Steelcase and Microsoft have joined hands to explore the future of work, developing a range of technology-enabled spaces designed to help organisations foster creative thinking and better collaboration. These spaces seamlessly integrate the best of Microsoft Surface devices with Steelcase architecture and furniture. The companies have unveiled five new Creative Spaces showcasing how Steelcase and Microsoft can help organisations unlock creativity for every employee.

Additionally, Steelcase and Microsoft announced that Microsoft is expanding its partner network into the world of design by bringing in select Steelcase dealers as authorised Surface Hub resellers. Steelcase and Microsoft are working together to develop technology-enabled workplace solutions built on Microsoft Azure IoT technology.

Sara Armbruster, vice president of strategy, research and new business innovation for Steelcase, said: “The problems people face at work today are much more complex than they used to be. They require a new creative way of thinking and a very different work process. We believe that everyone has the capacity for creative thinking, and people are happier doing creative, productive work. Together, Microsoft and Steelcase will help organisations thoughtfully integrate place and technology to encourage creative behaviours at work.”

Five initial Creative Spaces are on display at the Steelcase WorkLife Center in New York City. Spaces include Focus Studio, where individual creative work requires alone time to focus and get into flow, while also allowing quick shifts to two-person collaboration. Second is Duo Studio where working in pairs is an essential behaviour of creativity. This space enables two people to co-create shoulder-to-shoulder, while also supporting individual work with Microsoft Surface Studio.

The third one is Ideation Hub, where a high-tech destination that encourages active participation and equal opportunity to contribute as people co-create, refine and share ideas with co-located or distributed teammates on Microsoft Surface Hub. The next one is Maker Commons, where socialising ideas and rapid prototyping are essential parts of creativity. Last but not the least, Respite Room, where creative work requires many brain states, including the need to balance active group work with solitude and individual think time.

Armbruster explained: “We are facing a time of unprecedented change at work. Through this partnership, we will bring together space and technology to help workers and organizations solve the workplace challenges they face today and in the future and ultimately perform their best at work.”