How TomTom is redesigning its workspaces to suit everyone’s needs
Who doesn’t love a home makeover? The behind-the-scenes look at the construction. The build-up to the unveiling. The big reveal and the joy of getting to enjoy the new home. The same is happening at TomTom right now. The company is redesigning its offices. Some have been completed. Others are still on the way. But the excitement is the same. TomTom’ers are ready for a refreshed workspace that supports them on their quest to engineer the first real-time map.
Let’s rewind for a second though. Why is TomTom updating its offices? It’s more than an aesthetic choice: a lick of paint or moving the furniture around for all you Feng Shui believers out there. The reason is work flexibility.
Work flexibility at TomTom means TomTom’ers can choose the work location that best suits what they have to do on any given day. Home. The office. On the move. Even abroad, thanks to Extended Location Flexibility, which allows TomTom’ers to work from another country/state for a few months a year.
Thanks to these benefits, the role of the office changed for TomTom. It’s no longer about sitting at your desk, switching the computer on, going about your business and then heading home. With the option of remote work, why people come to the office and what that workspace offers have evolved.
This is where TomTom got to: welcome to the now of work.
Modern offices that suit the now of work
How the role of the office has changed
It should be easy to separate the office and home. The office is the place to meet your colleagues, so it’s the perfect spot for catching up over coffee or work. Then home could be for focused work and private learning activities. However, TomTom realized that reality is a lot more complex. Everyone’s needs are different.
Take the working-from-home example. There could be construction on your street. With jackhammers and drills driving you crazy, it’s going to be difficult to find your focus or take part in a team meeting.
On the flip side, you may go to the office for a meeting. But after that, it could be a day dedicated to tidying up your backlog of map update requests. A busy office will not help.
This informed TomTom’s new approach to the office. Both your work and home offices should enable all kinds of activities.
There are many different activities. However, TomTom says most of these fall into four categories:
1. Focus – activities that require a quiet single work setting
2. Collaboration – activities that require multiple people to come together at once
3. Social – activities that occur spontaneously and allow you to put your feet up and unwind
4. Learning – activities that encourage personal or team development
For example, you could be writing code in a week-long sprint for an important update. This would need focus. Or, perhaps, you’re preparing a group presentation. That’s collaborative.
Having these distinctions, TomTom went about redesigning its offices. This brings us to the work done so far (aka the exciting part).
Office designs to help TomTom'ers find their impact
TomTom has offices worldwide and some of them have undergone significant changes to reflect flexible ways of working. This way, TomTom’ers have precisely what they need – freedom to work in a way that’s right for them.
When designing the interiors, the approach was the same as with our maps. TomTom took the many areas around the office and clustered them together to create modern, ergonomic “neighborhoods” for different teams. These are connected to a central hub – a “city center” – where TomTom’ers can find useful facilities. This includes reception and, most importantly, a barista.
In keeping with work flexibility, each neighborhood features spaces that suit every activity. Focus desks are designed to keep things quiet, so your deadlines are met in tranquillity. There are also collaborative areas for all kinds of catch-ups.
Have a conference call? TomTom’ers can set themselves up in a meeting room or phone booth. There are flexible project areas for brainstorming as well. These are all designed to control the acoustics, so you can bounce ideas off the wall without worrying about any disturbances.
With all this, TomTom has brought flexible working to life. And there’s more to come as the planning starts for more redesigns in the future.
It all comes back to why
TomTom identified a need: TomTom’ers told us they wanted to have the option to work from home or the office. But the office needs to suit every possible activity.
So, it’s no longer a case of either/or. If you have a meeting in the office but need to finalize a personal project, you can do both in dedicated spaces. At TomTom, it’s important for people to have a choice. The power is in the hands of TomTom’ers. To choose to lead. To choose the right work location for any given activity. To find their impact.
Is flexible working a requirement for you? Ready to tackle a huge challenge in a location that suits all your needs? Join TomTom.