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July 10, 2008

The Nokia Concierge

GLOBAL – If you’ve ever read or watched Hotel Babylon, you’ll know the Concierge as the all-seeing, all-knowing lynchpin of the establishment. They’re the ones that can get you what you need, when you need it, no questions asked. As the quest to develop and establish new ways of working continues at Nokia, adding a touch of five-star service has found its way onto the agenda, in Beijing and Southwood at least.

Nokia Concierge is a new service currently being trialled in a number of offices around the world. The idea is pretty simple, provide employees with the support needed to take the strain out of their professional (and personal) lives so they can get on with what they’re good at.

The service was first trialled at the new Beijing campus and proved to be a big hit with employees there and its now being rolled out in other locations. Open to all Nokia employees, the Concierges (or Floor Captains as they’re known in Beijing) will tackle pretty much whatever gets thrown at them, from organising theatre tickets and booking restaurants to ordering shopping and having it delivered.

There’s no doubt that where, when and how people work is changing. Nokia Concierge is just one part of a raft of initiatives going on at Nokia to help improve employee’s work/life balance, make it easier for them to get on with their job and have a better life outside of work. The result, Nokia hopes, will be better, more focussed, employees and ultimately better products and services. But it doesn’t stop there. This is also about practicing what it preaches and as the world of work evolves so do Nokia’s working practices.

The consequences are far reaching, broader even than simply influencing an employee’s work life balance. Like in the we:champions recycling initiative and Nokia Main Street, Nokia feels a responsibility to its employees in the same way it does its customers. It wants to exist by a set of guidelines that puts responsibility and care up there with technology and innovation.

Inside Nokia there’s a range of debates kicking off about how the workplace is evolving. Some of the initiatives and strategies we’ve already looked at show those debates coming to life, but there’s more to come so we’ll be bringing the debate to life right here on Conversations.

Meanwhile, let us know what you think. How do you see the workplace evolving?