The Leader Magazine

MAR 2018

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28 MARCH 2018 t H e le A de R Designing for employee experience by Doug Lowrie B eauty and space are important elements of a functional workplace. But over the last decade, Microsoft has learned that far more importance should be placed on creating the right balance of human energy in a workplace. That is, creating a space that works for how people actually use it. We call this critical standard user experience, and in the past few years it has become the No. 1 element we design for in our properties across the globe. Observing workplace trends, our department has seen the dramatic change in workplace norms. Advances in commu- nications and collaboration technologies such as SharePoint, Skype, and Office 365 – along with hardware like more powerful laptops and smartphones – are changing how and where people work. Through the Milan project and many others, we began to see that if you get the space wrong in either direction, com- munity feeling deteriorates. If a space is overpopulated, it's chaotic. Underpopulated, and it's a ghost town. The previous Milan office was sized for more people than were working onsite, and thus lacked vitality. Milan became the latest evolution of our space-utilization If space-per-head is dead, what's next? F E A T U R E A R T I C L E

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