The Mastercard office in Vadodara has an enviable location—the six-storeyed building overlooks a lush green cricket field. The 450-seater facility, which will become fully operational by the end of this week, is one of two technology hubs in India for the global payment services company (the other is in Pune). Spread over 64,000 sq. ft and four floors, it is designed according to Mastercard’s specifications—no cabins, an open-office floor plan, and potted plants on every floor. Piyali Prabhat, a quality analyst who has been working with Mastercard for three years, finds her office vibrant. “No matter what your mood may have been at home, it’s sure to improve once you walk in," says Prabhat.

Work smart: She loves the Steelcase desks —they are motorized and go from sitting to standing modes in a jiffy—and the numeric-lock drawers that have done away with the need for keys. “Most people here tend to work with two systems to enhance productivity," says Prabhat. “So we have a laptop and a monitor mounted on a retractable arm that can be extended to the next desk or the one behind if a second opinion or quick collaboration is needed. The adjustable desk height ensures everyone can find their perfect fit," she says.

Team spirit: “We have a wide variety of spaces that encourage conversations and cooperation. The quiet pods are small areas that allow small groups to sit together, the hot desks facing windows let people leave their usual desks and work with a view, and the informal collaborative areas—with a couch, vibrant chairs and poufs—invite one to discuss and ideate," she says. A huge favourite is the work café—one on every floor—where one can take one’s laptop, sit in an informal atmosphere, sip some coffee and snack on munchies while working. “I also like the ‘idea bay’ on the fourth floor—it’s very brainstorm-friendly. Apart from a glass surface to write/ideate on, it has an interactive board on which you can write/doodle/create and then just mail that idea board out," she adds.

The foosball table. Photo: Nafis Khan /Mint
The foosball table. Photo: Nafis Khan /Mint

Play a while: The second floor, better known as the “social hub", is a kaleidoscope of colours and activities. Apart from the large café, which serves fresh, hot meals, there’s a small tuck shop that offers food-on-the-go: pizza, subs, and more. “The large café has drop-down screens on one side and is often used for the townhalls that are part of Mastercard’s work culture," she says. But what draws attention is the “rec area", which includes options like table tennis, foosball, chess, board games, a gym, and, as Prabhat puts it, “the icing on the cake", the PlayStation area. Most employees tend to spend an hour here daily on an average.

Inclusive workspace: Prabhat, a new mother, is happy that the office has a mothers’ room. “Post-delivery, it’s common for women to suffer from mood swings or physical discomfort. This room acts as a panacea then; this is where I head to rest for a while or just be on my own," she says. There is also a medical room with a doctor who visits once a week to address minor ailments.

A view of the cricket ground from the office. Photo: Nafis Khan /Mint
A view of the cricket ground from the office. Photo: Nafis Khan /Mint

The Work Tour is a series which looks at how people are engaging with office design and how it impacts their productivity and positivity at work.

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