How Trends and Concepts Empower Women in the Workplace

August 30, 2019

(Photo by ECCP)


There is no better time to be a woman than today. More and more opportunities are being afforded to women giving them the chance to rise and encourage others to do the same. This is what occurs within the four walls of Trends and Concepts with the leadership of Leni Bantiling, “Our organization believes that everyone should be given the ability to lead in the workplace, especially women. We make sure to develop a culture where they don’t just feel safe but also confident enough to voice their opinions and make decisions.”

Leni further notes that women executives have the tendency to hold back on their own power, “They sometimes doubt their own ability to lead or excel in executive positions. We are very intentional in the culture that we create for women because we believe in what they can do especially when they are encouraged and built up.”

Mentorship is key.

At Trends and Concepts, women are closely mentored by executives to help them shape their careers, “We firmly believe that we become the best version of ourselves when we look to others who have paved the way for us. That is what we do at Trends and Concepts, we make sure to offer what we can to help another out and help them become the best version of themselves.”

More than just mentorship, this also provides a way for women in Trends and Concepts to build meaningful relationships that will make them grow, “It builds a culture of trust which we believe is the beginning of any great relationship and the foundation of a company’s success.”

Celebrating each other’s strengths.

Women are also empowered by celebrating their strengths. There are workplaces that downplay women’s victories, but Trends and Concepts is not one of them, in fact, they are known to celebrate women’s strengths and victories, “We believe that it’s important to let women known when they are winning. This is part of our mentorship as well. We all know that if one of us win, we all win.”

Being approachable and ready to help.

Because of the trust built through the mentorship process, women at Trends and Concepts are not afraid to ask for help because older executives are always willing to lend a hand, “We always let new employees know that they can always ask us for help. We appreciate it when they ask for our help.”

Being authentic about their failures and mistakes.

And while other workplaces believe that women need to be perfect in order to succeed, that is not a culture that is prevalent here. We are very honest with our mistakes and we try to ask for help from others. It makes women know that no matter what, you are accepted here and we are all here to make it better.”

Designing Life in the Workplace

August 30, 2019


Designing comfortable, agile, and inspiring spaces has become an essential aspect of most companies today. The influence of a well-designed workplace on the attractiveness of the company and its ability to retain talent is now widely recognized thanks to the steady stream of technological advancements and innovations in recent years.

At its very heart, workplace design tells the story of an organization in a way that resonates with the workforce, as well as with suppliers, and customers. It presents a company’s personality – influencing how people behave and interact both internally and on its behalf. It signals a company’s commitment to its core ideals and a tangible manifestation of its brand. With inspiration available almost everywhere, it sounds easy, but a deeper and more focused understanding of the company’s vision is needed across the workplace.

“We live in a time of rapidly changing corporate visions, workforce demographics, and innovations. These changes everything, and everything must change, especially in terms of designing workplaces that address needs and anticipate employee and industry expectations,” said Charisse Gail Bantiling, VP of Design and Construction Management Division and Principal Designer of Trends and Concepts Total Interior Solutions, Inc.

Bantiling’s company, a pioneer in the design and build industry in the Philippines, works on projects with sincere and attentive approach to employee productivity and satisfaction. According to her, contributing to the growth of the business by being purposive, intentional and strategic about the workplace design for individuals within the space should always be a top consideration, if not the main priority.

“We also put a lot of emphasis on the relationship between health and wellness and the built workplace environment. It’s more than giving your employees ease in business operations, it’s about caring for your people,” she added.

Being exposed to global projects at a young age, Bantiling knows that it’s not enough that companies know what they need to shape office environments to enhance human creativity, productivity, and quality of life. The most significant change only happens when people take action.

“As designers, our role is not just for aesthetics, but to act as strategic facilitators of the client’s culture, work process, technology, environment, brand and, business drivers,” she said. “It’s always about engaging the senses while being mindful to the realities and demands of the end user,” she added.

For every design and redesign project, understanding the needs of an organization to adapt, grow, and change to survive and thrive by identifying effective workplace strategies that help clients achieve greater business results is necessary. This means translating the corporate vision and making sure the company’s values are well reflected within the work environment to encourage employee engagement and company culture.

Leaders need courage and strength to keep up with the changing times and be open to adapting innovations to create exciting environments where people feel inspired and energized, and look forward to coming to work.

As a pioneer in office design, build, and fit-out construction solutions, Trends and Concepts has been a wonderful model of corporate culture, community, and team work across their projects. The company prides itself at making office spaces not just inviting, but exciting for people, working on projects for Huawei, Avon Cosmetics, Honest Bee, Amway Philippines, VFS Global, and Lenovo GROUP LTD.

Joe Bantiling: Looking out for People through Workspace Design

August 30, 2019

It’s often said that the spaces we occupy are spaces that define us. Much like how we present and represent our homes, hometowns, schools and organizations wherever we are. It’s a reflection – an identity – we carry with us. This extends to our workplaces.

A well-designed workspace is crucial to companies to reinforce their identities, which then empowers them to create better working conditions and engagement for their employees and their communities. A well-designed workplace is also crucial to keeping employees engaged and their morale high.

The workplace is where we spend more than a third of our daily lives in, and if the environment is uninspiring, it’s unlikely that employees – or guests, for that matter – would have stayed any longer than necessary. That’s what most forward-thinking companies are realizing these days. In fact, they see it as the future.

“There are smarter ways to use your space to encourage work, collaboration, and productivity,” said Joe Bantiling, Founder and CEO of Trends and Concepts Total Interior Solutions, Inc. “As human capital enablers, we have to ask ourselves, “Are our offices just there for business transactions, or are we a business that also aims to make our people’s lives better?”

As a pioneer in the design and build industry, Trends and Concepts has been a wonderful model of corporate culture, community, and team work across their projects. The company prides itself at making office spaces not just inviting, but exciting for people.

“You have to look out for your people’s health and wellness, and treat them as your priority. A well designed and healthy work environment helps motivate employees to their best work. You want your workforce and your guests – anybody who sets foot in your office, really – to see that energy,” he added.

Bantiling explains the synergies in today’s office setup, especially since workplaces are now hosting a diversified pool of talents that ranges across generations, orientations and beliefs. What Trends and Concepts is doing is more than just beautifying the workplace.

“It’s also more than just getting people to come to work. It’s more about taking care of your people, your clients, and your community by giving them the best possible place and condition to thrive,” said Bantiling.

The Office is a Social Place

For companies reinventing themselves, “dusting off” their workspaces is the way to go to reinforce their new vision and ideals. Taking note from the steady rise of co-working offices these days, human resource departments look to infuse this model of adaptive environment with a sense of community and company culture to encourage employees to show up and then show off their companies.

However, the proliferation of employees setting up meetings with clients in restaurants, cafés, or someplace else is still as strong as ever.

As Bantiling puts it, “The workplace is a gathering place for many people. What’s sad is the sense of belonging and pride that comes from knowing your company is doing its part to incorporate elements in its design that helps encourage people to linger, hold meetings, collaborate, or even eat, have fun, or take a breather is something that’s not given in workplaces today.”

Apart from providing employees their own stations for work, setting up meeting rooms, huddle spots, soundproofed phone booths, and breakout spaces are some ideas companies can look into that can make their workplaces flexible and dynamic.

Bantiling is quick to point out that extra thought should also go into spaces that allow people to de-stress, have fun, or simply attend to their needs as individuals with families. These includes recreational spaces such as gyms, spas, meditation areas, game rooms, entertainment rooms, day cares, and lactation areas.

“You have to design spaces that allow your people to feel better about themselves,” said Bantiling.

Thinking Forward

Bantiling believes that human capital is the very soul and essence of why a business works. To him, even though advances in technology has changed how offices are used, nothing replaces the human touch when it comes to building and maintaining relationships. However, he’s quick to point out that taking advantage of technologies to empower people to keep up and get ahead can only mean good things for businesses.

A workplace is always about the welfare of the workforce. At Trends and Concepts, Bantiling leads a team of architects, interior designers, and builders and encourages them to explore ways technology can applied to enhance their projects in relation to their client’s vision and demands, as well as the users – employees – needs.

As Bantiling said, “The traditional function of the office has transformed as we adapt to different work setups. Now, you can work online from anywhere in the world, but even then, more and more people are encouraged to go to spaces where they feel most relaxed, creative and inspired. It’s the experiences whenever you’re in these spaces that are irreplaceable by the conveniences of modern technology.”

Gail Bantiling Shines in ECCP’s Business and Beers as she Highlights the Work Environment’s Impact on Employees

April 9, 2019

Trends and Concept’s very own VP for Design and Construction Gail Bantiling talked about the most pressing issues about then environment and how it greatly affects us in her latest talk for ECCP’s Business and Beers forum last January 22, 2019.

 Gail talked about how one’s work environment affects employees. Gail was quick to point out a startling fact that 50% of employees suffer from chronic diseases due to one’s work environment.

This is why Gail urged managers and business leaders to think of their company’s working conditions as this greatly affects employees’ health and ultimately their performance.

Dimensions to be considered involve the physical working environment such as lighting temperature, indoor air-quality and thermal comfort, noise and acoustics setting, privacy, access to nature, and health and safety. Socio-emotional and cultural environment is just as important especially when it comes to support, expectations, and values.

Gail even gave her expertise on open and close working environments and why design plays a key role in creating an environment that promotes safety and good health.

Gail believes that everything from the lighting to the colors and just how much privacy an employee gets all leads to increasing or decreasing an employee’s productivity. Gail shared that everything was linked together and contributes to the totality of the company’s effectiveness.

Attendees were inspired by Gail’s talk and most of them agreed that this was definitely something that they would think of and consider in their own work places.

View more photos here:


Why Health and Safety is Top Priority at Trends and Concepts

April 9, 2019


Trends and Concepts is a company known for many things but one that they are most proud of is how they treat their employees. The construction industry while extremely exciting is also one that can be dangerous, and this is the reason why Trends and Concepts places great emphasis on ensuring their employees’ safety at all times.

Leni Bantiling, VP for Business Development and Corporate Communications of Trends and Concepts says, “The work that we do is fun, fulfilling, and a passion of ours but at the same time, we do understand the caution that we need to take as a company to ensure safety at all times. We value our employees, and this is extended in how we care for them.”

Trends and Concepts believes that there are many benefits to have a safe working environment for their employees, “We understand that we become our team’s second family and this is why it’s important for us to go above and beyond to provide a safe working space for them.”

More and more global trends are linked to providing excellent working conditions to employees simply because a happy and safe work place not only boosts productivity but fosters trust as well.

Trends and Concepts not only provides physically excellent working conditions for their team of individuals but also provide a work culture where they feel supported and cared for.

Employees at Trends and Concepts are given many opportunities to truly feel that they are cared for. Health, safety, and wellness are the top priorities of Trends and Concepts. The company believes that whatever excellent service they provide their clients must also be provided to their employees as well.

The company’s Health, Safety, and Environmental policy is geared towards creating a health and safe culture for everyone, “It’s not just about being safe as an individual but also on how we train our team to keep other safe as well.” – Leni Bantiling, VP of Business Development and Corporate Communications

Aside from carrying stringent occupational health and safety practices, they also ensure to promote a zero harm to the people and the environment culture at their workplace.

Trends and Concepts does so by providing safety seminars, safety orientation, and tool box talks. Tool box talks is unique to the company and gives their employees to voice out their concerns about specific topics in an open discussion with co-employees and their supervisors.

“It’s all about being inclusive and making sure that everyone has an understanding that we want them to be safe at all times and we want to develop a culture where our employees know that they are taken care of and their safety is our top priority.” – Leni Bantiling, VP for Business Development and Corporate Communications


How an Experience-Driven Office Space Brings Happiness to Employees

April 2, 2019

How an Experience-Driven Office Space Brings Happiness to Employees

These days, office interior design plays a significant role in the success of many businesses. With new technologies and trends frequently coming out, office spaces have been notably evolving. This results to fresh and exciting office design opportunities as well as workplace innovations.

Constantly innovating is an integral part of a successful business strategy. There are plenty of wellness promotions and creativity-enhancement strategies being provided to various types of businesses nowadays, and one of these is the experience-driven office space.

Attracting and keeping top talents in this competitive workplace is a crucial factor of success.  It is vital to determine what the potential recruits are looking for in an office, while also considering the expectations of the other employees. As an employer, you have to know the trends that have staying power to retain your people.

Experience-Driven Design

Having an experience-driven workplace can lead to a happier environment. It is essential for every business owner to look for designers who will reinvent your space in order to make it more inviting and appealing to everyone. The more you focus on how an office space improves human experience, the more productive and effective employees will be at work.

When you incorporate direct experiences into your own business model, you can cultivate happiness and at the same time develop overall wellness in the workplace. Prioritizing employee experience is necessary in boosting the morale of everyone and community building. This way, both the employers and employees will have a smooth relationship with one another and enhance their professional and personal levels.

Experience-Driven Space Features

There are a number of experience-driven space features which you can take into consideration when planning on incorporating it in your company. These features include the following:

  • Yoga studio
  • Meditation areas
  • Rock climbing walls
  • Massage therapy space
  • Music and theater stages
  • Holistic medicine offerings
  • Espresso and cocktail bars
  • Game rooms and virtual reality gaming spaces
  • Indoor and outdoor corporate sports tournaments and active spaces


Multi-Faceted Human Experience

Creating a happy workspace motivates employees to collaborate well and thrive in their chosen paths. A nicely designed office area makes it easier for everyone to perform each task and have a healthy communication. More so, a relaxed casual setting encourages a more open collaboration that’s why it pays off to have this kind of office design.

A rich human experience design is something that inspires all the employees to contribute to the company. In fact, it is difficult to get the job done with worn out chairs and desks or dull surrounding. Make it a point to include lively additions in your office to keep everyone motivated to work.

Here are some important factors that you should prioritize to promote happiness in the office:


This factor can be inspired by an office setup that provides employees a sense of control in their work environment. They are given the space options to concentrate, collaborate, or just take a break. The confidence will also be built as they have choices to do what they want.


It feels good when employees feel a sense of belongingness. Once the workplace allows employees to have their professional and personal sense of purpose, they feel better. You are engaging them to get involved and be part of something bigger.


Employees who are ensured with a space where they can feel appreciated and comfortable at work are one of the happiest people in the world. Being able to have access to areas where they can learn, innovate, and gain recognition from their colleagues promotes a sense of fulfillment. This is one of the best things employees could ever feel about their jobs.

These key priorities can be a big help in the overall effectiveness of people, the employees’ commitment to the company, and a stronger workforce performance. An experience-driven workplace can bring success to your enterprise and at the same create a joyful, productive, and amazing workplace.

6 Effective Commercial Office Fit Out Ideas For Small Spaces

March 29, 2019

6 Effective Commercial Office Fit Out Ideas For Small Spaces

Do you have a small office space? Worry no more! You can maximize every inch of your workspace through an exceptional fit out. It only takes creativity and resourcefulness to make your tiny area look and feel bigger.

Small office spaces can be redesigned in order to have a better and more comfortable area. You simply need a great office design and build to transform your space. Apparently, a cramped office is bad for the business. It reduces the productivity as well as affects the morale of the employees in more ways you can imagine.

Buying or renting a larger office is way costlier than utilizing what you already have. You just need to plan things well, and you will come up with brilliant ideas to bring out the best in your workspace. So, here are a few tips on how to effectively renovate your small office space into a more functional and convenient one even when you have a tight budget.


Without a doubt, clutter is a major problem when starting an office fit out project. To have an effective and functional tiny space, you need to declutter and sort things out properly. Be sure you know what is still necessary to keep and to make the entire process easier for you. You can create a list of the things you might still need in your space first, for this will help you prioritize the design and layout of your area. Though you can never put a stop on the flow of things into your office, you can at least contain them properly.

Pick out the right layout

Every square foot in your office matters, especially when you have a small area. Enough time and planning is needed to work out your preferred office layout. You have to think about it thoroughly and work with the best people in the field to ensure the improvement as well as efficiency of your office.

Opt for light neutral colors

Colors play a crucial role in an office setting. Let light neutrals inspire employees to work hard and be productive. The lighter color you choose, such as white, beige, pale blue, or green, the more it creates the illusion of a bigger space and makes the area look clean and cool. When you are planning to have an office design and build project, make it a point to select colors that bring lighter vibe and cozy feel to be able to perform well. Moreover, studies have shown that hues and tones help employees get the job done right away with the right atmosphere.

Use multifunctional furniture

Picking the right furniture is also the key to maximizing your tiny office space. Having bulky, big furniture should be avoided to be able to utilize your area properly. Use multifunctional furniture that serve multiple purposes for you to save more space, time, and energy. It is best to choose portable ones, too, which can be folded onto itself or has individual nooks. This way, you are still able to use the space to other important matters and at the same time equip your employees with ample storage space. An organized office leaves a good impression on everyone, so be sure to aim for this all the time.

Invest in good lighting

Another effective way to make your small office space seem larger is through good lighting. Never skimp on the lighting for it can shift the appearance of your area. An office that is well lit creates an airy, open ambiance. Note that you need lighting on three levelstable level, eye level, and floor level. Once you have these, your office will look brighter and more inviting than ever. And if you have a space that has little to no natural light, the use of good lighting is absolutely essential.

Install mirrors

Did you know that mirrors are a huge trick to make a cramped area look spacious? Now you know! With a reliable commercial office fit out, you can have mirrors installed strategically in your space. Because of their reflective properties, mirrors can distribute and reflect light efficiently. Additionally, you can hang mirrors in the center of your area or opposite a window to reflect the view from the outside.

By following the valuable commercial office fit out tips specified above, your small office space won’t just look and feel bigger, but also practical and functional. There is no need for you to raise a huge amount of money to revamp your space. All you need is creativity, effort, hard work, determination, and patience to work it out effectively.

Plan your small office fit out today and consult with us today.

How Trends And Concepts Empower Women in the Workplace

March 6, 2019

When it comes to celebrating women empowerment, there is no better month to do so than March. March has always been the month that has been gifted to celebrate women for who they are, what they have accomplished, their contributions to society, and who they are going to be.

And while any day is a good time to talk about how to empower women in the workplace, it is most especially necessary to do so during Women’s Month. We all know by now that women not only contribute greatly to any organization where they feel empowered, but they actually are fire starters in causes and projects that are close to their hearts. When given the opportunity, women are known to soar and lead companies to heights they have never experienced before.

Trends and Concepts have long recognized the value of empowering women in the workplace. Led by a powerful woman herself, Gail Bantiling, Trends and Concepts understands the need of creating a workforce that is not just friendly to women but actually allows them to soar.

Promote and pay equally.

Create an environment that is empowering to women by promoting and paying genders equally. In trends and concepts, women are promoted equally as the men in the company only because when it comes to pay raises and promotion, women are looked at equally as men. They are evaluated based on their performance rather than their gender. This also means that old-school stereotypes are thrown out of the window and each individual is looked upon with no bias.

Discourage gender defining jokes.

An encouraging workplace environment is one that doesn’t encourage women to be anything other than who they are: strong, sensitive, and compassionate. In order to be seen as equal to men they are not required to be like men, instead they are encouraged to be who they are and use it to their advantage when leading a group. It’s never about becoming like the other gender but rather a supreme focus on using a person’s individual strengths to propel the company forward.

It goes without saying that Trends and Concepts have created a safe space of women by allowing them not just to grow but to feel safe in their environment. An environment of respect is the foundation of any successful workplace and with this understanding, both men and women are truly able to reach their full potential.

Leading Like a Woman: How Gail Bantiling Thrives and Empowers in a Men-Dominated Industry

March 6, 2019

The latest Nike Ad showcasing Tennis Champion Serena Williams encourages women to win just as they are – to truly feel their emotions, embrace it, and lead as a woman and not as a copycat of men in any field.

Gail Bantiling is leading the same way in the men-dominated construction field in the Philippines. With a robust education and an incomparable experience that she has been honing since she was a child, Gail has proven that women can lead and win in an industry that is mostly dominated by men. Gail reflects, “My family raised me to believe that as long as I work hard and put in the effort, I can most definitely succeed in any industry that I am in and it is this attitude that has propelled me to do the same in Trends and Concepts.”

For Gail, it has always been to lead just like a girl because in embracing her feminine side while leading she is encouraging her employees to do the same, As women, we were given our own strengths to lead in a way that honors the characteristics that we are naturally born with. Our desire to nurture and our compassion are powerful leadership tools that is uniquely our own.”

In order to empower others in the workplace, Gail reflects upon this quote by Hilary Clinton, “There’s still this built-in questioning about women’s executive ability, whether it’s in the corporate boardroom or in the political sphere.”

Gail believes that women, despite their fears, must learn to jump head on into challenges, “There is always going to be fear but we must have the strength in ourselves to know that whether we fail or not, we have the ability to bounce back from any situation.” Gail encourages women to trust their instincts and have confidence in their own abilities, she also encourages them to see failure as a gift and a great way to move forward.

These are the principles that Gail applies to her workplace as a way of allowing other women to soar.

In fact, these are the three concepts that she strongly believes in:

Having a spirit of collaboration.

Women have long been known to dissuade each other instead of empowering each other. Gail promotes a spirit of collaboration in Trends and Concepts by allowing women to see that they are not in competition with each other but rather a team that works together, “This environment of mentorship and collaboration has done wonders for us at work and it has really built women in our company up. There’s a strong sisterhood felt in the workplace.”


Never letting anyone feel bad for allowing family to come first.

 Let’s face it, women are nurturers and Gail believes that they should never be shamed for putting their family first, “I trust my employees and I know that even if there are days when their families come first, they would still be able to follow through with their work commitments. This view has 100% changed the way women feel at work – this truly is the number one thing that empowers them because when they know that their family would not be left behind just because they chose to pursue a career really strengthens them.”

Encouraging them to have their voices heard.

Women are encouraged to speak up in Trends and Concepts without the fear of being ridiculed for their ideas, “We listen to what everyone has to say and we do so without judgement. This has created a safe space for everyone, especially women to speak up and be heard.”

Get to know more about Gail Bantiling via

What is workplace community?

February 18, 2019

Workplace communities are slowly replacing the more traditional, stodgy corporate information delivery methods, mainly because they don’t focus on delivery so much as sharing. Creating a workplace community means caring about our work, our colleagues, and our place in the world, geographic and otherwise, and in turn being inspired by this caring. Kick starting a workplace community in your company could enable a more free-flowing dialog across a range of diverse groups, leading to significant leaps in innovation as well as communication.


These ideas can turn into conversations that can lead to more ideas. Communities that use social-based tool sets can capture these ideas and push them forward through community collaboration. Less-skilled workers can connect with their more experienced colleagues through social networking features like the “Ask a Question” feature in LinkedIn. Having accesses to the expertise or skill set of coworkers and colleagues enables employees to actively participate in conversations about the content they are researching, enhancing its value and eventually allowing them to become content producers themselves.


How to Create a Workplace Community


To encourage this sort of perspective in the workplace, you will need to create an environment that relies heavily on a strong mission. A positive workplace culture is another way to achieve this goal. Creating this environment can be accomplished over time with just a few simple steps.

  • Show gratitude: Say thank you as often as possible. Hearing that you appreciate the work they are doing will make your employees more eager to do that work.
  • Give support: Create a workplace practice of mutual support. Have different employees team up when someone is getting behind. This can help build a sense of community.
  • Celebrate: When someone does something big in the office, celebrate. This can be through a company-paid lunch or a special company outing. Either way, make sure your employees feel their hard work is appreciated

Workplace Communities strengthen existing relationships and enable exposure to second and third tier connections like we see in tools like LinkedIn, Facebook Messenger, Viber Chat groups and Microsoft teams. These types of connections can greatly enhance the flow of information between groups with different interests. They help foster innovation via fresh perspectives, new ideas, and increased diversity.


In the end, increasing workplace connectivity is not a difficult task. It only takes a few small gestures to build trust, openness, and pride in your company. If your employees are spread across the country, however, this can be a bit more difficult.

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