Keolis Represents French with Swedish Culture

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Keolis is a public transport company including metro, railway, light rail, bus, tram, bike sharing and car parks. It has more than a decade of history. It has business in 15 countries, from French company to integrated global group. It is owned 70% by SNCF and 30% owned by investment bank in Canada which is a rail company. The company operates and maintains transport networks and develops tailor-made mobility solutions adapted to specific local needs and changing commuting patterns.

Office Environment

It is a great opportunity to visit Keolis’s office. The office is newly used for only one and a half year. It is a modern Swedish design office which is totally different from the regular business office.

There is a big floor plan shows the map of the office, each working area has its country’s names which represent Keolis’s operating areas. From this floor plan, we felt that Kwolis cares a lot about the culture integration of different countries.

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There is no canteen in Keolis. Employees there can bring their own lunchboxes there. The eating area next to the kitchen is comfortably design compared to other companies. It provides a good opportunity for the employees from different departments to communicate their working experiences there. It can also maintain a good relationship between the employees.

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The working area in Keolis is very casual. The speaker called it activity based office and Keolis is the first company to implement it. Each employee can freely choose any desk available. It is first come first serve. The purpose of this design is to encourage people to interact. The desks are also designed with high technology. Staff can adjust the height of the desk by pressing the button on the right so they can either sit or stand when they work.

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Then we walked to the Quiet area where does not allow talking and cell phones usage inside. When the company first designed this room, they thought people would not like to work in this room as they may feel lonely. So there is only 25 seats offered. But surprisingly, it has been fully occupied everyday. The purpose of this room is providing good environment for staff to focus on their work and not disturbed by others.

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People / Culture

While we were walking through departments we saw many pictures on the wall. Those pictures were taken by employees there. There is a photo competition each year. Each picture represents either public transports or local views. By showing those pictures, it can increase employees’ loyalty and awareness of local culture.

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People working in Keolis are from worldwide. The company try to mix employees from different culture. The corporate language is English. However, there are few French experts there who prefer speaking French. If people want to speak French in the company, they have to talk slowly and being polite. Keolis encourage staff to express their opinions. Whenever they have a good idea, they are welcome to talk straight to managers instead of writing a formal report.

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It is a special experience to visit Keolis’s office. It is the first company that has activity base design in Sweden. The culture mix from Sweden and France really helps the company to grow better in Europe. The creative working environment makes their employees relaxed and efficiently working there. We also wish to have an opportunity working in such a perfect environment in the future.

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