Is there a change of trend under way as far as benefits and services companies are offering to their employees? Let’s reflect upon the manager’s awareness of the staff’s actual wishes and the strategies of companies such as Microsoft Italia, now moving from the perfect, well-served campus outside the city to the new and beautiful offices downtown Milan, however with “no services”…
So far, every company aspiring to the role of best workplace relied on benefits and services for the workers, becoming a sort of “mum-company” taking care of her babies: besides free organic food and the “butler” taking care of the staff’s mental and physical wellbeing, there is also a commitment to promoting a healthy life style.
The offices are wonderful sub urban architectures surrounded by nature (for instance Technogym, Tetrapak, Elica, Diesel, Loccioni), work-life balance oriented headquarters, micro-cities offering services such as day nursery, restaurant, fitness center, garden, theatre, doctor’s appointment and more.
Perfect workplaces, but…
However the survey by Oxford Economics and Plantronics studied what workers want from their office environments, and what managers need to do to enable the highest satisfaction and productivity from their people. First of all workers just want to work and sometimes managers don’t see the problems.
It raises doubts, which is more important than a supply of more “optional” services.
Microsoft Italia seems to be taking this path by leaving the fully-equipped campus to take its employees downtown and to a beautiful architecture (by Herzog & De Meuron for Fondazione Feltrinelli) and working environment meant for the highest level of comfort.
There are several break rooms and a kitchenette and cafe machines on every floor, yet no restaurant, nursery or gym. However all services are available around here, downtown.
To make up for it, even the public can stop and try the new technologies, play and work on the ground floor, and a lab is available for schools.
An about-turn compared to the usual pattern: Microsoft entering the city is an entry in every respect, meaning relations, involvement and services not only for their workers but for all residents.
A new mission statement, an osmosis with the vibrant town, even the employees are certainly proud of.
Editorial by Renata Sias, editor WOW! Webmagazine
The pictures show the new Microsoft Italia headquarters in Milan.