Or, will collective Social Culture survive despite its physical surroundings?
Today’s business acumen is largely dependent on a highly interactive culture that can respond to change when or even before it occurs! Thus, we all know the importance of Employee Engagement within today’s organizational environment.
I used to ask clients the question, “How many ‘hall-meetings’ do you have?” A vast majority of them answered positively that a great number of their meetings were indeed, in the hallway and occurred as spur-of-the-moment interactions.
Perhaps the biggest incidence of social interaction within the organization was when individuals realized that their most credible and timely information was indeed, gained in the hallway! Here, they quite literally picked up the pulse of the organization and ran with it (Talk about Engagement!). It was no longer suitable to sit in your cubicle, in relative obscurity, relying on memos and input from your manager for guidance. Even before open space was purposely planned, individuals would often seek out communicative areas in order to obtain that all important peripheral knowledge relative to their specific goals. Therefore, business leaders began to embrace the significance of those hall encounters and, working with designers and space planners, they created areas within the physical workspace that would intuitively bring various disciplines together in order to broaden thought and promote a more holistic communication process throughout the organization.
Any dynamic organizational culture demands a physical environment that provides the necessary tools (including Space, Technology & Furnishings) to accomplish goals in an effective and timely manner. Likewise, all occupants must have the autonomy to freely move from one work setting to another in order to efficiently accommodate their immediate needs.
Thus, the two entities must go hand-in-hand. An effective Organizational Culture must be sustained by a well planned Physical Workplace and likewise, that Physical Work Environment will be ineffective if it is not tempered with a Culture of vibrant individuals who are consistently supported and edified to the value of their contributions towards organizational objectives. …It’s just Smart Business!