“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!”