Building a collaborative workplace

In college, a professor doesn't say, 'Complete this project from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the library: you're given a task and a deadline, and how you complete that task is up to you.

— Dolly Woo, Cisco workplace strategist.

cubiclesSay the words “modern office”, and what image comes to mind? For many people it remains a view of endless ranks of desks or cubicles, the monotony  broken only by a small cuddly toy clinging desperately to the top of a dividing screen. The design assumes that people only interact with the paperwork, telephones, and computer screens in front of them, and that they will occupy that space throughout the working day.

That view is rapidly becoming out of date, as more and more organisations realise the value of collaborative and flexible ways of working. A combination of culture change, new technology, and good office design can lead to increased productivity and reduced costs. This case study from Cisco illustrates some of the challenges of moving to new ways of working, and how to overcome them.

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