Even though they are not in the same industry segment I inhabit, everyone in the Agile world knows Zappos. Not only are they one of the top companies to work for in the US, they continue to rethink and innovate their internal processes.
In this post on the InVision App site (great prototyping app for mobile dev teams, I recommend), Donny Guy from Zappos discusses how they designed their offices for more than fun. It’s laid out with the express intent of encouraging collaboration.
Again, just like culture, many decision makers think this concept can be casually decided upon. Where the coffee maker or eating areas can actually hinder people working together. Maybe you have too many (or not enough) breakaway rooms. The game room could actually be seen as a bad thing depending on where you put it.
I could go on, but Guy’s words are worth reading about. Regardless of your building’s space requirements, you have options. Did you know that Zappos figured out that the more space we have to stretch out individually, the less we collaborate? They are actually making efforts to put teams closer together, forcing interaction.
Sound crazy? That’s your old mindset telling you that this is weird.
Take your team and shake up the room they sit in this week. Work for a day at a Panera Bread (or IHOP, I don’t judge). Ask someone new to lead the meeting. These little things can really help increase collaboration (and by proxy, engagement).
What will you try new this week?