Communication Thoughts from Offices That Work

I was reading through Offices That Work: Balancing Communication, Flexibility and Cost by Becker and Sims and thought there were some good nuggets worth sharing. These thoughts relate to team building because we’re concerned with office dynamics when people show up for events.

Some people commented on the trust, honesty and team building generated in their team-oriented bullpen, and how that created a climate in which it was easier to think and act critically without offending others.

There is this idea of ruthless honesty. When something is wrong or if you said something stupid … you normally hear … “That was the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.” Being able to remove yourself personally from that, and just be able to say, “Oh. That was stupid.” Maybe it diverts you to a new path. Your design affects everybody. And if you come up with a bad design you literally screw everyone on your team. And so you straighten everything up with a lot of honesty. So it’s good.
— Software Developer

Activities for Better Team Dynamics

  • Zoning of activities and functions provides another option for dealing with different needs and preferences for concentration.
  • They said that “The office is a place where people come together to engage in activities that help the enterprise persevere and prosper.” I like that! Very pro-business :-)
  • And on Behavioral Cues: “We learn to interpret facial expressions and body language, to understand the flow and pattern of different activities. Conflict is avoided by understanding the subtleties of nonverbal behavior.”