In a time when office layouts are changing to encourage a natural flow of collaboration, C-suites must evolve as well. Chief executive offices, sometimes referred to as "silos," are moving toward closing the gap between themselves and the rest of their workforce.
According to Susan Saltonstall Duncan of Rainmaking Oasis, studies show that the silo office culture sometimes practiced is bad for growth and collaboration. Since departments are not housed together, there is less organic discussion which can lead to innovation. Cross-department task forces should be implemented to help foster mentoring. Additionally, it's important to measure the results of working as a group to generate new ideas and celebrate any positive impact it had on the company.
No matter how large or small the company, office geography can impact business and impede or encourage growth. Here are a few tips that move toward collaboration:
Transparency is the key. If a company needs a row of executive offices dedicated to an entire floor, it's helpful to let managers and other employees know there is an open line of communication. This can be fixed by regular meetings that brings various departments together. Additionally, a simple glass wall, door or window helps an office look less intimidating and can break down barriers.
Similar to how university professors have office hours, a company executive can spend some time in a communal space. This is the perfect way to capitalize on modern lounges. These break rooms are evolving to operate as cafes, where there is access to technology in an inviting setting. Also, with networked systems it's simple to connect to the server and have access to files through a laptop. If a higher-up spends one or two hours working in this space, he or she is more visible and approachable. Not only can this person have a firsthand view of the buzz of the office, they will more better in touch with the company as a whole.
Some say cubicles workstations limit collaboration, however it depends on the type installed in an office space. These desks are changing with the times as well, and designers are creating them to feel less cramped and offer more amenities. Some of the newer cubicles have a more organic layout with bench seating and drawing board space that encourages colleagues to visit and brainstorm.
Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.