Michel Bouman is responsible for supervising a number of Microsoft partners (dealers). Alongside this work, he collaborates with Microsoft colleagues to coach young professionals in Africa, and also teaches lessons in social media and coding at primary schools. Last but not least, he provides ‘Inbox Zero’ training for everyone who wants to free up more of their time.
The 'New World of Work'
‘Do I do all my activities during working hours? Well, what are working hours? For me, it's not 9-to-5’, Michel Bouman says. ‘If you're being judged based on output, then when you work doesn't matter all that much anymore. That's the freedom you get with the 'New World of Work': working is less dependent on time and location. In my opinion this is just the beginning. The 'New World of Work' is going to open up a lot of opportunities for us, such as mobile working in the cloud. Take the development of the HoloLens, which is a combination of virtual reality and augmented reality. You could be chatting with someone on the other wide of the world, but it seems like they're actually sitting right there next to you.’
The office isn't going anywhere
‘I don't think the office is going anywhere. The purpose of the office is changing and its location is still important. We need to have a home base where we can receive clients and meet up for team discussions. Schiphol is an ideal location. We’re an American company and a part of Microsoft Western Europe. Colleagues and clients from all over the world can reach us perfectly by air, by public transport or by car. Guests coming from abroad can land, walk to our office, attend meetings, perhaps stay overnight and then fly out again. Schiphol really has it all: food, hotels, entertainment, shops – and of course a huge network of travel destinations!’
Making the most of my time
‘Working at the times that suit me best allows me to do things alongside my work that I find enjoyable and satisfying. I really want to make the most of my time. The same goes for issues that are important to me outside of my job. A few colleagues and I help start-ups in Nigeria through one-on-one coaching for their business. One of the entrepreneurs who we coach went on to teach these lessons to children in his village. Through a Skype call we were able to see 500 children on the edge of their seats listening to him speak. It was fantastic!’
‘Inbox Zero’ workshops
‘Time is one of modern man's most valuable assets. The flood of data eats up our time, and email is the biggest culprit. We spend an average of six hours a day reading, answering and looking through our email. And even then we forget to follow through on things. Inbox Zero training was developed with this in mind. The workshop consists of 45 minutes of theory and an hour of practice. After the training you know everything you need to know and can apply it daily. Whether you're a CEO, call centre agent or self-employed, you can stop worrying about your inbox, start prioritising and never forget to follow through on important tasks again. I'll be giving this training to the SPOT community at Schiphol soon. It's great to be part of a network with such a diverse range of businesses. I think SPOT members can really learn a lot from each other.’