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|Steelcase and Microsoft announce development of technology-enabled spaces designed to boost creative work|
|Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 02:57:17 PM|
Companies introduce Creative Spaces, new research and Surface Hub reseller program.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. and REDMOND, Wash. – March 6, 2017 – Steelcase and Microsoft Corp. have joined forces to explore the future of work, developing a range of technology- enabled spaces designed to help organizations foster creative thinking and better collaboration. These spaces seamlessly integrate the best of Microsoft Surface devices with Steelcase architecture and furniture. Today the companies unveiled five new “Creative Spaces” showcasing how Steelcase and Microsoft can help organizations unlock creativity for every employee.
Additionally, Steelcase and Microsoft announced:
“The problems people face at work today are much more complex than they used to be. They require a new creative way of thinking and a very different work process,” says Sara Armbruster, vice president of strategy, research and new business innovation for Steelcase. “We believe that everyone has the capacity for creative thinking, and people are happier doing creative, productive work. Together, Microsoft and Steelcase will help organizations thoughtfully integrate place and technology to encourage creative behaviors at work.”
The Problem: Fostering Creativity as a Business Advantage
According to joint research conducted by Steelcase and Microsoft, creativity is seen as a critical job skill driven by organizations’ need for innovation and growth in addition to employees’ desire for meaningful work. However, today many organizations invest in technology and space as separate entities rather than approaching them holistically. The lack of cohesion creates sub-optimal conditions for fostering creativity at work.
The research released today (of 515 US and Canadian companies with 100+ employees)[i] reveals the pressure people feel about the shift toward more creative work:
The companies’ exploration of creative work found that creativity is a process in which anyone can engage and requires diverse work modes as well as different types of technology. People need to work alone, in pairs and in different size groups throughout a creative process, and they need a range of devices that are mobile and integrated into the physical workplace. Additionally, spaces should inspire people without compromising performance.
“Every Microsoft Surface device strives to enable the creator in each of us. Devices like Surface Studio and Surface Hub are fundamentally designed around how people naturally create, connect, and collaborate,” says Ryan Gavin, general manager, Microsoft Surface Marketing. “With Steelcase we have the compelling opportunity to blend place and technology into a seamless environment that allows our most important asset, our people, to unlock their creativity and share that with others. The future of work is creative.”
“Most employees are still working with outdated technology and in places that are rooted in the past, which makes it difficult for them to work in new, creative ways,” said Bob O’Donnell, president, founder and chief analyst at TECHnalysis Research. “Creative Spaces were clearly designed to bridge the current gap between place and technology and to help creative work happen more naturally.”
Five initial Creative Spaces are on display now at the Steelcase WorkLife Center in New York City. Spaces include:
“We are facing a time of unprecedented change at work. Through this partnership we will bring together space and technology to help workers and organizations solve the workplace challenges they face today and in the future and ultimately perform their best at work,” explains Armbruster.