In a recent article from Harvard Business Review called “Who Moved My Cube” by Anne-Laure Fayard and John Weeks the authors write about how the design of work spaces can be influent in the interaction between colleagues of the same team.
For me, the most important is the three main affordances a workspace should present in order to have a good workspace: Proximity, Privacy and Permission.
- – Proximity it’s about the ability to drive people to public shared spaces like water coolers or coffee machines;
- – Privacy it’s all about people feeling confident enough to have conversations without being interrupted or overheard;
- – Finally, Permission it’s about letting people feel free to start conversations and by that, sharing ideas with each other.
Focusing on this last affordance, and because our team has been working on our workspace with Permission in mind, it’s important to have a mix of three characteristics that allow Permission in our team which are the physical space itself, the artifacts in that space and de company culture.
Again, looking at how guys at IDEO work, the authors of the HBR article explain they allow Permission by having Open-plan offices, portable furniture and of course a company policy that encourages people to move around to collaborate with whom they are working with.
We have been taking some steps in the last weeks towards Permission between team members simply by removing a big cabinet that was dividing the team in half!.. I’ve already seen changes in our team dynamics 🙂