Jacques Celliers, CEO of FNB. Photo: Elvira Wood
  • Jacques Celliers doesn't believe in a conventional office.
  • He does not have one himself and works where he can find space.
  • He also has unconventional commuting habits.

"Personally, I enjoy working in open areas as I feel energised by the people around me," says FNB CEO Jacques Celliers.

It is for this reason that he does not believe in the old-school format of a dedicated desk and office, nor does he have one himself.

"The days of saying 'Come to my office' are over and I have never invited people to come see me at my office or table. That is not how we work [at FNB]".

According to Celliers, office spaces can be used efficiently as meeting rooms for teams as they stand empty most of the time. 

He also spends time with teams in different environments within the bank to learn about their work. His assistant also works remotely and they only see each other when necessary.

He believes that smart technology has fundamentally reduced FNB's reliance on fixed infrastructure like dedicated offices, furniture and printers. 

"It is good for managers to support mobility and set an example by experiencing the tool-set we expect our staff and customers to use." The FNB brand is at the forefront of implementing digital migration to make customers’ lives easier, says Celliers.

"Therefore, the way we work is crucial to our success." 

Celliers also believes in instant messaging instead of long emails. And he Ubers to work - or catches lifts with colleagues, instead of driving and wasting time in traffic.

"This gives me an extra two hours of productivity in a day," he says. 

Every organisation is different, he says, but he would certainly encourage mobility for any digitally-led institution that wants efficiency in its operations.

"Studies have shown that younger workforces prefer mobility," he added.

"And considering that ours is a young continent, executive teams need to embrace new ways of working to lead from the front."

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