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The Office Ambience, Choose Wisely

The Office Ambience, Choose Wisely

One of the decisions that a HR department has to make is the office mentality. Traditionally, offices have been filled with cubicles and silence. Office Ambience, Productivity, Workflow, EfficiencyHowever, as businesses are evolving as the younger generations join the work force, the office environment is becoming more free flowing. Lean and Six Sigma practices also call for a reconsideration of how processes are structured to ensure a maximization of workflow.

There are benefits to both types of work places and it comes down to what HR decides will be more effective. This is coming from someone who has worked in both of these different offices…I mean polar opposites, and each has some good value to consider.

The Cubicle, aka the creative coffin: Every desk job employee has probably worked in one of these guys at a point in their career. Sometimes you hate being secluded, sometimes you love it, but no one can deny that creativity goes to die in a cubicle. Killing that creativity is exactly why it is a bad idea for a company who needs that innovation flowing through the office space. There’s something funny about how an environment affects people’s moods and actions. Studies show that a simple change in wall color can make people feel more relaxed or more excited, so why would confining someone in a small grey cube not have a negative effect?

The Cubicle, aka the straw that stirs the drink: Now, let’s say that you’re company is an accounting or investment company. Someplace where a lot of number crunching is done, then the cubicle doesn’t seem so bad any more. Arguments can be made that the occasional conversation over the cubicle walls will distract workers, but overall, it provides an environment with minimal distractions. After all, who really wants employees getting distracted and making mistakes to the numbers?

Let the freedom flow: On the flip side, when you walk in to an office with ping pong tables, Nerf guns, and basketball hoops, you can see that some creative ideas are thought up there. Good ideas are created when people are comfortable and having fun. People don’t sit around working on an excel spreadsheet and then all of a sudden think of a really fun and useful business idea. It’s a fact, there are two different sides of the brain for creative thoughts and mathematical thoughts. Look it up. So if you have a company in marketing, advertising, or just need to keep innovating ideas, you better lose the cubicles. Sure there are more distractions, but in the end, ideas are bounced off other employees who are sitting next to you with nothing in between, and the end product will be much better.

Obviously, that type of fun, no cares environment needs to be closely monitored and would not work for a number crunching career. HR needs to look in to which environment would be the best fit for the company and know how to implement the best HR practices along with it. These chosen environments and practices can greatly impact business results, and should be taken seriously while choosing. Trust me, after working in both places, I can say that each has its pro’s and con’s, it just depends on the line of work the company is in.

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Scott McGinty

Scott is a marketing professional with a background in HR and management. He enjoys analyzing the work habits of employees as well thinking up new ideas for greater productivity. In his off time, Scott enjoys hiking, biking, and camping, as well as playing all types of sports.

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