An office move may be just what your business needs to supercharge productivity and collaboration. A recent article by the Harvard Business Review outlines how Microsoft used an office move to shift their work space culture into a productive collaborative environment. Microsoft has been researching what distance does to collaboration. They have found that remote workers consistently find engaging with colleagues difficult regardless of online meeting capabilities.
The research shows that even being on different floors in the same building has a strong negative impact on collaboration. Even though you may be sitting one floor down from a colleague, you might as well be on the moon.
Microsoft found that after moving 5 buildings into 4 with more employees per floor, collaboration increased.
So how do we prevent collaboration loss without a complete relocation or refit / reshuffle? It’s a good question, and one that has not been properly answered with current research initiatives. Increasing structured regular meetings could be an answer.
However, with increased structure and more meetings, productivity decreases. How do you maintain both collaboration and productivity?
The answer might be in technology. Having a real time live online collaboration environment that runs 24/7 would be an interesting experiment. Your not forced to meet with or talk to your online colleague but you can see and hear them all the time as if they were at a workstation beside you. Should you wish to collaborate on a task or ask a question, all you have to do is look up and speak.
This type of technology is not utilised in the office environment, but could be the way of the future.