Changing office locations has been an interesting experience. When taking part in a re-location you often prep for the change in commute, making sure your boxes are packed and labeled correctly, but you often don’t consider the transformation in office culture. Sure, having a shiny new building with new office furniture is appealing, but it often overshadows what really is important in a work environment.
At our previous location we had small box like cubicles that were very close together, which in a support environment was a huge advantage. When taking calls and troubleshooting issues, it’s easier for everyone to be a part of a major issue that may take place and learn how to support it. In our new home, our cubicles are the size of small apartments, which are beautiful and we are lucky to have, but they create barriers to communication. This may help with productivity to a certain extent (lessening the amount of “water-cooler” chit chat that may occur); however, it may hinder an overall link between what knowledge my co-workers and I can share with each.
Larger cubicles will definitely prevent the water-cooler type talk that often takes place in a small support environment, but those conversations were more than discussing what we had for lunch. We know each other, we know each other’s attitudes and tendencies, and we know how each person handles specific situations. What I’m getting at is without experiencing relationships with your co-workers and learning who they are as individuals, you lose the camaraderie and energy that drive a successful team. I realize that this differs in other aspects of a company (IT, Accounting, etc.), where human-interaction is not necessarily critical, but Customer Support is about teamwork and gaining knowledge of an ever changing product. Because of the importance of servicing our clients, the Team is already beginning frequent impromptu meetings to discuss hot topics of the day. We will continue to service our clients with the responsiveness and quality they deserve!
How do you build your team camaraderie?