalise on employee excitement for the new building.
        • Engage employees about how the new self-directed, collaborative and flexible workspace might look like.
        • Encompass co-creation, creativity and connecting into an engaging and transformative programme.
        • Incorporate Vitality, AIA wellness programme.


        • Manage low ceiling height at pre-selected venue.
        • Ensure output could be executed structurally.
        • Mitigate potential visual obstruction due to number of participants.



Focussed on co-creation, creativity and connectivity, the Future Building programme resulted in the 200 attending employees building a 20 storey, miniature replica of their ideal workplace. Teams were encouraged to work together whilst highlighting the company’s values.



The Future Building programme delivered a more engaged workforce and one that is actively involved in ensuring their environment is collaborative, creative and connected. Return on investment has been demonstrated through:

          • Social ownership,
          • Discussions with fellow employees,
          • Extended social networks, and
          • Continued excitement surrounding the new development.

The final AIA mini-building was delivered to the AIA office for employees to enjoy the fruits of their labour and to continue dialogue and enthusiasm about the new building.

AIA 5 - teamwork

Extensive planning for optimal output

After creative brainstorming sessions, AIA Design Team and Team Building Asia agreed an interactive team building activity would best suit the company’s needs. The result was a bespoke programme which would require employees to design and building a miniature vision of the new AIA Building.

To execute the proposed programme, Team Building Asia faced a number of obstacles. The venue selected for the event had a low ceiling height, which restricted the height of the miniature building project. To overcome this, the event was held over two floors. Level 6 for creation and Level 3, with greater ceiling height, for the finished product.

The final output of 20 floors meant weight distribution needed to be considered as well as ensuring no obstruction issues for the 200 participants. Many options were investigated including different materials. The solution was a clear strong acrylic rectangular prism, with an open top for easy access to place materials inside. Many prototypes were created to ensure the weight loading and stacking stability.

The final solution required a total stacking of 16 floors, with the remaining 4 floors (office lobby, car park, outdoor restaurant and recreation areas) separate. Several rehearsals and dry-runs were held to optimise flow as well as early set up of the venue, The Hong Kong Jockey Club in Happy Valley.

AIA 3 - miniature

Building for the future

Once divided into teams the event started with a lively presentation with an architectural rendering of the AIA Future Building with 3D walkthroughs, virtual tours and panoramic renderings for inspiration.

Challenging employees to bring the concepts of eye pleasing and thought provoking to building of their floors, the question of ‘Why do people do these things?’ was presented in reference to museums, classical music concerts, art galleries, fine dining, sporting events.

Basic blueprints for office materials such as chairs and desks were included in each team’s pack. Teams could earn additional materials such as plants, computers and pianos through gamification highlighting the AIA’s Vitality Concepts values, the organisation’s science-backed wellness programme. Challenges included Yoga, Kendama and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

AIA 2 - miniature

The engaging output

The final installation on Level 3 was highly anticipated and the lively presentations by the Zone Captains were well received, creating further engagement, realising the objective of co-creation and creativity and connecting together.

The sheer size of the final project made this event a stand out and a hit with employees. Proven by the fact that they were reluctant to leave at the end because they wanted photographs with the floors they created and the entire installation.

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