The open office dilemma doesn’t exist here.
We’ve watched and participated in the movement towards more open concept offices with the hopes of encouraging our people to become more collaborative, engaged, and connected.
But something went wrong.
People have become distracted, working from coffee shops instead to make up for lost productivity. I too am guilty for sitting at a coffee shop to “get some work done.”
But not at Remote Year.
I am sitting in the RY workspace, which is an open concept design with some private rooms, alongside 30 other remotes, yet the silence and headspace is unreal. I’m starting to think this is going to be a productive environment.
Everyone is working on their own, like it’s an exam. It wouldn’t be this way if we were all at the same company. The open concept design within many corporations can be like chaos for focus. Perhaps if you have people sitting randomly, and not within their same team, it would feel the way the RY space feels right now. But, companies usually group teams together.
Maybe it’s time to change seating plans at your office. Intertwine people from different teams together. Sit finance beside tech support, or development beside human resources. Teams can book a private meeting space for their collaborative time, or they can hangout in the kitchen or lounge when they need a dose of socialization.
Or, how about no seating arrangements at all? Keep your office as RY does and let people decide each day where to sit. Maybe today it’s at the bar station looking out the window, as I am. Tomorrow I might grab a private call room, and perhaps the couch on Friday. Some days people want daylight, other days they don’t.
What I do know is that the feeling of focus, sense of productivity and simply having this choice is a boost of happiness.
Remote Life = Work where you want, when you want (most of the time).