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Adi is a social business blogger and community manager that writes for sites such as Social Business News and Social Media Today. Away from the computer he enjoys cycling, particularly in the Alpes. Adi is a DZone Zone Leader and has posted 1172 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Creating a collaborative environment the Google way

10.02.2013
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When looking to change behaviours in the workplace, it’s imperative to create an environment that encourages those behaviours.  When doing this, there are 8 levers you can use, including everything from the way decisions are made to how information flows throughout your organisation.

One of the more frequently explored levers is that of the physical, built, environment.  There have been many attempts to build work environments fit for collaboration, from open plan offices at the basic (and unsuccessful) end to more elaborate constructions at the other.

Arguably at the forefront of this are Google, and you can see from the video below how they have endeavoured to create a physical environment that encourages collaboration.  Suffice to say that using one lever in isolation is not the way, but this gives an insight into the kind of things Google are doing to try and foster those behaviours.

It’s fair to say that their approach is not going to be for everyone, and to many it might be construed as being excessively childlike.  The Google approach is not the only one, and I mentioned previously a number of academic studies into the kind of environments that have shown to encourage collaboration and creativity, so if the Google approach is not for you it’s easy enough to craft an environment that is.  Whatever you choose though, I urge you not to stick with an open plan office.

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