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Although it is improbable that these means of communication are going to be stamped out completely, there are several techniques that aid in a more integrated office culture and how each design can breed a sense of openness and collaboration among the employees on a personal level.
The main objective of promoting the following practices is to stimulate a sense of understanding about the importance of fading inter-personal contacts. Listed below are designs that will encourage a social environment and shall provide opportunities for culture, collision and conversation.
Coffee for two
The invention of K-Cups brought about a change in the lifestyle of employees at the workplace. Caffeine is the most used beverage and a study reveals that consumption of coffee during work-hours improves the performance of the workforce to a certain extent. These K-Cups can be modified into an advanced version wherein the machine can be built to provide for more than one cup and be operated simultaneously for filling two or even three cups of coffee and thereby compelling the co-workers to find their coffee-buddy.
This way they can take breaks from work and share a brief moment of leisure and breaking the ice among each other.
Music has now become an omnipresent facet of the modern workplace. Companies like Google, and Amazon make provisions for the employees to tune in to their commonly broadcasted music channel so as to lighten the burden of their work and create a happy and healthy work-environment.
However when the worker puts on his headphones, it indirectly hints at their state of being busy and would not appreciate being disturbed. This sometimes causes a misunderstanding and an opportunity to exchange a few words is lost. A sensor can therefore be fixed on the table with a blue light indicating that they can be approached even when their headphones are on. A red light would similarly hint that they’re busy.
The Black Spot
Something like work rotation. The objective is to make the workers assume roles of their peers while they are on leave. This not only creates stronger relations but also acts as a check on the activities of all the employees.
The Black Puck refers to a simple solution of delegating tasks. After having completed their own duty, they can clandestinely place it on a colleague’s desk to pass along the job.
As stated earlier, music can induce better performances and ensures that the workers are not always loaded with work stuff. An office jukebox can be used to inculcate the feeling of freedom at work and helps foster better work environment.
Under this system, the common playlist can be shared by all the employees in such a way that each of their selectively contributed songs is played once. This would make do a stronger connection as music has its own magical powers to bring people closer.