Spaces for faces
Meeting the changing landscape of interacting
Abletech is looking ahead and changing it up. Our needs and preferences are changing so our meeting rooms are adapting to suit.
The growth in our team means that we need more spaces for collaborating with clients, but there are other factors at play here too.
Harvard Business Review looked at physical and digital workspace architecture and concluded that while an open office might appear interactive, we need to be intentional about productive collaboration; we should be getting the “right people interacting with the right richness at the right times”. At Abletech we agree that we need what HBR would call omnichannel collaboration to give us the options we need, when we need them.
The whole point here is to build and maintain important business relationships. The meetings and conversations are about connecting. Our team needs to be engaged and satisfied in their work. So do our clients. When we have meetings we are collaborating, engaging and holding each other accountable. We talk with people because we want to seek clarification, to plan, to understand each other. Whether we’re working from home, the office, or another space, we need to retain a sense of each other to stay connected.
We’ve increased in size. Since we added people to our team we’ve seen a higher demand for collaborative spaces. Our office-buddies at Sharesight have added more people too.
We don’t always need a big meeting room. More often it’s just about needing privacy. And it’s not always planned; we need impromptu spaces too. We often include people by video too.
One person — a simple phone call that needs a private space away from the open-plan office
One person plus laptop— multi-people meetings can happen in a small space when participants beam-in
Two people — a quick face-to-face catch up or a discussion
Three people — making plans, daily stand-ups, keeping clients in the loop, talking about next steps, with or without laptops, sometimes using a shared screen for visuals
Four or more people — these meetings are generally planned so can be booked into a larger meeting room space, chairs spread out, with or without virtual attendees and sometimes using a shared screen
Meeting-in-the-middle — people can also huddle in any open-plan space away from others
Flexibility is the name of the game now. Before COVID-19 we were more likely to sit closer and share smaller spaces. Now we are happy to meet online and we’re more comfortable in face-to-face meetings, if we spread out.
The office needs to be well-utilised both to optimise the space but also to be a desirable place to work. We are genuinely keen, as an employer, to offer a likeable office with usable spaces for various scenarios.
Spot the temporary innovative acoustic panelling
A note on beaming-in
We’ve added a stand-alone camera. With this camera available anyone can connect anywhere with any device. Our camera is light and easy to move. It’s super-simple to hook up. The people, conversation, screen and whiteboard are visible/audible for all participants with our 4K Logitech Brio zoomable webcam.
What most people need isn’t a meeting, but privacy. We’ve changed our layout to provide more spaces for our growing team to have conversations with each other, and with clients, without being distracted and without being distracting. We’re pleased we’ve improved the options. Our new wider range of spaces is working well.