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Microsoft Netherlands

New technologies such as wireless internet and mobile phone provide us with opportunities to work everywhere, it is a new world of work. One could ask: ‘Why do I come to my office?’ At Microsoft The Netherlands we come to our office to meet and work together. Our office has been specifically designed to support these functions. All workplaces are shared; there are no separate management rooms. It is an activity-based work concept: the variety of workplaces is consistent with the activities that employees perform during a working day. People move during the day finding working spaces that suit their direct needs best at that moment. We decided to have less coffee machines and other central facility spaces than in a normal office building. People need to walk longer, but the benefit is a higher chance to meet others. We believe that this interaction adds value for our whole organization.

Hewlett Packard

Like many other companies, HP is rethinking and resetting expectations of the Workplace. Time was when the productive office was imagined by many to be a place of calm where individuals could work quietly on mostly solitary work. We think this is now an outdated description of the office (but not necessarily of some work needs). Perhpas the most productive offices are now those that enjoy high levels of interaction, where interruptions have value, when overhearing people accelerates knowledge transfer and where openness and transparency replace the cave-like tendencies of solitary effort. (Too many people working too hard, for too long....on the wrong things!)