Last year Conan O’Brian, the NBC late night talk-show host, walked through an Intel campus and made light of the sterile, uninviting cubicle environment that plagues so many ‘traditional’ work spaces we all work in today. To see his funny and spot on critique, check out the clip.
Intel, while being hospitable despite being the targets of Conan’s jokes, took the criticism to heart and is currently testing out a new configuration to their office environment. At three Intel campuses the computing giant is starting a pilot program to foster teamwork and community amongst its workers by integrating a new type of workspace. Described as a living room, the new spaces feature lower cubicle walls, TVs, and smaller and more numerous conference rooms.
Additionally, there are open spaces with lots of couches, comfortable chairs and tables. These spaces are very accessible and are meant to cater to Intel’s population of knowledge workers who travel amongst disparate workspaces: whether their working environment means multiple Intel campuses, working from home, or any combination of the two. Newly configured conference rooms are adorned with whiteboards and accommodate 1-4 people. There are fun areas too which include large LCD TV’s, Nintendo Wii’s, and Xbox 360s!
Intel deserves credit for paying attention to the new workspace. It’s great to see them accommodate the mobile workforce and allow their employees to collaborate in a new and innovative environment. Teleworking may or may not be on the way out, but it appears Intel is finding new ways to welcome the mobile worker into it’s way of doing business.
What is your ideal working situation? Would you like to solely work outside of your companies’ location, or do you prefer a hybrid of being able to work on and off-site? We look forward to awesome discussion in the comments.
(Photo credits go to Josh Bancroft)