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How can we get people more engaged and make them more productive, as well as happier, at work?

It’s a huge question, but one that Dave Coplin, chief envisioning officer at Microsoft, decided to delve into.

In this video, Coplin imagines a world where companies fully embrace technology to their full extent to encourage a truly open working culture – not the “open” culture most of us put up with today.

You’ll have to watch the video to get the full impact of his meaning, but here are a few stand-out quotes:

“When you use Facebook or Twitter… you are using a fundamentally different culture of collaboration. You are saying, pretty much by default, everything I do is open, except for the bits that I choose to keep private. Contrast that to the standard of culture of collaboration at most organisations – it’s completely inverted. Everything I do is closed, unless I specifically say I’m going to share this. The change in that is absolutely profound.”

“It makes us realise how some of the ways we live our working lives today has sort of become outdated. It’s become out of place for the kind of society that we live in.”

“We live in a world where productivity, which we’ve been chasing for hundreds of years, is fast becoming the problem.” 

“There are insane organisational studies that show we could be more collaborative with people if we take away all of the barriers. If we remove all of the boundaries, people will talk to each other more. So, what do I do? I go to my office, I sit at my open plan desk, and I email people three desks away.”

“When you put people in these open place offices, which at the time we thought would be the height of collaborative thinking, some really primal stuff things start to happen to us. We start to feel really exposed.”

“Have a look at this when you go back to your office. What you’ll see is in the middle of the floor, there will be a whole series of open plan desks, and everybody sat in the middle of the floor will be sat with their screens facing outward. So they’re always vulnerable – everything they do could be monitored at any one point in time.”

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