In this very long (English) interview with Hans van der Meer, marketing manager of Microsoft Netherlands, I talk with him about the new world of work. What did Microsoft do? How did they manage to change the culture? And what did it bring them?

The most interesting things I got out of this interview:

– Microsoft implemented the new world of work to show that it can work. Of course their goal is to supply technology to other companies to help with the process, but to make that happen they first showed it in their own company.

– There are three major issues with the new world of work: technology, workplace and mentality.

– Technology might be the least important of the three. It’s an enabler, nothing more. But you can’t implement the new world of work if you’re not willing to change all three.

– A symbol, like a new main office, can work to get the acceptance done faster. But it’s not necessary. However, chaning the workplace is.

– It’s not easy to make targets for every job. Sales is easy, but HR or receptionist is a lot harder. But it can be done.

– The fact even the CEO doesn’t have his own desk isn’t something that needs to be done to make the new world of work actually work. It is something typical Dutch, with as less hierarchy as we can. However in other cultures this might have other unwanted effects. Culture must always play a part when implementing the new world of work.

– The most important thing is the support of the management and a clear vision. A vision becomes strategy. But the project planning for such a major change needs to be done by the employees themselves. It cannot be top down, but there must be management support and a clear vision that is told to everybody.

– Freedom and responsibility must go hand-in-hand. You cannot have one without the other. This might sometimes be difficult on for example families. It’s great you can be home wednesday afternoon for the kids, but that might mean working sunday. Everybody must be able to ‘get’ flexible working doesn’t mean less working. Or it might, if you can be more productive.

– Make sure your workers are on one technology platform. They should be able to communicate from that platform in the way they want (messaging, blogging, mailing, calling), but letting everybody choose their own (twitter vs yammer vs blogging, vs mailing in different systems) will lead to chaos and lack of communication.

Over de Auteur

Bas van de Haterd Bas van de Haterd is professioneel bemoeial en expert op het gebied van technologie en werk. Hij schreef o.a. de boeken '10 banen die verdwijnen & 10 banen die verschijnen", "de maatschappelijke impact van de zelfrijdende auto" en "(R)evolutie van werk". Hij schrijft over recruitment in de brede zin van het woord en hoe dit beter kan door technologie slim in te zetten. Hij adviseert hier bedrijven over en geeft over dit onderwerp ook regelmatig inspirerende lezingen. Hij is te bereiken op

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