Indian Business Environment Essay

4822 WordsFeb 23, 201220 Pages
Who Moved My Cube? - Harvard Business Review 2/9/11 9:58 Who Moved My Cube? by Anne-Laure Fayard and John Weeks The Idea in Brief Casual interactions among employees promote trust, cooperation, and innovation, and companies have devised open floor plans and common areas to encourage them. But such efforts can easily backfire. Spaces, whether physical or virtual, invite interaction only if they properly balance three factors, or “affordances.” Proximity Designs must drive traffic to shared spaces and give people reasons to remain. Centrally located areas containing shared resources such as photocopiers and coffee machines do this well. For virtual workers, continuously open video links and instant messaging provide a sense of proximity. Privacy People must feel confident that they can converse without being interrupted or overheard. They must also be able to avoid interacting when they want to. Alcoves lend privacy to public spaces. Clear policies about who has access to which communications help protect privacy online. Permission Company leadership and culture, as well as the space itself, must convey that casual conversation is encouraged. Comfortable furniture and obviously work-related machines such as photocopiers help send that signal. In addition, leaders should model desired behaviors in both physical and virtual spaces. Artwork: Geoffrey Cottenceau and Romain Rousset, Vide-carton, 2006 Managers once discouraged, even forbade, casual interactions among employees. To many bosses, chitchat at the watercooler was just a noisy distraction from work. Today we know that chance encounters and conversations on the job promote cooperation and innovation, and companies craft their floor plans and cultures with this in mind. The results have been surprising—and often disappointing. Consider the experience of Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). In 1987 the company

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