An Agile Experience…

“I had high hopes when I joined the organisation.  I wanted a progressive, collaborative, innovative working environment.

I had come from an organisation which was old, corporate and institutionalised.  So yes, it had old desks, organised in a ‘call centre’ style in large banks. Old tech, old carpets, daylight-free meeting rooms that inspired nothing except a snooze in the corner.

But it was on a journey.  Certain areas had embraced an agile, performance-focused environment.  White walls and white boards for brainstorming, for showing and telling. Large screens with social/news feeds and video content.  Open areas for free collaboration.  High level touch-down areas for ‘between meeting’ check-ins. Smaller booths for private calls, meetings or quiet space. Areas for co-location for inter-departmental project work.

I was shown to my desk on my first day, in a corner, away from my team, behind a shelving unit, on a bank of hot desks where strangers showed up every day but never introduced themselves. What a welcome!

So – although I love what I do now – my environment makes it difficult.  Why?

  • I find collaboration hard – being away on my own there is no chance of ‘on the hoof’ discussion.
  • I found meetings hard – getting a room is convoluted – off to the canteen again then (to sit on the dirty, food covered chairs).
  • I find presenting hard – most meeting rooms have no tech support – so no ‘plug and play’.
  • I find keeping track hard – where can I put plans, activity, see what’s going on ‘out there’?
  • I find concentrating hard – hot desk areas as a permanent desk space is not conducive to focused effort.
  • I find it physically hard – sitting all day at a fixed desk has increased the strain on my already damaged back.

I support change. I have seen the difference a new environment can make to the output of an organisation.  In short; to achieve a progressive, dynamic customer-centric organisation, I think we need to have a bright, inspiring, collaborative employee-centric working environment!”

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