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When two people or organizations can’t resolve a conflict, they often defer to the option of “agreeing to disagree.” This is not very satisfying to either side, but at least you can walk away from the negotiating table (or battle zone) with at least a temporary pause in active combat. I can’t convince you; you can’t convince me; so let’s just go our own ways and ignore the disagreement.
Controlling the channels of communication never prevents communication: it just makes stark the lack of permission and prompts creative attempts to subvert the authority. Opening up spaces to communicate and collaborate is a key aspect of eroding resistance and building a foundation for change.
The Washington Post has a good guest post from Hebrew University Economics Professor Eyal Winter.
The fear of depriving your peers a bonus because of your laziness was a much more meaningful motivator than the fear of losing your own bonus.
The last time we covered this topic, we focused on the opportunities that arise with the dynamic assignment of workspaces. We highlighted that open floor plans were a great advance in the evolution of workplace layout, especially back when there was a lot of basic taskwork that leashed employees to their desks and a small group of other employees they needed to interact with. They were all there, just a shout away. The cost savings were huge in reduced space needed.
The bigger driving factor, however, has been the pervasive idea that open offices encourage collaboration, spark creative conversation, and increase productivity. Since there’s really no such thing as a private conversation in many of these offices, they also serve to symbolize the modern, egalitarian workplace ideal: one big happy family that types together, eats together, and works through personal drama together.
The British firm Ergonomi published a great article on dynamic workplace assignment. They refer to it as “hot-desking” but I suspect this is because they are consultants and want to brand the concept a little, even though the concept is widely implemented (although rarely implemented effectively). Whatever you call it, the idea has a lot of potential and the article has a lot of good ideas. The following combines some of the insights from the article as well as a few additions of my own.
There seems to be a rising trend of hot-desking. An office organization system which involves multiple workers sharing a single physical work station or surface during different time periods as opposed to each staff member having their own personal desk.
This study is further proof of what we discussed a few weeks ago about the foolishness of partitioning HF/E into neck up and neck down phenomena. There are many links between the two that are counterintuitive and might never be discovered with such a limited mindset.
Non-sedentary work configurations, which encourage standing rather than sitting in the course of work, are becoming increasingly prevalent in organizations. In this article, we build and test theory about how non-sedentary arrangements influence interpersonal processes in groups performing knowledge work…