"E-places" offer open spaces, soft lighting, white noise generators and spacious private cubicles for employees. During the next three years, 400,000 square feet will be transformed to e-places. IBM says the new environment fosters creativity and collaboration.
"This is where we spend a large portion of our day, and we want it to be personal, comfortable and productive," says Sue Horn, senior software location executive.
Furniture is adaptable for work. White boards provide scribble space. Workers eat, chat and work in common areas. If privacy is needed, it is available in e-place workrooms.
"We've totally network-enabled the environment so that you can take your computer equipment from your own personal work space into a conference room, in a formal meeting, into the informal work spaces and so forth," Horn says.
There is also an area called the Oasis where employees can play games, get away from it all for a while, get a bite to eat or watch a widescreen TV set. Employees work flexible hours so the Oasis is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. E-place seems to drive productivity.
"It's more friendly. We get a lot more done because you can access the people better that you need, and group meetings happen pretty spontaneously," says Michelle Lawrence, Human Factors engineer.
No cost for the project has been released. It is the largest renovation project in IBM's 35-year history in Research Triangle Park.
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