On top of that, Cisco knows how to create amazing workplaces to make their employees feel at home so why not explore them?
Cisco Barcelona was meant to be my first stop on this journey. I walked in this unique building that was once a textile manufacturer and was taken back by its beauty. I’m no architect, and can’t truly make any fancy observations, but it felt like it was up to Barcelona’s level of architecture – an amazing mix of classic, rustic qualities, with cutting-edge style.
Instantly, I was in love.
Maybe I was over-excited, but I swear their new Innovation Center had a special smell to it. Perhaps it was the scent of fresh innovation and endless possibilities – maybe it was that Cisco Live rush speaking – but it sure did have a wonderful smell. I could swear by it.
My first big decision of the day was to find my way to the coffee area – we are all humans here, right?
As soon as I switched on my pc, the monitor at the desk was connected and ready to display my screen. It might be weird to say it – but something about this fact made me feel right at home. Well, maybe home is not the right word, but I felt like I was in the right place. It´s like everything there was just waiting for me – from scanning my badge on my way in to being fully connected everywhere. Oh, you gotta love the way cold blooded technology makes our hearts so warm!
After chatting and doing some work, we had lunch together and began to share our Cisco stories. They were both CSAP-ers (from Cisco Sales Associates Program) and – get this! – they were friends with a colleague of mine from the Portuguese office.
I did say Cisco is all connected – didn´t I? Well, I did not mean only tech-wise.
After a delicious lunch at the office due to some local catering (I like to think it was also to welcome me but maybe I am getting over my head here), I had a great afternoon meeting. In another tech-powered moment, I must say it was quite easy to set myself up for the meeting – I just found an empty room, booked it instantly on the tablet outside the door, and was fully connected to the Webex solution in the room within a minute. Comfortable and connected, I had the chance to talk to Donald de Witte, a Business Development Manager for Collaboration and who was also involved in the building project for the office in Barcelona.
Donald told me all about the idealization of the Innovation Center and a few curiosities about the building renovation – such as the fact the textile manufacturing factory was built on top of underground rivers that were used to wash the fabrics. He also explained that the whole building was designed with consideration that it wouldn´t be a crowded office. Instead, it was built to be a meeting place, so the main focus was to have lots of meeting rooms and other informal places for people to get together. With all that in mind, the office in Barcelona was designed to charm and attract people from all over the world, so they would have the chance to meet in a beautiful office and in a beautiful city. It makes a whole lot of sense, right? I mean – I haven´t even left and was fully ready to go back soon.
After the meeting, I went back to my virtual desk for the day and got some more work done. It was the day after Cisco Live Barcelona 2019, so there was a lot of great content and follow ups to catch up on. I was entertained talking to people from all over the world via e-mail and Webex, so by the time I looked at the clock it was way past 8pm. You would think that I’d be ready to be out of there, but I do have to say it was not so easy to say goodbye (or “see you later”?) to that beautiful office and the whole experience.
As I was exiting the building, I remembered one other cool thing that Donald shared with me: he said that the building brought together Industry 1.0 and Industry 4.0 as it was a true mix of the first and the latest industrial movements.
Maybe that was the whole magic behind this building – it was a place where past and future meets.
With a warm heart and an inspired mind, I said hasta luego to the Barcelona office, excited to see which office I would get to explore next.
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