TIQ 'Unleashing the Workforce' seminar – Q&A Session

so I’d like to open the floor to questions I’m sure after those some fantastic presentations there are some burning questions in the room so if anyone would like to start yeah great scott how is Microsoft planning to or how it has microsoft measuring productivity and inventiveness and an engagement if at all yeah yeah it’s a great question to ask and we’re actually just going through a massive change as an organization in how we view the productivity and the measurement of our employees so Microsoft historically has stack ranked its employees we all are assigned individual goals commitments is what we call them and they’re aligned to our organizational unit and it essentially mean if you’re not going to do anything that helps my commitment screw you buddy because I’m that’s why it’s going to get paid my bonus we have thankfully as an organization realized that the world is a very different place and also microsoft needs to be a very different company today as much as it is about our products the magic of our company is what happens when you stitch that all together so our method of measurement today our measurement of successes has moved from a very hard world of facts and numbers to a very soft world we’re almost into a world of measuring love which is kind of hippie but great but this is about what can I do to support my colleagues I measured and this is the first year so I can’t tell you how it’s you know actually playing out but I can tell you what it means for me as an individual I measured on how well i have enabled other parts of the business to succeed not my team not my department but other parts of the business and that’s a massive change the i thinks a massive change for any organization but really starting to move to that breath there are some unique unique bits about us being microsoft in the market we’re in but really it’s that sense I now no longer feel that I have to only do my day job if I want to I can do other things too and I’ll get recognized for that it will help the organization so that sort of opening up changes the whole dynamic force so it cuts across both productivity n in completely so I you know and also the other thing we have going on we’re doing a lot of practicing what we preach so we’re moving to a very open transparent communication so thing is things aren’t locked up in email anymore I can look across the business in any part of the business and see the conversations that are happening and if I feel like I’ve got an opinion or want to get engaged I can and nobody says bugger off you that’s not your job you should be doing something they say how brilliant you know and they respect my insight we move forward it’s a really empowering difference and we all you know you can see inside the organization and the change in the employees is there suddenly like this is this is brilliant are you what you want to hear from me on this and so everybody’s got a very very soft engaged in a big sort of sense of buzz any other questions yes all thinking from black architecture I think it’s fascinating the presentations we’ve seen this morning but what’s really interesting is you can argue that the workplace hasn’t actually changed fundamentally since the invite of modernism a hundred years ago and we know a lot more about how to heat cool light and ventilate people comfortably we know that there are real issues with fully glazed office facades and yet that paradigm is not being broken and i guess the challenge is why is he not being broken because the image at the end of Kevin’s presentation look just like the rest of the images you would have seen from 10 or 15 years ago with the exception that had wood round the atrium and surely the buildings and the architecture should be new and we need a new user centered sustainable architecture that was more of a random question Kevin do you want to risk also that one thanks Paul haha thanks a lot look I think that’s a good observation and we’ve done some projects here which are not like the ones you’ve seen on the screen which we’d love to bring to the fore but we find we need to take the corporate occupier on that journey with us and those that are owner-occupiers are really engaging and you’ve done a couple of buildings where the where the way you can deliver that our challenge is that in the world where the industry works on an ability to be able to afford sell the project to an investor and provided 25-year environment for an occupier the default position of a BREEAM excellent building which is a lot of tick boxes for a lot of corporates in some ways sadly takes us to where we are currently but I think if you look in more detail at some of the buildings were evolving out at Stratford you’d see there are differences there are some differences so you know opening windows are in you know the base specification

so this is part of it but I agree you know I think it’s some if we can move a needle and be a little bit more inventive with the space than we should but there’s some great examples of it as you know where corporates have done it for themselves and have only asset yes a question to David I was really intrigued about what you’re saying about what happens in physical space open plan space and creativity I think that’s very dependent on the company actually and the teams and the individuals and how they work in the culture but what one of the things that strikes me is that there’s currently within the industry and in very multiple kind of online forums has never been more debate about why open plan is bad it’s like the open plan is the new evil but people have got very selective and short memories because you know we got rid of the cubicles and we got rid of the enclosed offices for very very good reasons all you got to do is go to some of Microsoft’s old spaces in Seattle to see what those kind of spaces were like and what the new spaces today so I think one of the things which i think is affecting that is the technology I was actually very interested what you said that actually people when they’re geographically dispersed use technology better when they’re actually physically together so i think the discussion around open-plan space is is partially to do with the physical design of the space I think it’s got more to do with the technology and what’s what’s actually impacting people’s kind of productivity on a day-to-day basis you know your your point about the 15 minutes of flow is critical because most people in open-plan space do not have that luxury of kind of an interrupted time because things are going off all around them people emails instant messaging everything so I’m not quite sure what the answer is you know but we need a different type of blending of the workplace environment yeah I mean I absolutely think that’s brilliant and spot-on and part the problem in the stuff that I do in the way I talk is it’s really easy for you all to end up in a place of extremes and so I don’t think the open-plan office is bad I think consistently working there monday to friday 925 is bad so it’s about having the choice and to to your point about the technology and it’s not about the technology or the building I’ll see you and I’ll raise you because this is about the human beings our problem with technology is how the human beings choose to use the technology so one of the studies that we’re doing at the moment bit of work that we’re doing is showing this the whole sense of disconnection so you may have this experience in your family lives you may have this in your working lives but if you’re ever sat at your dinner table with your kids or your spouse and everybody’s on a screen or you’re in the pub and everybody’s on the screen or you’re at a concert and everybody’s watching the concert through their screen this this is the problem because we’re choosing to do that and I don’t think it’s necessarily a finite choice we’re not seeing the own tongue actually I don’t really want to talk to me dad so I’m gonna sit and look at the screen we just we just do it we fall into it we sit and watch the TV but we’re not really watching the TV because we’re browsing stuff we’re not engaged I’m trying to wake up the human beings and make a positive choice about if you’re in the office what I do with my office is the last bloody thing I want to do when I’m in my office is look at my email because there is no reason there’s no but I live in bloody bamburi I have a two-hour commute each way I am NOT commuting for two hours to sit and do something that I could do somewhere else if I’m in my office I’m there to engage with people whether it’s our customers or my colleagues as an active choice that I’ve made as an individual so this is about waking up the human being and about empowering them that actually technology does make a difference but when it’s used in the right way and I think that’s you know if we get the right building space we have we still need the right technology don’t get me wrong it’s important but it’s the right culture and the right approach from the human then I think we end up with a blend that you correctly point out that’s not something I think there’s a there’s no hero defense mechanism I’m not sure we’ve had the evidence to push back so you know guessing Philippine a lot of the projects that architects designers workplace designers are faced with is where a cost consultant is advising the clients that actually open plan is cheaper and is denser and therefore the net impact both on op X and capex is beneficial yet nobody is pushing back and saying whoa hang on a second what’s the impact on creativity what’s the impact on communication what’s the impact on pride you know these are the key drivers of outputs but because nobody i basically yourselves and us are the only people i see in the market at the moment who are consistently measuring the performance of the space for the occupiers in the output and the creation of those decisions i think that’s that’s where as an industry we’ve lacked the opportunity of saying densification is bad open plan may be bad if it’s also coupled with densification if you’re going to go open plan then at least allow the space debris the line all those spaces for people to move around and go and find other alternative environments that enable them to optimize the experience they’re having at that point based on the collage of different space and I think that’s that’s the biggest problem

that we’ve never had that evidence-based design proposition to take to those large corporates everybody that’s actually involved in the supply of of workspaces realized you know 15 20 years ago we had too much of it and actually what was happening as technology was improving our utilization of the space just kept getting less and less and less because people got more and more mobile so you know work left the building ten years ago and we’ve been using less and less space but i think that the push to densification has now reached a point where it’s gone too far and I think the industry is waking up to realize that that actually efficiency is just one lever we need other other levers to pull now I think a case in point of that is even for lend-lease re planning our office in Sydney there’s a huge amount of work that’s been done about productivity efficiency looking at how the teams collaborate and talk to each other and the blend lease has made a conscious decision that you know we can’t do that in anything more dense than a one to ten ratio because that means you have to get rid of those collaborative spaces and then what does that mean for the environment where our teams work and that’s been a conscious decision that we’ve made and and senior management’s push back on anything at a denser ratio it than that so absolutely case in point on that one have you seen any statistical differences in your LMI surveys around organizations that are more flexible versus those that are less you spoke about the obvious differences between organisations in new versus old buildings and start saying but but do you have any insights for for flexible working versus non flexible working it’s an interesting challenge though to actually define what and don’t maybe slightly touched on this is what what is agile what is flexible what his new ways of working do lots of work in the Netherlands you know where they’re still talking about new ways of working but actually been doing it for 12 years so is it really still new and actually you know who’s coming at the back end of the new ways of working program and sort of you know in danger and coming full circle around themselves and we’ve got a master’s student at the University of Eindhoven who’s doing some number crunching through the database he said why can you compartment out all of those spaces where it’s a new ways of working space okay fine give me a definition of all the criteria that create the entry requirements into this sort of hybrid pool of new ways of working space and nobody can do it and I think you know our new ways of working at an agile environment for one organization so rail infrastructure client network rail’s one of our biggest clients in the UK their version of agile is totally different today’s now but what’s interesting for me within the data group is those those organizations who would surprise you in how they’re adopting agile so actually network rail’s a classic example of where track engineers have now got smart phones with cameras so that they can vc with with guys sitting in the desk in milton key on infrastructure services and actually say look this is the problem look and turn the camera around and show them the track there and then and I think that’s where you know is that agile or is that just a bit of joined-up technology I think that’s where you as a you know as observers as commentators need to understand and decide what really represents agile in different businesses Juliet I’d be interested to know from Tim and whether you I’m interesting your half life concept and how that scales up to a building so I get the concept that corporates are in control of their own space but for me the highest value space is the social space in the common areas but for a developer you want to reduce that down and get that down to fifteen percent so it’s quite hard to convince a developer to keep recommissioning that area every five years to as a kind of stimulus for the occupants of that building I’m just wondering whether you’re getting to a point in conversations with developers and investors about changing their business models to refresh those common areas and the retail and the experience outside of the corporate spaces I’m not in the UK well not till this morning when Kevin I had a chat about it actually but in Scandinavia a large number of us can secure Vasa cronin in Scandinavia looking at actually saying at partly through the densification actually tenants are looking for smaller footprints so rather than tenants providing themselves with cafes restaurant areas lavish reception spaces huge AV quality board you know high quality AV boardrooms why doesn’t the developer actually start to provide a almost like an enhanced bass build common parts which actually include other things so that if you’re only using a boardroom once some once a week once a month what I provide it for yourself and six tenants in the building all provide it for themselves actually just collectively create a community within the overall envelope of the developer specification I think that’s that’s that’s interesting i think that’s efficient it maybe allows for some of those densification by you’re reducing your overall footprint okay you’re paying to you know pain to play in those other spaces but that’s that’s the only place we’ve seen internationally where i would say the boundaries are being stretched i think the challenge for developers in the UK that is if we think that social cohesion is a driver of high productivity you’ve got to try and draw people to new parts of london to new urban

conurbations before your retailers are willing to commit to taking the ground space because there are no tenants above to actually consume the products they’re going to go there to sell I think that’s the dichotomy that I’m guessing you’re going to have to you know you have to juggle continuously because without the retail without the leisure then there’s no social cohesion for those people outside of the the four walls of the corporate workplace that’s a big challenge I think in in taking new space outside of existing urban areas I found this morning some presentation is absolutely fascinating we’ve literally just gone through the organization IRA potentially just gone through the lease Minh and it’s quite interesting to note that using the same technology in multi buildings across the UK we’ve got very different scores on the lease Minh using exactly same processes exactly the same technology as other buildings literally there are tens of units apart so you know I’m questioning in my own head the fact it does technology make a difference because actually in two different places it gives two different totally different numbers and the thing that I’ve learned is if somebody is just about to launch and transformational change in an organization is the space is really really important the place is really important the technology also is absolutely vital but the big thing that you will touched on but i’m not sure if we’ve really talked about is the other part the triangulation is the culture it’s absolutely what gets valued what’s being seen to be successful and i think that a lot of employees actually are in the in the process of trying to impress their boss trying to do the thing that thinks that fits in around what they do and I think that really is probably the biggest arbiter of satisfaction that rather than the IT and the space that you actually give people to do it so that’s just I think there’s a third be great if the third person was being standing up there today talking about that that would have actually squared the circle for me that’s that’s really your feedback and I think we’re finding that with the corporates that we’re engaging with that they’re looking at ways to use their physical form the built office to engender that culture so it’s it’s almost the starting point they say well look before we engage with you and you start to work out what our building is going to look like you know let’s spend a couple of days in your in your workplace and just get a feel for the culture and how can we express that through the building because they are incredibly powerful a Microsoft have done it exceptionally well very powerful and every one single one of us in the room has a part to play an up don’t we and how we influence and bring this into our teams in our workplaces to try and help make that cultural shift that just a today’s point computer equipment across the whole database 93% of employees right computer equipment as an important part of an effective workplace but 91% also ready coughing refreshment facilities as an important part of an effective workplace so there’s there’s lots of other stuff that costs a fraction of the in cost of a technology infrastructure to provide which glues people together in that common purpose in that social occasion okay last question you talked about engaging with court puts and spending some time understanding their culture as part of that are we also looking at their business processes or discussions around laps and I don’t know what what we’re doing about that to be honest so are we looking at that too because that often you know your your culture and how you feel when you’re at work is also it’s not just about technology and everything else thought about how you do your job and what’s stopping you being creative so Dave mentions us in his book he writes about this but I was just wondering what we as company doing about that and perhaps to the wider audience know are people thinking about that it’s a good question because process has driven a lot of activity-based working outcomes if you like so in its purest form activity-based working is giving the right environment to do the job that you have to do during your working day so if someone sat down with you and work tell that you need to spend you know two hours in a private little lock up room two hours collaborating to our somewhere else because that’s the process of your work that’s great that’s good but actually through that engagement we’ve realized that that is in many ways bad because that stifles innovation you’re saying well you have to go there to do that you have to go there to do that you have to go there to do that so where’s the release so we think sort of looking forward we’ve been looking at how the workplace can just be a bit more flexible so as Dave said agile working is not about saying you go there there there and there it’s you’ve got the technology it’s your own technology where is best for you to do the job that you have to do and Dave decides he comes into the office from banbury and I just collaborate and then I go somewhere else through the word so it’s it’s it’s breaking process down if you like we think is is more the challenge for the future rather than say well it’s a

series of processes that every company works too so let’s put because if we do that we’ll end up with a factory from the 1920s where the widget goes from there to there to there and we recently had a tour around the Aston Martin factory which was just incredible in terms of process but even there they had the flexibility for you to walk around and the guy that was stitching the leather could wander over to the body shop and so well actually I think you could do that better again they were just breaking down the processes so yeah it’s a process can can stay phul sort of innovation if we if we’re not too careful if that was the right answer great I think very interesting topic and I think quite a few of us could sit around and mull over this over a coffee for quite a few hours and certainly I could but I know we’re short of time now so we’ll leave it there and I just want you to join me in thanking our speakers today for a great start to a friday morning very interesting discussion thank you very much you