If Janet Kennedy’s office looks a little sparse, there’s a good reason for that. “I’m relatively new here,” she says. She doesn’t just mean new to the office, but new to Canada. She decamped from Dallas, in October, to head up Microsoft’s Canadian division, based in Mississauga, Ont. Kennedy joined the company in 2002; she spent nearly 10 years at IBM before that. Since arriving up north, she’s been busy visiting the company’s other Canadian offices and meeting with clients. “This is the first week since I’ve been here that I haven’t travelled,” she says. “I feel a little weird, like maybe I should be out there.” Kennedy walked us through her setup so far, and told us about how she works. (Photos by Raina + Wilson)
Desk: Why so bare? Microsoft is moving toward an entirely paperless office. “With everything in the cloud, I find I don’t have nearly as much junk around,” Kennedy says.
Smartphone: Before a meeting, Kennedy’s assistant prepares a document with the names, titles and even photos of the participants. Kennedy can then access it from anywhere. “It’s really nice if you’re stuck on a face,” she says. “I’ve been known to quickly look up [and say], ‘OK, who was that person I just met?’”
Workstation: “This is my life,” Kennedy says of the two Surface tablets linked to a larger touchscreen (“I like to see a lot of things at the same time,” she says). She takes one tablet home at the end of the day.
Technology Centre: When she’s not in her office, Kennedy can be found meeting with clients in a spacious area known as the Microsoft Technology Centre. Nearly every surface is adorned with a touchscreen of some kind.
Empty bookshelf: “I’ll be honest, I mostly read on devices. I’m a device freak. I have them all over the house. So if I have a few minutes, I’ll just read what’s on the Kindle.”
Canadiana: “When I moved here, people started giving me all these Canadian things because I’m American,” she says. “People really wanted to help me understand the culture.”
The Great Canadian Bucket List (left): This book, a list of locations that “must” be visited, was another gift received upon arriving in Canada. “I think Quebec is next because my husband and I are both taking French lessons,” she says. “Quebec City would be a wonderful place to see if my French is actually working.”
Snacks (right): “I usually grab an apple first thing in the morning. We have free fruit here in the office. I’ve been amazed at how healthy it is in Canada. There are other places in Microsoft where it’s a lot of junk food.”