With the focus on cubes and workspace this week, I’d like to throw out to you all the notion of managers joining in on the open space model. Having had a separate office, and now working in the loft studio with the entire team, my personal preference is for the latter.
I had mixed feelings, when I first discovered I was going be thrown into the mix. Where would I have private one-on-ones? How would I deal with vendors and business colleagues on the phone with all the background noise? What about my valued (but more personally focused) alone time? And, most importantly, would I be able to maintain a professional manager/report relationship with the team?
Having worked this way for the past year and a half, I can honestly say that the positives easily outweigh the negatives. I use a private meeting room for one-on-ones, the group isn’t exactly screaming and yelling all the time so phone calls are rarely a problem, I’ve found I can easily tune out the background noise when I need to focus on a strategic exercise and I believe I’ve managed to maintain a professional relationship with all my reports.
The plusses include:
- A deeper more personal bond with my team (resulting in increased loyalty)
- A better sense of how our production process plays out and, with this knowledge, the ability to better address breakdowns in production
- A better sense of the interpersonal dynamics of the group
- Opportunities to more easily and informally address the group as whole for knowledge sharing and communication of new policies and procedures
I’m a convert, and to all you sequestered managers out there, I hope you’ll consider jumping onto the playing field.
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