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Would your office be better without cubicles?

Imagine that your boss informs you that you’ll no longer have your own cubicle, all private offices are to be removed and even your phone will be heading out the door.

That’s the scenario for staff at Microsoft’s Singapore office. A redesign by HBO+EMTB Group which sees the office branded as ‘Microsoft’s New World of Work’ is meant to increase productivity levels and  improve collaboration between teams.

What are the benefits of having  no cubicles or dividers?

In this case the office has been made fully open plan, they’ve gone one step further and have even removed assigned desks. You turn up for work and choose where you’d like to sit. Apparently these types of initiatives are meant to appeal to all ages and backgrounds, something that traditional ‘cubicle life’ does not. Microsoft have recognised that whilst the younger generation often have a lot to offer the technology sector, the older generations can bring a great deal of experience and knowledge.

But no phones, surely that can’t be  a good thing?

The traditional desk phone has been replaced by wireless headsets, each employee still has their direct phone number, but they don’t have to be at ‘their’ desk to answer calls. As a significant percent of the office staff works from home this means the barriers between home and work are broken down.

Laptops instead of desktops

You can see from pictures of the office that no desk has a desktop PC – all staff either use laptops or tablet devices – something i’m sure they’re able to source with ease, this is a Microsoft office after all. Having no desktop PC probably makes it easier to clean the office, there’s no clutter to move around desks, and so may also make it a more healthy environment to work in.

For more photos of the new office see the TechRepublic photo gallery

Main photo credit: Microsoft

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