IT and Facilities Partnership

By combining smart office designs with key Microsoft technologies, the New World of Work program has enabled employees to be more mobile and productive while reducing costs. This approach allows employees with diverse work styles to coexist and be equally productive in the office environment and when working remotely.

Since its inception, the New World of Work program has opened several facilities around the world, including offices in Amsterdam, Singapore, and most recently in Guangzhou, China.

Purpose-built for the mobile worker, the new Guangzhou office is key to supporting the company’s growing business in South China, providing 160 individual workstations, lockers to store personal items, 6 bookable meeting rooms, and 33 small focus rooms for ad hoc meetings.

Small, dynamic office

Sharing and collaboration capabilities are critical for a mobile workforce, so along with both wired and wireless network connectivity to support laptops and mobile devices, the facility also provides large conference screens that can host live online meetings through Microsoft Lync.

In order to ensure a positive experience for people new to the facility, Microsoft IT formed an IT Ambassador team to help new workers familiarize themselves with the facilities and offer technical assistance for any issues that might arise (such as connecting a mobile device to the appropriate printer, or reserve a meeting room). Facilities personnel also held a First Day User Move-in IT brown bag lunch to ensure that users could be productive on the very first day the office opened

Finding team members, colleagues, and even available desks in buildings that have a high percentage of unassigned seats is often an issue for a mobile workforce. Microsoft IT addressed this need by providing a Windows Phone application that uses location-based services (LBS) to identify available workspaces and locate people.

See the New World of Work program at work in Guangzhou.

Microsoft IT also streamlined the available desk space by using a USB integrated network/display hub with 27” screen that uses a single cable to connect everything from the monitor and network, to the Microsoft Desktop 2000 wireless mouse and keyboard.

The result was a smaller and more dynamic office environment that catered to a highly mobile workforce. Microsoft projects that this will reduce operating costs by 24 percent over a five-year period, which would compare well against the average 14 percent decrease in costs across other sites that have undertaken similar projects.