Ever wonder what it’s like to work in a company where you can cuddle up in a sleeping pod midday or work right next to the CEO?
AirAsia employees, internally referred to as “Allstars”, have the answer.
About 2,000 of them work out of the AirAsia RedQ (short for RedQuarters) – located beside Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 2 – where there are no doors or walls separating employees of all levels, including the CEO.
At RedQ, there is an “open culture” to encourage open communication between employees and managers, an AirAsia spokesman told Business Insider recently over email.
“Being ‘people first’ means management is accessible,” AirAsia Group chief people officer Varun Bhatia said. This means AirAsia’s people are free to approach anyone, including senior management and even AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes.
Senior first officer pilot Jessica Lee describes working in AirAsia as: “feeling like you are part of a big family.”
“There’s no closed door policy. You can talk to your boss whenever you need help and they are always willing to help out,” Lee said.
Bhatia attributes RedQ’s company culture to AirAsia’s founders Tony Fernandes and Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, who believed in the vision that everyone should be given equal opportunities.
“Race, religion, age and gender doesn’t matter to us,” Bhatia said.
He added: “At AirAsia we don’t just look at skills or experience; we look for people who we think are able to live and breathe our values and with passion.”
Branding manager Ben Rynjah recounted how he joined AirAsia when he was 27-years-old, but was immediately tasked with huge responsibilities.
“I was thrown into the deep end and given tonnes of responsibility from the get-go, working with senior management and at certain times, even Tony himself, on projects that I fully owned,” Rynjah said.
Opportunities at AirAsia have so far come in different ways and forms.
Harikrishnan Maniam, a survivor of stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, found his opportunity at AirAsia after failing 400 other job applications and 25 job interviews.
The internal compliance auditor and document control executive said: “Despite the proven fact that I was at my pink of health condition, companies subject any person with chronic illness records as a potential liability.”
With large room for growth, access to the RedQ’s unique facilities seems to be just icing on the cake. But of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a giant slide in the office, does it?
Here are some of the most special features that “Allstars” have access to within the RedQ.
Facial recognition security system
No access cards needed: AirAsia’s employees sign in and out of work using the Fast Airport Clearance Experience System technology – a system that uses facial recognition to board passengers at airports.
Once inside, the inner child of every employee is unleashed with the eye-catching spiral slide that connects the six to the fourth floor. The best part about this is you don’t have to wait for the lift if you’re in a rush.
For “Allstars” who need to catch a power nap, sleeping pods are available for use.
It even assures the user that “really, boss won’t get mad”.
Children aged 11 months to six-years-old can be enrolled into RedQ’s very own Lil’ Star Childcare Centre, as long as their parents are AirAsia employees.
In addition to being able to work near their children, the centre also charges a subsidised childcare fee which is approximately 25 to 30 per cent of the market rate.
RedCargo’s head of finance Jay Loh enrolled her three-year-old son, Zyon, into Lil’ Star Childcare Centre so that he would be close to her during the day.
The Allstars Clinic is open for consultations anytime in the day, but appointments have to be made for off-peak timings, AirAsia said.
The company also covers part of the medical fees for their employees.
Themed meeting rooms
The meeting rooms where employees come together are named after destinations AirAsia flies to.
This is the Sydney meeting room…
…and the Manila meeting room.
Every employee at AirAsia has access to free physiotherapy and counselling services to take care of their physical and mental health, the spokesman told Business Insider.
There is even a barbershop for employees who need a trim.
A typical haircut costs RM35 (UDS$8.50) for females, and RM30 for males.
For a wash and blow, it costs RM30 for females, and RM15 for males.
Employees can grab their morning cup of coffee or a have lunch with colleagues at a range of F&B options in the RedQ, including T&Co Coffee Bar.
The pantry is also open for “Allstars” to unwind and take a break.
Virtual reality sets, video walls, and a Kinect for Xbox One consoles are just some of the gadgets that come with RedQ’s innovation lab.
Last but not least, AirAsia’s workers are provided free flight tickets which can be extended to friends & family at an additional 90 per cent discounted rate to any of AirAsia’s 140 destinations.
Each employee is allocated a certain number of free tickets to redeem every year.
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