Two Behaviors to Encourage with an Unassigned Workplace Strategy
Want your unassigned workplace strategy to succeed? Encourage exploration and connections throughout the office.
Freedom. Energy. Variety. With benefits like these, who wouldn’t want to work in an open office? A lot of people, as it turns out. The very things that make an open office great can also make it a pain for those who crave order and focus. So how do you help people realize the benefits of their unassigned workplace? Start by encouraging two behaviors we’ve observed in productive workplaces with unassigned seating.
When people move freely from conference room to community space to desk as their needs change, it’s a good sign your unassigned strategy is working.
Why Movement Matters
- Sit where you want and move when needs change or when distractions interfere with productivity.
- Orient yourself to either encourage interaction or discourage interruption.
- Focus more easily with less clutter to distract you.
- Let the creative juices flow by moving through the office and working in different locations.
Sounds Bites from Employees on the Move
“A colleague and I are working together on a project. To get it done faster, I sat at an open desk near her on the fifth floor.”
“I had a call scheduled at 10 and couldn’t find an open phone booth, so I found a lounge chair away from the main workspace. It was a great place to relax and have a long conversation.”
“After lunch, I needed to focus and work on a report. I moved down to an open desk on the fourth floor where it’s much more quiet.”
Six Ways to Encourage Exploration in Your Office
Give people diverse spaces for work—some for focus, some for collaboration, and some for socializing.
Provide technology and work tools that make it easier for people to move between activities and spaces.
Create a culture that encourages a “work anywhere” mentality.
Evolve your office over time to offer new types of spaces that support new ways of working.
Ask leaders to show their teams what spaces are available and how they can use them.
Incentivize people to work in different spaces throughout the office.
Grow through Experience
People learn and grow when they have an opportunity to connect with different colleagues throughout the day. Here’s a few reasons why making connections is a good thing, and how you can help encourage it in the office.
How Connection Sparks Growth
- Learn by observing others working around you.
- Ignite creativity through new conversations.
- Get to know new people and new parts of the business.
Sounds Bites from Consummate Connectors
“Today I’m sitting with the development team. It helps to overhear their conversations and try to learn from them.”
“I like to sit in new spots and get to know people I normally wouldn’t see. I make a lot of friends that way.”
“A new person has been sitting by me this week. It’s helping him build confidence, and I’m able to answer his questions and show him how to do things.”
Five Ways to Encourage Connection in Your Office
Allow people and teams to share and display work in progress.
Encourage people to work alongside team members, or with colleagues from different areas of the company.
Make it easy for people to find each other and open spaces where they can connect.
Establish expectations for office etiquette, including how to reserve desks and meeting rooms.
Ensure that everyone from the CEO to the office intern follow cultural protocols.
Dive Deeper into the Unassigned Work Experience
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