How is your workplace set up? Are there rows and rows of cubicles? Do they have walls? Do only a few select people have offices? Do people across job functions randomly eat together in the cafeteria or do departments stay separate? Does spontaneous collaboration and innovation happen at the water cooler or in the elevator?
This article on CITEworld.com about Google’s workplace model (keep people there as long as possible with a huge number of perks) vs. Yahoo’s (former) workplace model (teleworkers galore) got us thinking: is one extreme or the other the answer for everyone?
Different studies have shown that both collaborative and telework friendly environments can be good for workers. Open workplaces that encourage chance encounters (like Google) can foster relationships across job functions, but it’s tough to say if real ideas actually stem from those encounters. Workplaces that allow employees to work remotely can engender more productivity but don’t allow for face-to-face discussions that could help communication.
What is your workplace like? What works and what doesn’t? Do you think it would be more effective if it was structured another way?