Open Plan Office

We have so much fabulous open plan office space available to us it is mind boggling. I don’t mean we as in us at What Goes Around, I mean we as in all of us, you included. I walked past one of my offices today. It’s called Stanley Park and it is en route from my house to the station. As the better weather comes around I often use these huge open plan offices for work and meetings. They are a fantastic alternative to those boxy hemmed in things you often find in buildings. Why do I like them?

Change of scene. Isn’t it fantastic to get different perspectives on things? And what better way to help that along than to make the meeting backdrop a series of different perspectives. Need I say more?

Room to roam. There was some great discussion round here recently about stand up meetings. How about walking and strolling meetings? These can be really useful when getting to know folk better.

No PowerPoint. Have you ever seen a PowerPoint presentation in a park? I mean – seriously, this reason alone does it for me.

I belong to a LinkedIn group called HR at the Table. It’s run by the wonderfully creative Vandy Massey and the group meets monthly for lunch and good conversation. I just found out that there are plans to make at least one of the summer meet ups a walking meeting. Sounds fun and I’m looking forward to it.

And yes I know, meetings are about much more than their surroundings. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make the effort to make those surroundings as stimulating as we can, does it?

photo c/o bradleygee

Author: Doug Shaw

Artist and Consultant. Embracing uncertainty, sketching myself into existence. Helping people do things differently, through an artistic lens.

4 thoughts on “Open Plan Office”

  1. Funny how more people don’t give themselves permission to break with the norms and find something that provides a different perspective or even a nicer environment. I’m not talking about stepping out for a coffee… It’s something for all leaders to act on.

    On a leadership programme I attended some years ago, Ian Mcmonagle introduced me to the practice of Solvitas Perambulem (hope I got my Latin right!). Which is thinking whilst walking, contemplating even. It needs that great open plan office but is a very simple way to gain clarity on issues or actions. Simple but effective!

    1. Hey David, you’ve put that very well – “people don’t give themselves permission”. Rarely is anyone stopping us from doing these things, we just check our imagination in at security and go with the flow eh? I am working on what I hope will be a fun idea as an antidote to this problem you have highlighted. Watch this space…

  2. It should be a lot of fun. We’re planning it for the May or June meeting – i.e. when the weather is better. The idea is to start at one pub and walk for about an hour – to reach the pub where we’ll be eating lunch. At the moment we’re considering a wander through some of the parks, or perhaps along the canal.
    I was introduced to the idea by Gill Rouse from People & Change, who organises an HR walk /lunch in Herts every year.

    Another great open plan meeting I enjoy is the summer committee meeting for a charity I’m on the management team for – we take a picnic down to the river and have our meeting on a punt on a lovely summer evening. It really doesn’t feel like work. 🙂

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