Most companies in the world suffer from returning their employees to their offices after the Corona pandemic and from ensuring a healthy, developed and stimulating work environment that stimulates creativity, which is the most important element in future work offices.
In their pursuit of this goal, these companies may miss the environmental or local dimension that reflects the characteristics of the uniqueness of the region and the employees who work in it. These offices are no longer just beautiful or modern walls, designs and furniture, but has become, thanks to technology, an interactive entity that can better serve the employees in accordance with the needs of each individual of them in a way that does not affect the environment and in a way that enhances the authenticity of the region and its inhabitants. .
Microsoft, one of the major technology companies in the world, took note of this and opened a regional office for its talents in Lusail, the Qatari capital (Doha), which is the latest in the Middle East and the first level of global sustainability standards for the company.
Al Jazeera toured the new Microsoft office with Lana Khalaf, CEO of Microsoft Qatar.
The mixed office has become more common than ever after the Corona pandemic, and it consists of employees working in it and others from home, and this system allows more freedom to determine when and where work is done.
Flexibility is what distinguishes a mixed or hybrid office, so that some employees have to stay in it to do their job, while some employees prefer to work from the office, others may be asked to go there sometimes, and to the different needs of individuals – whether inside or outside the offices – the hybrid workbenches are designed on this basis.
Lana Khalaf says, “When Microsoft built the new Lusail regional office, Microsoft took the mixed work system into account, equipping the office with the latest hardware and software that supports Microsoft teams to facilitate mixed work.”
Microsoft and the future for the region
“We started in Qatar with less than 40 employees, and now we have grown to more than 200 employees in 2022,” says Lana Khalaf.
She added that Microsoft wanted to create the best workplace for its employees “to preserve their well-being, and lay the foundation for their success by creating a dynamic and creative environment for greater collaboration between employees, customers and visitors.”
The Lusail office will also serve as a regional hub for the company’s talent, serving the state of Qatar and Middle Eastern countries at Microsoft.
The new smart office will support the US company’s efforts to develop and retain its human resources and attract more talent to build the most advanced solutions.
Using the company’s latest future work technology, the comprehensive, sustainable and intelligent office provides a seamless hybrid work environment that gives employees the flexibility to divide their work time between the office and abroad, leading to higher productivity, increased employee satisfaction, and improved team collaboration.
Khalaf said that Microsoft’s vision to invest in the Middle East – especially Qatar – comes from its knowledge of the great potential in the region in terms of talent and the resources needed to hone these talents and bring them into ‘ integrate a global work environment.
She believes that Qatar is one of the countries that has announced that its future vision in the diversification of its resources depends on technology and the integration of technology into its economy, and that it will be the focus of attracting global technology companies, which are in line with Microsoft’s vision and plans in the region so that Qatar becomes a magnet for talent in the Middle East that Microsoft seeks to employ.
Sea, desert and green environment
The designs of the new office simultaneously reflect originality and modernity, as the sea meets the desert in the components of the new design, from the undulating ceilings in the form of sand dunes and desert flowers to the waves scattered on the office walls. and made from recyclable materials, taking into account sustainability and environmentally friendly office standards.
“Sustainability is fundamental to us at Microsoft, and two years ago we announced ambitious commitments in a detailed plan to become a carbon-neutral Microsoft company by 2030,” says Khalaf.
To help achieve this goal, the new Microsoft office is equipped with the latest environmentally friendly technologies and the latest green technologies, and our Lusail office is the first in the Middle East to reach the highest level of global sustainability standards for Microsoft.
Morning coffee fountain
Technology has become an important part of our daily lives and morning habits. Here is the unique coffee fountain powered by technology with this smart device, where you can prepare your coffee according to your desire, from the choice of the type of coffee and the degree of roasting to the size of the cup and additives such as milk and sugar, everything on command acoustic.
Smart offices and meeting rooms
The office includes 52 hybrid workstations, two desks and 8 large meeting rooms with adjustable furniture so that the employee can sit or stand to work, and these desks can be programmed to help the employee organize work time and rest.
All smart meeting rooms are also equipped with the latest hardware and software supported by Microsoft Teams, where employees can book a meeting room remotely, and turn on the lights inside the room as soon as any movement is detected.
The technology used in meeting rooms appears from the moment they enter it until the end of the meeting, where users are connected directly to the technical room systems, either directly at the moment they enter or via voice commands, and the meeting becomes recorded by the personal assistant and the oral meeting is converted into a written document that is distributed to the meeting.
On the ability of the systems used in the new office to be compatible with the systems of other companies, Khalaf replied: “Certainly the hybrid office system in Microsoft can be compatible with any other system for other companies and it to the office couple. “
Regarding the system’s support for the Arabic language, Khalaf said: “The automated assistant system that converts the meeting into a document can understand the Arabic language and translate it into words in the meeting, but if the whole meeting Using Arabic language, then converting speech into words can be a big challenge, especially with different Arabic dialects.
There are also soundproof telephone booths around the office available for employees, visitors, customers and partners to make calls in greater convenience, convenience and privacy.
“By integrating Microsoft technologies such as Cortana into office workspaces, we allow employees to save time and focus on what matters most, such as better serving our customers and improving collaboration with technology partners,” says Khalaf.
The materials used in the partitions between the workstations are made from recycled materials and use technology to reduce ambient sound even in open workstations.