A recent Harvard study, carried out by Stephen Turban and Ethan Bernstein, documents that change to a more “agile” work environment, wether it’s “open-” or “shared” offices, does not necessarily encourage better communication and creativity between co-workers and teams.
In contradiction to the intended goal, colleagues will start to retreat from one another and shut themselves off into a bubble, shifting communication into the virtual space by messengers, e-mails or other electronic tools. Personal face to face communication decreases to up to 70% (source: SpiegelOnline.de). The desired effect of enhanced communication resulting in more creativity and innovation fails.
Living with the (natural) tension between the need for privacy in your own “territory” and being in contact with people makes it hard for each of us to leave traditional trails in favour of new concepts and processes.
Transforming to “agile“ forms of working, open- and shared offices are currently regarded as a revolution at the work place.
The success of such transformations is largely dependent on how employees are accompanied along the way. In order to actively design and successfully cary out creative transformation and -processes a „measuring stick“ is needed. Something which tells – and more importantly let’s us experience – if we are on the right way and indicates the „patterns of success”. If this is missing we are endangered that even the most sophisticated concepts and designs will turn out unsuccessfully, or even worse produce contrary results.
Creative changes require creative support, in order to live the desired processes with passion and success.
To successfully cope with change, new environments and new ways of working it is necessary to discover and support the individual strength of all people involved and to find out about each persons potentials and challenges. Opening up for creative changes and processes and live them actively day by day, needs the sense and the tools to come into ones own creative strength and be an active part of transformation from the beginning. Fears, uncertainties and doubts can thus become the source of inspiration for security, trust and new solutions. It is necessary to involve each individuals emotions into this process.