Silicon Valley Silly Spaces

April 24, 2017


So, a few days back I read an article about how the Silicon Valley initiated “Open Office Space” floor plan is rapidly dying out. The concept sounded good: pull down all the walls and windows between employees and let them collaborate at all times, to freely come up with new concepts and your company becomes a massive creative think tank. Seems it didn’t quite work out that way though. The tech giants forgot to consider one simple thing . . . people annoy each other! Loud voices, coughing, gum-popping, knuckle cracking co-workers will destroy any concept of collaboration in seconds and productivity descends into bickering and frustration.


Now, you may think we should write it all off as a bad experiment and move on, but hold on a minute. I think the idea of real-time collaboration is a brilliant one. I think it’s vital to the growth of any business, whether you’re a startup or a tech conglomerate. The concept didn’t fail here, just the implementation. How then do you get the collaborative, imaginative, creative environment you want? Simple: you give your workers physical privacy, while keeping them in continuous communication via simple collaboration tools like the ones you get by moving to the Office 365 platform. It strikes me as funny that the technology industry are the ones who missed this and opted for the open floor plan option instead!


Tools like Yammer, which is an internal social media app, like Facebook in a lot of ways, but only open to your staff, can boost interactive thinking dramatically. How about Delve, which lets you automatically see and track documents other team members are working on, without searching? Then there’s Planner (my personal favorite!) which lets you plan projects using notecard like tasks and assign them to users who can update, question, or even forward those tasks to other team members. It’s great for real-time tracking of progress and adding random ideas. Those are just a few of the collaboration tools available in Office 365. Everything in the entire system is designed around the concept of teams and sharing intellectual data.


See? You can get the best of both worlds: the sharing of your best minds, without the built-in frustrations of listening to the overly loud co-worker talking to his mom about their favorite tuna casserole recipe. If you haven’t made the switch to Office 365 yet, you’re missing out. Why not give ZenTek a call and we can help you move into the modern collaboration world!


Jim C

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