The adoption and recent surge in new ways of working together are putting the flexibility of the smart office to the test. The Orange Group called on the expertise of Orange Business Services to help maintain its business objectives, while giving teams a better work experience. Here is how they did it.

Adapting to current changes

With employees becoming more mobile and work from home becoming more widespread, Orange has had to rethink its ways of working over the past few years. This has taken the form of a collective approach formalized by key agreements – about telework, for example – with the various stakeholders. The health crisis considerably sped up the trend, made all the easier thanks to digital tools. Sixty thousand Group employees switched to working from home when the crisis was at its height, proving that many jobs could also be done off-site, including network supervision using remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools.

"What is happening now is a shift towards hybrid work models," explains Valérie Duburcq, Director of the Digital Transformation Project at Orange. "Our challenge is to simplify the users' experience, regardless of where they work, by providing innovative spaces and services. So it is essential to involve all the different divisions." When designing the Orange Gardens campus, Orange Business Services helped the divisions around the table – HR, Real Estate, Communication, IT – to come up with a range of services focused on ease of use for the 3,000 occupants. On the "menu," a multi-services card to enter the site, get lunch, use the coffee machines and photocopiers and so on, as well as a mobile application with various functionalities including geolocation, a meeting room booking service and access to information about transport, the cafeteria menu, etc. Last but not least, fixed-mobile convergence means all employees can be contacted via their computers or smartphones using a single phone number.



What is happening now is a shift towards hybrid work models. Our challenge is to simplify the users' experience, regardless of where they work, by providing innovative spaces and services. So it is essential to involve all the different divisions.

 

Valérie Duburcq, Director of the Digital Transformation Project at Orange

Customized uses

When employees can work anywhere, the office takes on a new role. It becomes a place to foster socialization and creativity. You go there to find content, in other words new ideas, and the expertise you need to organize your activities or carry out projects. "We must be able to customize the spaces and services according to an employee's job profile and their needs. This involves, for example, helping to locate members of a group they belong to in order to meet them at a specific site, booking a working space to draw on other skills, or providing hands-on support and equipment to coordinate teams spread across different locations," explains Valérie Duburcq.

One example is the Coeur Défense site, which brings together 1,200 employees with different areas of expertise and is based on this vision. Orange Business Services worked its magic on the site to design and deploy innovative spaces. The workstations are either assigned to a specific person or shared dynamically. Over 800 semi-open, informal spots and working spaces are available on every floor to foster exchanges. Meeting spaces can be booked via a tablet at the entrance to each room. The Digital Customer Innovation Center, at the heart of the premises, was designed as a co-creation space for customers, companies, startups and other Group partners.

Gaining visibility

While it is difficult to imagine exactly how work will be organized in the future, being able to track flows within smart offices will no doubt be a major challenge, because publicly sharing data in compliance with the GDPR will help to both optimize employee journeys and also to offer the most suitable place to work at a given moment. Expertise in data intelligence, provided by Orange Business Services, is a significant advantage.

It is, without a doubt, one of the keys to achieving a flexible smart office for Orange. While it cannot predict the future, the Group can work on different scenarios and tools to better manage flows of people and data despite the uncertainty. This visibility reassures the teams, safe in the knowledge that they can access the right service at the right time.

According to Valérie Duburcq, "By capitalizing on the experience of Orange Business Services in transforming major companies, we can learn from what has already been tried with other customers and vice versa. This test-and-learn approach enables us to progress every day to ensure that our services as well as the quality of life on site best serve the Group's activities and customers."

60,000
Group employees switched to working from home at the peak of the crisis