Tear down the walls, literally

Walls in work areas can hurt direct and indirect communications for dynamic, fast-paced teams and projects. Without a wall, lift your head, get an answer, and return to work.

05/14/2013


We got rid of cubicle walls around the same time we started moving people constantly according to their teams and projects. We didn’t do this for the whole office, but we realized that for our teams that work in a dynamic, fast paced environment, walls were hurting direct and indirect communications.

Direct communications

Lift you head up, see who’s out there to help, ask your question, get your answer, and go back to work. There is no need to get up and wander around if there are no walls. This may provide lots of short distractions but if you really need to focus, you can put on your headphones or ear plugs as a visual “do not disturb” sign.

Quick impromptu meetings are easier for the same reason. It’s as simple as “Hey, come here, see this?” or “What are you up to? I don’t think that’s the right direction.” We don’t have to wait until tomorrow to find out time has been wasted.

Indirect communications

If you’re the project manager or team lead, and there is a delay in those familiar typing and clicking noises, your spider senses start to tingle. It’s easy to ask – “Hey are you stuck?”

People venting and getting frustrated is always visible. If someone’s stuck, anyone on the team can see this and help. A face that is frustrated or unsure can’t be hidden without walls. “Stuck” time is lower and people are back to work before you know it.

Sure there is more noise and sometimes you need to move to a different area for a client call or to focus on a task, but walls impede a healthy team environment – tear them down.

- The Control Engineering “Automation System Integration” blog is written by Anthony Baker, a fictitious aggregation of experts from Callisto Integration, providing manufacturing consulting and systems integration. The blog provides Callisto Integration advice in plant-floor controls, manufacturing execution systems (MES), and manufacturing consulting, from the factory floor through to the enterprise. Andrew Barker, P.Eng., Callisto Integration, compiled the advice. See additional posts at www.controleng.com/blogs.

www.callistointegration.com

Callisto Integration is a CSIA member as of 3/1/2015



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
System integration: Best practices and technologies to help; Virtualization virtues; Cyber security advice; Motor system efficiency, savings; Product exclusives; Road to Hannover
Collaborative robotics: How to improve safety, return on investment; Industrial Internet of Things, Industrie 4.0: World views; High-performance HMI, Information Integration: OPC and OMG
9 tips: How to integrate a servo system; Process control mathematical models; Serial network grounding; Engineers' Choice Awards; Learn from cyber security mistakes
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
PLCs, robots, and the quest for a single controller; how OEE is key to automation solutions.
Learn how Industry 4.0 adds supply chain efficiency, optimizes pricing, improves quality, and more.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
click me