Growing global uncertainty due to the ravaging pandemic has added speculation to what the future of “working at the office” means. While major companies have adapted and adopted to a work-from-home reality, they also know that there is ‘the day after COVID’ to prepare for.

Software giant Microsoft unveiled its new Israeli flagship campus. The close to 500,000 square feet workspace and R&D center includes all the best amenities one would come to expect from a many multi billion dollar company. The opening of the new campus further strengthens Microsoft’s vote of confidence in the local Israeli talent and economy. The new digs will be home to sales teams, developers, engineers, researchers, and staff from M12 - Microsoft’s venture fund.

The Herzlyia-based offices received the LEED V4 Gold recognition for its internal and external sustainable and eco-friendly design. According to the annual Dun & Bradstreet ranking published last month, Microsoft is the best high-tech company to work for in Israel. This has lead Microsoft to design the campus as an interactive workspace, supporting innovation, diversity accessibility, and every other politicly correct notion that the software giant aims to push. With a massive garden and a variety of themed open spaces, the campus puts a lot of importance into employee wellbeing and inclusion.

The new Microsoft campus in Herzlyia credit: Amit Geron

Michal Braverman-Blumenstyk, CVP and General Manager of Microsoft Israel R&D, says: “The innovative campus in Herzliya is a long-term investment in Israel by Microsoft. Microsoft’s sustainability value has been incorporated into every aspect of the campus, and a great deal of thought was put into every detail, from convenient transportation, through accessibility and integration of diverse populations, to wellbeing in food, fitness, and leisure. At the same time as we are launching the new campus, we are expanding our development centers in Haifa, Nazareth, and Tel Aviv to make them accessible to everyone.”

Regarding the innovation aspect, the new campus also features 'The Garage', an innovation lab that fosters creativity in the fields of information security, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence. It will offer employees free access to advanced technological equipment, to create prototypes of their new ventures and technological creations. The innovation lab will include a demonstration center to showcase the company’s technologies for visitors, further bridging the growing Microsoft ecosystem in the Startup Nation.

Microsoft’s sustainability targets were met with the campus being designed by incorporating innovative green technologies such as  WaterGen, which generates water from air moisture, thirty-two test and control points of Wint water leak detection technology, a GreenWall platform that nurtures vegetation growth. Moreover, energy efficiency was key in the development and design of the work center, making use of enVerid, an air-filtration, and energy-saving patent. Its 800  square meters of photovoltaic cells, which will provide power to the building.

For employee wellbeing, the Vered Gindi Architects and Ami Szmelcman interior design offers employees a “neighborhood” like set up that aims to encourage teamwork and spark creativity. It also includes a plethora of necessary and leisure amenities like music rooms, nursing rooms, gym, a basketball court, laundry services, cafes, dining zones, even a dog park, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. How are the employees going to get across the massive campus though? Great that you asked. Bikes are provided for staff, with a variety of parking spaces all around the compound, which also support EV charging.

The surrounding street names were chosen by Microsoft’s workers in collaboration with the City of Herzliya: Ada Lovelace, after the first woman programmer, and Alan Turing, the scientist who laid the foundations for modern computing. The campus was designed by Yashar Architects, and constructed by Tidhar Group.

Ronit Atad, General Manager, Microsoft Israel, “The new campus brings a new experience to all of Microsoft’s employees in Israel, and I’m happy for this personal and professional union. The physical proximity will empower us and improve our service to our customers and partners. This new innovative tech center will allow us to offer our customers and partners the best and most cutting-edge solutions that will lead them to success and a digital independence. It is another step in strengthening the strategic bond and commitment of Microsoft to the Israeli market."