We Got a New Office Layout, and It’s Awesome: Why This is Important
On January 2, 2018, the team at COACT Associates arrived to find an entirely new office layout.
A brand-new start, a transformation – what better way to capture the spirit of a new year and a new beginning?
Gone were the high-walled cubicles, the drab walls, and the sense of separation. Now, with an open office layout, we can all see each other and interact in ways we never had before.
Our desks are mobile and adjustable. Sit or stand, you can do both!
The fresh, bright, natural light illuminates the office, highlighting the freshly-painted green and gray walls (our COACT colors). Our office was even designed collaboratively, and this shows in every inch of the new layout.
Well, that’s great and all, you might be thinking, but how does this pertain to me? And this gets to my point: office design can have an extremely important impact on your employees.
The Importance of the Right Office Layout
1) The right office layout can foster more communication and trust.
For COACT, the right office layout is an open one. And this has been shown to have positive results.
Thomas H. Davenport points out in an article about this topic that open office spaces improve communication between employees: “they communicate informally and build trust and social capital more easily in more open office environments (even high-walled cubicles, they say, restrict interpersonal communications).”
2) The right office layout can encourage collaboration and effective communication.
Most companies know that collaboration is key to organizational success. So, of course, is communication (which I described a few months ago as one of the two things that make or breaks a business).
Davenport writes that “Office environments need to facilitate the collaboration and exchange of tacit (hard to express in explicit written terms) knowledge.”
In our new office layout, collaboration is easy. I currently sit in what we’ve deemed “the marketing cube.” Though the shape has changed into more of a pod, collaboration is more improved than ever before.
The same goes with communication. The openness and transparency of our new office layout create an environment that is fresh and invigorating
3) The right office layout will reflect core elements of your business and present the right message to not only your current employees, but also to clients, prospective clients, new employees, prospective hires, and other visitors.
Pete Bacevice, Liz Burow, and Mat Triebner explain in a Harvard Business Review article about office design that “an office environment reflects and reinforces a business’s core values, through the placement of different teams and functions and design elements that reflect culture, brand, and values.”
COACT’s new office layout reflects our culture, brand, and values. For example, one of our values focuses on teams: “We believe in the strength of teams – we participate in and build high-performing teams.”
Never has this been more apparent than with our new layout. Now, the business development staff sit together (as with marketing), but we can all see each other, too. There is no separation via gray cubicle walls. Camaraderie grows!
But this not only benefits the employees; it also presents a positive picture of COACT, our culture, our brand, and our values to clients, prospective clients, new employees, prospective hires, and other visitors. First impressions are important.
Now, the first impression that visitors go away with is a positive one, and they are left with a glimpse of the organization that we are.
The COACT Team’s Thoughts on Our New Office Layout
To get some more insight into how the new office layout has affected the daily workflows of the team here at COACT, I asked some of my colleagues for their thoughts.
Here’s what they had to say:
“It gives us so much extra space in our office to do activities! In all seriousness, being able to see everyone in the office with our new layout has created an awesome layer of camaraderie.” – David Brooks, Business Development Specialist
“The open environment allows for enhanced collaboration and promotes cohesive learning in real-time. I can hear and see how others are managing their clients’ needs and adjust my approach accordingly.
I enjoy the shared space and increased team atmosphere. We can quickly and easily lend support when needed, and celebrate each other’s wins as a group.
The camaraderie the new office layout provides is hilariously entertaining. It serves to foster a creative and fun workspace that is productive, results-oriented, but also enjoyable.” – Sarah Salatin, Senior Business Development Specialist
“I love the new layout; the lower and open desks provide a workspace that is transparent and motivating. My favorite aspect is the motorized desk lift, so I can stand or sit with the touch of a button (which beats sitting all day!). I think what I love most is the fresh perspective and has given the entire company. That we’re in this together, growing businesses, and changing lives.” – Ashleigh Hotz, Creative Manager
“The ability to move freely and interact with the team has led to the instant ability to collaborate unlike we have had in the past. To make eye contact with everyone in the room from your desk has really made me feel like we are part of the same team.” – Jennifer Nietz, Vice President