Innovating the future workplace
I’ve been at Ericsson for 20 years this year, spending almost as many of them in Kista Science City, which is one of the five largest information technology clusters in the world and also the place where we have our headquarters.
In 1876, Lars Magnus Ericsson and his wife Hilda started their mechanical engineering workshop. The workshop was situated in a small kitchen in the courtyard building at Drottninggatan 15 in Stockholm.
From these humble beginnings a lot has happened in the world and at Ericsson. The age of industrialization is behind us and we’ve entered the digital age and witnessed the rise of a connected society. A few years back I was running a couple of studies about the future of working life. What challenges we saw ahead, what employees wanted, how new technologies were impacting the office space and how businesses have to optimize their physical spaces to support innovation and creativity. The office - as we use to know it - was proclaimed dead
Another finding from these studies was that people want flexible, modern workplaces with different types of rooms and areas for different types of work. The working environment should primarily be designed to optimize the quality of interpersonal exchange. Another important area is about serendipity. Businesses have to optimize their organization for the ever-changing market conditions. Organizations must plan for random encounters between people with different backgrounds and competences in order to increase the opportunities for innovative ideas.
At Ericsson, we now redefine our workspace to stay relevant as an employer of choice. We will be constructing a new Ericsson Campus at our headquarters in Kista, Stockholm including new and existing buildings and spaces. Looking at the construction plans, I’m excited!!
I see that the things we talked about in the reports are actually being implemented. Our ambition is to be a state of the art, agile and inspiring workplace. In line with our brand promise the quest for easy, the project aims to simplify and optimize how teams and organizations collaborate thinking of all aspects of what a modern workplace should include, such as the employees, the public areas, how the flow of people will be in the area as well as be inspiring, open, inviting and sustainable.
It will be, a more visual and transparent Ericsson towards the local community with enhancements to some public areas around the neighborhood with parks and new pathways, as well as a café open to the public.
The most impressive view of the plans is the new studio with big windows towards the street, with space for Ericsson’s design and future concepts to be tried out by customers, as well as continuing out in the streets at Kista with prototypes and concepts like the self-driving buses and smart city solutions. So, a much broader audience will experience what we are creating and designing!
I am heading up a team with designers and developers and I often get the question from people outside the company what we are designing as we don’t do mobile phones any longer. My answer is: We are designing the future! And we have started doing that with our award-winning Design System (recently awarded with a Red Dot and iF awards for our new design system and new brand expression) that will have a massive impact on our customers’ experience of Ericsson services and software.
The construction has now started outside my window and I am eagerly looking forward to seeing the new Ericsson Campus take shape in the coming years!