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Mikael Eriksson Björling

Things that matters! About digital transformation, design, culture and lifestyle in the Networked Society

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Working Life

Innovating the future workplace

A couple of weeks ago I published a new blogpost at Ericsson.com about the future workplace and how Kista is changing.

I’ve been at Ericsson for 20 years this year, spending almost as many of them in Kista Science City, which is one of the five largest information technology clusters in the world and also the place where we have our headquarters.

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In 1876, Lars Magnus Ericsson and his wife Hilda started their mechanical engineering workshop. The workshop was situated in a small kitchen in the courtyard building at Drottninggatan 15 in Stockholm.

From these humble beginnings a lot has happened in the world and at Ericsson. The age of industrialization is behind us and we’ve entered the digital age and witnessed the rise of a connected society. A few years back I was running a couple of studies about the future of working life. What challenges we saw ahead, what employees wanted, how new technologies were impacting the office space and how businesses have to optimize their physical spaces to support innovation and creativity. The office – as we use to know it – was proclaimed dead

Another finding from these studies was that people want flexible, modern workplaces with different types of rooms and areas for different types of work. The working environment should primarily be designed to optimize the quality of interpersonal exchange. Another important area is about serendipity. Businesses have to optimize their organization for the ever-changing market conditions. Organizations must plan for random encounters between people with different backgrounds and competences in order to increase the opportunities for innovative ideas.

ericsson-campus-glass-pavilion-evening-light-106547resize1498844crop001498843autoorientquality90stripbackground23ffffffextensionjpgid8The Glass Pavilion Isafjord in evening light seen from Grönlandsgatan.

At Ericsson, we now redefine our workspace to stay relevant as an employer of choice. We will be constructing a new Ericsson Campus at our headquarters in Kista, Stockholm including new and existing buildings and spaces. Looking at the construction plans, I’m excited!!

I see that the things we talked about in the reports are actually being implemented. Our ambition is to be a state of the art, agile and inspiring workplace. In line with our brand promise the quest for easy, the project aims to simplify and optimize how teams and organizations collaborate thinking of all aspects of what a modern workplace should include, such as the employees, the public areas, how the flow of people will be in the area as well as be inspiring, open, inviting and sustainable.

Read the rest of the post at Ericsson.com

Future Summit i Norrköping

Jag har rest runt och pratat på många konferenser, både stora och små runt om i världen. En av det roligaste och trevligaste jag varit på är Future Summit i Norrköping tidigare i höst. Vi talare fick tid att umgås och träffas redan dagen innan själva konferensen, där vi fick vara med om en resa ut i rymden i visualiseringscenter, vi besökte det fantastiska lilla biblioteket och observatoriet i De Geer Gymnasiet och vi fick en fin stadsvandring. Det hela avslutades med middag tillsammans med stad och näringsliv.fs_nkpg 16IMG_0170 2

När vi sedan stod på scenen under konferensen kände vi redan varandra och kunde leverera bra innehåll och interagera i varandras paneldiskussioner.

När vi gick till tåget, dagen efter konferensen fanns vi på förstasidan i NT!

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Are we shaping smartphones or are they shaping us?

In my last post, I wrote about two-way flexibility – about people trying to understand the new norms and rules in the changing landscape of work and leisure. In this post, I want to continue that discussion further and look into what issues arise as the private and personal spheres merge.

In his book from 1963, ‘Understanding Media’, Marshall McLuhan wrote the following: “For the message of any medium or technology is the change of scale or pace or pattern that it introduces into human affair”. He continues, “The medium is the message, because it is the medium that shape and control the scale and form of human associations and action.” 

What is the message from a smartphone and what pattern does it introduce into human affairs? That is the content of this blog post. Continue to the Networked Society Blog.

When are you out-of-office?

Right now I am sitting at the co-working space, Impact Hub in downtown Seattle preparing for a workshop I will lead tomorrow. I could of course have stayed in my hotel room but I prefer to get a flavor of the local entrepreneurial scene and be a bit social as well (beyond the borders of my computer).

My first business trip with Ericsson was in 1999 to Pittsburgh and the CHI 99 (Computer Human Interaction) conference. Back then you did not really have any connection with work or family when you were traveling. Mobile phones and the internet both existed, but were far from the experience we have today.

A modem was the most common connection until 2005 and intercontinental calls with your mobile phone were not really practical because of the cost. I don’t think I took my laptop with me as it was pretty useless without a connection. So when the conference program was over you did not have any e-mail to answer or work to keep up with. There was a clear border that ended work, defined by the technically and economically limitations.

Today those borders are gone. Wherever you are, work can be there. Continue reading at the Networked Society blog.

It’s working life, Jim, but not as we know it

I have been writing recently about the changes happening in working life and the challenges that both employers and employees will face going forward into the Networked Society.

Today’s cultural changes and technological progress are transforming working life as we know it, creating a business landscape that is dynamic and changing.

The new business landscape emerging out of these changes is a challenging one, where there are no safe positions and where anyone can be overtaken or disqualified. In this harsh new world, you have to learn to adapt to the new rules in order to survive.

What do you as an employer, manager and leader have to think about and consider in this new working environment?
How should you as an individual or employee think? What will be important going forward?
Visit the Networked Society blog and check out some survival tips and advice in a new report, “The Next Generation Working Life – A Survival Guide.”

What is defining next-generation working life?

Recently, Tonny Uhlin and I went into the studio to record the first episode of the “Next-generation Working Life” podcast. During this first episode, we talk about the big and small changes we see coming to our work places as we journey deeper into the Networked Society and how these will impact our working life going forward.

Visit the Networked Society blog and listen to the podcast , or if you like, watch the video above and then read the full report: ‘Next-generation working life – from workplace to exchange space’.

Central sites or local hubs – reflections on future city offices

As mobile technologies continue to liberate us from specific locations and time restrictions, it becomes less important where, when and how work is done. This ultimately will change how people moving around in cities. Some will work from home,others will go to the office and still others may prefer to sit at a café. Telecommuting and distance working will increase but this does not mean that people will only work from their homes (although some will). We still need a social context to our day and this means that we will want to meet people and get stimulated.

Read the full post at the Networked Society blog >>>

The office is dead – long live the exchange place!

The office space is changing and I don’t thing we understand the impact of that change. It will change how we organize work. I have a new post on the topic at the Networked Society blog >>>

Working life as we know it is changing dramatically

A few days ago I wrote a new post on how working life is changing as we enter the Networked Society and eight areas that we will see more of at work. Read the post at the Networked Society blog >>>

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