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6 months ago
Monday, April 16, 2012
With changes in the workplace, many are re-visiting office space design, hoping to provide an increasingly appealing space and collaborative culture in which their teams can conduct daily business. Office walls are literally coming down, foregoing traditional cubicle rows with open community space. The New York Times recently reported that “two-thirds of American office space is now configured in some sort of open arrangement.”
Last year FastCompany wrote that digital culture has played an important role in our move away from walled in offices. The article states, “A traditional office layout is designed to communicate power among certain individuals and barriers between departments. This does not support the collaborative ethos which is intrinsic to the web.”
Certainly instantaneous sharing has shifted the way we view the workspace. But additionally, open concept offices boost morale and can be just plain fun, as seen in the notoriously over-the-top design at Google headquarters.
Of course, for most of us, creating an enjoyable environment doesn’t necessitate playground equipment. It can be something as simple as relegating the room with the best view, previously reserved for top brass, as a communal space, as The Kindness Revolution author Ed Horrell suggests in this piece for Custom Service Manager.
At this point you might be thinking, “You mean give up my corner office!?” Actually, it’s not just lower ranking employees who are seeking out open spaces. Many of today's most successful CEOs are finding that a private office keeps them isolated and unaware of the actual daily work, and unable to get the pulse of their team. Instead some are opting for cubicle life or collaborative spaces. As reported in Forbes recently reported, top CEOs like Tony Hsieh of Zappos, Meg Whitman of Hewlett Packard (and formerly eBay), Klaus Kleinfeld of Alcoa Pittsburg, and even New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, prefer working shoulder-to-shoulder with their employees.
Of course all of these scenarios are reliant upon other factors, such as the type business you run, and how your brand needs to be conveyed. But even in the most conservative and professional offices, there are ways you can make your office layout more fun and practical for your employees. And who knows? You might like it so much that you’ll want to join them.
Posted by TEC Midwest at 2:59 PM
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