Office Design: Microsoft Finland reinvents the workspace Premium

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Microsoft Finland recently spent several million dollars transforming their Helsinki ofices. After seeing the results, which give a boost to collaboration and flexibility, it is not surprising to learn that this computer giant is consistently ranked by the Great Place to Work Institute® as providing the best workplaces in the world.

We wanted to break out of the traditional mold in order to facilitate more creative and collaborative relationships, imagining a space where different stakeholders would be able to share ideas spontaneously without having to call formal meetings, explains Tytti Bergman, Human Resource Director for Microsoft Finland.

Each employee is mobile and chooses, depending on mood and task, a workspace from among the following five environments:
1. The Beach: smaller tables and more comfortable chairs, music, soft lighting where most employees come to work individually or in pairs
2. Bistro/cafeteria: an eating space with tables, which is where most meetings take place
3. Nature Room: full of plants, generally used for individual or pair work
4. Marketplace: a touchdown area, where people come to work alone, to meet in large groups, to look for others, etc.,
5. The Library: reserved for undisturbed work — employees must maintain silence and are not permitted to interrupt anyone working here

The variety of disparate atmospheric moods increases the creativity and comfort of employees while promoting collaborative work, says Bergman, who points to flexibility as the most innovative aspect of the new offices: “the overall sense of flexibility that it inspires is what makes this design so revolutionary!”

Read our Dossier
Office Design: The New World of Work at Microsoft Finland

Business Digest no. 220, October 2011.

Interview with Tytti Bergman, HR director, Microsoft Finland, September 2011.