To say that there is a backlash against the open office space, and the agile workplace setup, is putting it mildly. Disgruntled employees have been venting for years about noise, constant “visits” from co-workers, and interruptions.
Has the embrace of the agile workplace been little more than the professional version of the 1960s hippie movement?
Actually, it is possible to make the concept work. Here are some suggestions on how to do it:
- See the workplace through the eyes of an employee. To you, the absence of walls is the hallmark of an open office environment. To your employees, it is a large space that carries the din of countless conversations. Unless you understand what your employees need to do their jobs efficiently, the concept does not work for them.
- Equip your workforce for agility. The idea behind agility is the notion that the worker can perform the needed tasks from anywhere in the office or outside of it. This goal requires a streamlined hardware and software setup for all employees. You are not truly agile if the WiFi stops working in the rear third of the office.
- Empower your workers to make decisions. If workers have to check with supervisors or managers whenever reaching a decision point, you maintain the old work environment minus a few walls. Instead, empower your employees to make decisions, which allows them to collaborate without having to interrupt the flow of productivity for approval seeking.
- Set clear objectives. Agility thrives on group settings that allow for immediate work production. Management staff must provide clear parameters and goals that teams will meet on pre-defined dates. By empowering employees and doing away with the old structure for a more agile setup, a larger group of workers now shares responsibility and accountability.
If your current office setup just does not support the agile workplace you envision, contact us to find a setting that is far more useful for your goals.