Have you ever wondered what innovation, communication, collaboration, connecting and company efficiencies have in common? My creative brain was thinking about a few of these and then came up with this wacky thought. You know... I think I am on to something.
As a marketer, I see correlations in producing creative work, being innovative and how workflow efficiencies can be impacted. Here are five things I see could emerge as a potential positive outcome and a not-so positive outcome in your business.
In the social and digital world, communicating is done every second of every day and on multiple channels. Communication also happens during the business day in places that it may be disruptive. Think about what works best for you and your company. Your communication will also be more effective if you take a little time to find out the strengths of today's social and digital channels. Better do this quick because next week there could be a new way to communicate popping-up.
I think we all know that without collaboration, ideas just don't flow as easily. Think about re-designing your workspace and office ergonomics. When you do this, collaboration is magnified. The inception of creative ideas all the way through the department may soon emerge. It also creates an energy not usually seen in closed office environments. This change created a healthy, creative energy that you didn't have before. However, are there people in the office that need peace and quiet to stay focused? Hmm. You may have just created a disruptive monster and didn't realize it.
Think about ways to connect every employee in your company to one another. This may sound silly. However, when the entire brand and company are unified, they will make better decisions and have a direction to follow. Sometimes this is through an organizational mantra or even a physical object or product. Either way gets them to buy into the goal and your brand will be much stronger. This connection can also be tied to collaboration. Think and plan carefully before you launch into a company-wide initiative.
If you take a look around the new office spaces of today, gone are the large secluded offices with heavy furniture. Open workspaces are more commonly used and integrated, all for increased communication, collaboration and connection. But... just because it's designed and valued in some ways doesn't necessarily mean it's good for everyone right? How would you like it if you had to work in a wide-open workspace with lots of other people who are constantly talking, meeting and collaborating?
It may sound like I am all about office ergonomics. You're right, I am. However, I also like seclusion and quiet when I need to focus. Both have positive attributes. There is also a negative. When increased communication, collaboration and connection are happening, that also means increased distraction is happening. Think about both the positive and negative effects of these 5 areas before you dive into a complete redesign of your office for innovation sake.
An open office is said to promote collaboration, but that doesn't mean your neighbor will appreciate when you've gathered your entire department next to his desk.
Of course, all of this is just my opinion. I have worked in both open and closed office environments and see the reasons why each can be highly effective. I truly think a mix of both would be best.
Here's the real question. Is it possible that trying to be innovative has really turned your company or department in the other direction and caused Inefficiencies? If your employees are losing focus and not staying on track because of the cool, creative, innovative open spaces, you may want to go in search of a quiet office that hasn't been occupied yet. You know, one that is not innovative. Hmm.