Nurturing a People-centric Culture at JTI

Nurturing a People-centric Culture at JTI

Japan Tobacco International introduced a new corporate culture in May 2023, involving over 1,000 employees worldwide in shaping its evolution. In response to the renewed organizational culture, the JTI Caucasus now operates from a new office oriented toward providing top-tier comfort to employees and designing highly effective workspaces.

When the COVID-19 storm hit, JTI, like many others, made the shift to remote work and provided extra resources for employees to establish comfortable home offices and advanced digital solutions. Surprisingly, this unconventional move paid off big time for JTI, with employees smoothly sailing through challenges and hitting their targets with finesse.

“After weathering the pandemic storm, we realized the benefits of providing employees with the opportunity to partially work from home while redefining the concept of the office as a space for communication and collaboration,”- says Sergey Bouksa, General Manager of JTI Caucasus.

Sergey Bouksa, General Manager of JTI Caucasus

Furthermore, in May 2023, the company unveiled a refreshed organizational culture with the central objective of fostering an atmosphere that would help employees bring their human best. This fresh culture is all about fostering boundless collaboration, focusing on value creation, prioritizing employee well-being, and making environmentally responsible decisions.

“Embracing our new culture isn’t about making superficial adjustments; it’s about living and breathing its core values every day. When designing our new office, our North Star was the refreshed culture and its principles.” – Sergey adds.

It can be said that the JTI office is a product of its own people. Ia Kanchaveli, Admin and Car Fleet Manager of JTI Caucasus, who was leading the office relocation project, shared the details with us.

“Right from the start, we aimed to consider everyone’s opinion on everything from design to layout. We launched an ‘ambassador project’ and assembled a dedicated volunteer task force comprising representatives from every department. These ambassadors were the voice of their teams throughout the planning phase.”- says Ia.

Thanks to their involvement, the office now boasts numerous features such as ergonomic chairs that you can fully adapt to your comfortable sitting style, height-adjustable tables that allow you to continue working standing up if you are tired of sitting, two large open collaboration areas, which provides an opportunity to interact with colleagues in an informal environment and much more. Among these, the “relax room” stands out as one of the employees’ favorite spaces – a heaven equipped with a massage chair for those moments when you need to switch off.

Conducting interviews within the new office allowed us to experience its benefits firsthand. Upon entering JTI’s new office, one is immediately struck by the open, bright spaces adorned with vibrant greenery. With only a few isolated meeting rooms, special sound-absorbing acoustic equipment is utilized throughout the area to ensure a tranquil atmosphere.

Ia Kanchaveli, Admin and Car Fleet Manager of JTI Caucasus

Employees do not have assigned desks, and they’re free to choose their preferred work spots daily. Hence, the company activated the “clean desk” policy, which means that by the end of the working day, personal items should be stored in designated lockers accessed via a digital badge system.

Respondents highlighted JTI’s commitment to environmental responsibility, which is evident in its eco-friendly office initiatives. The office conserves resources efficiently using water and electricity sensors, while a centralized water system with a filter provides an endless supply of clean drinking water.

“We aim to minimize plastic usage, collecting and recycling any unavoidable waste. Similarly, we strive to reduce paper consumption, storing most information digitally,” – Ia explains.

Naturally, we were curious about the employees’ initial impressions of the new office. According to Sergey, they were particularly impressed by the open spaces, vibrant colors, and greenery.

“JTI is an employee-centered organization, for all projects, whether small and local or large and global, the company always listens to its employees to create a product that satisfies everyone. Our new office is one of the most successful projects in this regard, providing an environment where employees can fully express themselves and their abilities,”- Sergey concludes.


Photos: Mindia Midelashvili