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Microsoft partners with Steelcase to design the perfect work environment for Surface devices

Microsoft partners with Steelcase to design the perfect work environment for Surface devices

In a bid to attract creative professionals and firms, Microsoft has partnered with design company Steelcase, to design Creative Spaces. The five sets showcased on Microsoft’s website, cover a range of scenarios designed around typical workflows within creative settings.

The spaces aren’t merely the fruit of designing and rearranging interior and office furniture. The Gesture Chair, for instance, can be repositioned for a much wider range of postures than the typical office chair, with a price tag to match, at $998.

The AirTouch is another item designed specifically for these spaces. The table is built to change its height at the touch of a button to suit different work styles.

Some of these spaces like Ideation Hub, and Makers Commons, are designed for collaboration and the sharing of ideas among larger teams, while Focus Studio and Duo Studio, as set up to encourage concentration and optimize individual work.

Respite Room, as the name suggests, is a multi-purpose environment where to “...balance active group work with solitude and individual thinking time...”.

Each one of these spaces is built around integration with a range of Surface devices, like Surface Hub, Surface Studio, surface Book, and Surface Pro.

The reasoning behind these spaces goes deeper than an attempt to appeal to one market segment. Microsoft’s own research revealed that most employees feel that they cannot advance their careers in a stifling environment.

For instance, the chief complain of creative professionals is that they don’t feel comfortable working in a space that is too open, in which they feel that the early and raw stages of their creative process are immediately exposed and judged, before reaching a mature stage.

Another problem frequently found in work environments, is the outdated state of the technology available. Obsolete technology and software often contribute to frustration and stifling of innovative ideas, often resulting in employees putting extra hours at home, on their own personal workstations, which can become a costly problem for the company.

What transpires from the partnership between Microsoft and Steelcase, is that they are trying to solve the problem with providing office environments with a design that won’t break their budget, while enabling smaller firms to spur creativity and productivity.

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