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  • Larry Alton 9:00 am on July 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: digital workplace, , , ,   

    Cliques in the Workplace 

    Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

    Cliques in the WorkplaceUnfortunately, you didn’t leave behind the cool kid’s lunch table when you left high school. In the adult workplace, there are still cliques, there are still mean girls, and gossip can be just as devastating. It might come with new buzzwords, like “water cooler conversation,” but the reality is that humans (regardless of age) are social creatures and naturally want to form groups. However, we’re also competitive and that can come out fiercer than ever in the real world.

    As a manager, it’s your job to make sure each of your employees can enjoy a positive environment that allows them to flourish, do their job, and enjoy coming to work.

    Like it or not, part of your job is playing social director as well as interior designer. Part of your role is making sure every worker feels welcomed and valued, both from yourself and from everyone else in the office. It’s a tough job being Mama or Papa Bear, but you’re in this position because you have what it takes.

    Playing social director

    There are many ways to encourage holistic socializing both at work and beyond the office hours. For some offices, this means a standing Friday night happy hour at the bar across the street, but you’ve probably noticed that the same people keep showing up (or not showing up), so you’re really just providing an extra avenue for certain cliques to get together. That can be a good thing, but you’re not making serious strides in encouraging the outsiders to join.

    Instead, consider a social function that’s not geared towards the most social butterflies and which doesn’t encourage drinking alcohol. Maybe a lunchtime park cleanup crew, philanthropy group or “club” that welcomes all and tries out a new activity each week or month. You can welcome suggestions by asking everyone to anonymously make recommendations based on something they like, then draw from a hat. Not only will this provide an eclectic range of options, but everyone will also be exposed to a brand new hobby or passion.

    Designing spaces

    The popularity of the open office plan was created to encourage random conversations, creative thinking and a more social area to get work done. However, for some workers a non-stop open space can be distracting and even induce anxiety. Plus, there are some jobs (such as engineers and writers) that really require more private and quiet time for optimal concentration. Instead of a totally open office plan, aim for an open social area.

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  • Oscar Berg 9:00 am on October 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: digital workplace, ,   

    The 6 Pillars of The Digital Workplace 

    Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

    Editor’s note: Oscar Berg (@oscarberg) has let us republish this article from his blog where he talks about the 6 main pillars of The Digital Workplace. We’re sure you’ll enjoy it :-) If you want to read more about the future of knowledge work, we encourage you to read his blog ‘The content Economy‘.

    The business environment that knowledge-intense businesses operate in is anything but static – it’s changing faster and faster, and in new ways. It’s becoming more and more unpredictable. This means that businesses can’t do long-term planning the way they used to. Instead they have to be prepared for change, becoming agile enough to quickly adapt to new conditions and situations.

    At the same time knowledge work and the contributions of knowledge workers are becoming increasingly important for businesses. There is also a big potential in improving the productivity of knowledge work that they have to address. Yet there is a tension, and often conflict, between agility and productivity. How do we as knowledge workers remain productive, or even increase productivity, when we need to adapt to new conditions all the time? We often find ourselves stuck between a rock and a hard place. Workload and complexity at work is increasing, while we at the same time are expected to be more productive. Add to this that we need to adapt to new conditions. Not only that, we are expected to be creative and innovative as well.

    The greatest enemy here spells c-o-m-p-l-e-x-i-t-y. Not only does it hamper knowledge worker productivity, but it is also causing exceptions to happen more frequently; exceptions that are both costly and hard to deal with. No manual or procedure can help us deal with these as each exception is different from the other and needs to be treated in its own special way. To deal with it we have to improvise.  Collaborate. Think outside of the box. The problem is that our organizations haven’t been designed for this reality. Most organizations have been designed for efficiency and economies of scale, not for enabling collaboration, creativity and personal responsibility. Too often, we are just cogs in a big machinery.  Even if we know what is wrong, and what can be done about it, there simply isn’t any support from the organization to help us act.

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