I often get asked by customers and partners what it takes to create an activity-based workplace – one that gets employees out of assigned cubicles and gives them a variety of spaces to use based on what they need to do and who they need to connect with throughout the day.
There’s no doubt that the physical environment in which we work is important. Spaces that are clean, well-lit, and attractive can go a long way towards fostering productivity, positive attitudes, and teamwork. But configuring your physical space is just one part of the overall solution.
Embedding collaboration technology into your space design is critical to the success of any workplace transformation effort. Employees need seamless, uninterrupted access to the information they need to get their jobs done. And the tools they use must be as intuitive as their own personal devices.
By “intuitive,” I mean being able to:
- Make and receive calls on any device, whether it’s a desk phone, laptop, mobile phone or tablet
- Access email and corporate intranet anywhere on campus – wirelessly and securely
- Find people in your organization, check availability, and connect using instant messaging, voice, video, desktop sharing, or conferencing
- Engage in real-time, face-to-face collaboration and team building sessions – both planned and spontaneous – with colleagues around the globe
These are the ways in which workplace transformation can improve productivity, break down communication barriers, and speed decision-making and innovation – by allowing people to work together anywhere, on any device. Companies place high value on technologies that enable consistent and connected communications between employees, customers and partners. When you combine these technologies with an activity-based workplace design, you’ll create an environment in which people can achieve extraordinary things.
Cisco’s own campuses cover more than 21 million square feet of real estate worldwide, providing work environments for a diverse, multicultural and multigenerational employee base approaching 80,000 people. We understand the important role that our workplace plays in our success.
We understand that as technology becomes more flexible and employees more mobile, space design must go hand in hand with efforts to improve productivity, foster innovation, lower costs, and improve employee satisfaction.
What’s driving collaboration in your organization? What’s holding you back? Let me know in the comments below.
Learn more about evolving your own collaborative workspace.
This is the second of a four-part series on Workplace Transformation in which Carl Wiese explores how a more flexible, agile, and collaboration-centric work environment benefits your business, your customers, and your employees. Read the first post here.