LOOK: Here’s what a work day at Optum’s new wellness-forward office is like

Giselle S. Barrientos

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LOOK: Here’s what a work day at Optum’s new wellness-forward office is like
Designed with employees in mind, Optum is built to be an encouraging office to thrive in

Editor’s note: This content is sponsored by Optum Philippines and was produced by BrandRap, the sales and marketing arm of Rappler. No member of the news and editorial team participated in the production of this piece.

How would you imagine the office of a global-scale company dedicated to empowering users to achieve whole-person health? It would probably be something like the new office of healthcare services provider, Optum. 

Optum Global Solutions Philippines, whose parent company is the Fortune 500-lister UnitedHealth Group, is a 21,000-strong organization that orchestrates the end-to-end processes of healthcare delivery for UnitedHealth customers worldwide. The company operates under the belief that as enablers of healthier lives for their members, each employee begins their life’s best work at Optum. With this in mind, their newly inaugurated Makati office was designed to encourage productivity by putting their employees’ holistic wellness first.

The company’s newest headquarters is situated in Makati’s One Ayala, strategically nestled between the major arteries of EDSA and Ayala Avenue. With the goal of making their offices accessible to workers, the space is a prime spot for public transportation and mall access. 

COLLABORATION. The 18th floor breakout room lets large groups interact as they enjoy a 180° view of Makati. All photos by Lance Agustin

Inside, the office’s abundance of flexible workstations down to the energizing color story of oranges and teals make the space inviting for productivity. As healthcare providers, the workplace’s design goes much deeper than aesthetics. To learn more about how this workspace actively boosts productivity, we talked to three Optum employees about their experiences.

A workplace driven by purpose
ENTRANCE. The main lobby welcomes visitors and job applicants, while also serving as the executive floor.

For Optum’s people business partner Lyra Abat, working at the Optum Makati office invigorates her collaboration processes with everyone – from her team members to the leaders of the businesses she supports. The office’s location lets her visit the mall with her team to grab a working merienda break, and the inviting views of the office recharge her for many meetings.

“An interesting thing about my job is that there is hardly a ‘typical’ day. Our assignments and our daily to-dos depend on what needs to be accomplished,” said Lyra. As a company leader herself, her workload can keep her quite busy, so it’s important to find time in the day to recenter and think. “Whenever I need a break from meetings or just from working at my computer, I like using the office’s amenities to recharge and even walk around just to stretch my legs,” she added. 

RELAXATION. The office’s wellness room contains lounge areas and a set of massage chairs to let employees take a moment to destress.

Optum’s Makati office, which spans four floors, provides ample walking space for employees who want to take an active rest. Lining the walls of the office are refreshing murals and quotes aligned with the company’s vision, so employees like Lyra are always reminded of the impact their work can bring.

The office also has a dedicated wellness room, which lets employees take a short break in serenity – complete with a massage chair and an overlooking view of the city below.

Accessibility as wellness

Subject matter expert agents like 27-year-old Mel Guardario Boligao provide real-time support by handling escalation calls, answering process-related questions, and reviewing processing errors. For her, Optum does its job in supporting its employees holistically, and that’s why she has been in the company for five years and counting. 

“I’ve been in the industry for eight years now. I spent three years working for different companies. While I had my fair share of memorable experiences with them, especially with the people I worked with, Optum really feels like home and I hope to be part of the team for the long run,” said Mel.

PRODUCTIVITY. The production floor is where subject matter experts like Mel can provide real-time support.

A company effort that commuters like her appreciate is that Optum finds ways to make itself accessible to its employees by having offices in key areas like Alabang, Quezon City, Cebu, and now, Makati. “As someone who commutes every day, access to public transportation is the most important thing to consider. With the new location, it is easier for me to get home from work and spend time doing things that I enjoy,” shared Mel.

BREAK TIME. An in-house karaoke room lets teams have fun and build bonds through singing.

To cap off a long work day, you can find her in the office’s recreation rooms. “Being able to enjoy the facilities during my break time or even before or after my shift really helps me cope with stress. Having these unique rooms provides employees with a breather and I feel that it can really help prevent burnout in the workplace,” shared Mel. For her, Optum truly lets her do her life’s best work. “I am not just making a living, but also, I am [building] a life.

Broadened opportunities for employee development

Rappler also talked to 32-year-old Adrian Manzano, who has been working for Optum for 10 years. Formerly part of the nursing workforce, he is now an Optum assistant manager for clinical operations where he leads coaching sessions and manages task delegation. At Optum, Adrian was provided the opportunity to expand his capacities beyond the typical roles available for nurses.

MULTIPURPOSE. Adrian works at one of the office’s Flexi Spaces, which can be used for anything from team brainstorming sessions to a change of view for solo workers.

“The nursing industry was quite saturated at one point in the past, and we needed other opportunities to utilize our knowledge even if we don’t do bedside care or help treat patients in hospitals or clinics. Optum has allowed us to showcase our talent in other ways and continues to find ways for us to improve and nurture the skills we’ve gained,” he said.

HUDDLES. Scattered around the office are collaboration nooks, which employees can use to quickly get together for a project.

Another reason why Adrian is a loyal Optum employee is the company’s dedication to encouraging them to create a healthy work-life balance, both through facilities and employee well-being programs. “The company equips us to work smarter, which drives both efficiency and accuracy so that we have time to do other things. I like that I am able to spend my weekend destressing by playing mobile games, watching movies, or going out with my mom,” shared Adrian.

Overall, Optum understands how to properly support its employees because it takes the time to understand them. “We are an organization that strives to be inclusive and diverse. We are proud to have 62% women in our employee base across the country,” pointed out Lyra. 

MOTIVATION. The company’s identity and ethos are prominently displayed on the office walls across its work areas.

With its 24/7 clinic, karaoke and gaming rooms, meditation areas, all-gender bathrooms, and even a dedicated mother’s room for nursing employees, Optum’s Makati office was designed to create safe spaces for employees to also integrate their lifestyles.

 With its young and colorful workforce, the Makati office is the company’s crowning effort to innovate the way employees experience their careers – and in turn, empower them to do their life’s best work. To learn more about Optum, visit UnitedHealth Group’s website to read more about its operations. – Rappler.com

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Optum Global Solutions Philippines

Optum Global Solutions (OGS) Philippines is a leading health services innovation company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and helping make the health system work better for everyone. Optum is a member of the UnitedHealth Group family, a Fortune 500 US company that has been operating in the Philippines since 2011. The company offers an extensive suite of enabling and technology services, with a highly-skilled workforce delivering excellent customer care, payment integrity, pharmacy benefit management, and revenue cycle management solutions to accelerate revenue streams and deliver value to US clients. Optum has offices in Taguig, Quezon City and Muntinlupa in Metro Manila, and Cebu (Central Visayas).