Shifting Desks Every Few Months: A Cultural Practice for Collaboration

Read more

Our PACE methodology offers a structured approach for guiding practitioners on how to motivate and equip their people to collaborate more effectively using modern tools. PACE has four phases – Prepare, Activate, Capitalise, and Enhance – and eight streams of work across the four phases. I love it when I’m reading a magazine and stumble across an idea that just so perfectly aligns with what we’re trying to do with PACE.

In November 2018, I headed across from my office in New Zealand to the Silverside world headquarters just outside Rotterdam. My flights were with Air New Zealand to London, and then KLM from London to Schipol. The Holland Herald was one of the back-of-seat reading sources on offer on KLM, and as I usually do, I flicked/skimmed/ read the magazine. Bregtje Knaap’s article starting page 66, called Man on a Mission, tells the story of Henk Jan Beltman’s journey of creating chocolate 100% slave free. One of the sections of the interview talks about how his chocolate company – called Tony’s Chocolonely – treats its own employees. Here’s a snippet:

“At our Amsterdam headquarters, we want members of our team to show up as the best version of themselves. That’s why we don’t stick to conventions and keep a playful office policy: we maintain flexible working hours, provide a free lunch and, most importantly, work as one team. Every few months, we have an office lottery and shuffle desks… Working with Tony’s should be great fun and put a smile on everyone’s face. When everyone shows up happy at work, and ready to give everything they’ve got, that’s when great things will start to happen.”

Nice work Henk and Tony’s.

The culture and behaviour stream in the PACE framework, during the Activate phase, is focused on embracing new guidelines for team collaboration. Henk’s practices and guidelines in the above quote – especially for me the idea of shuffling desks every few months to create the conditions for creative collaboration – speak directly to the culture and behavioural practices that, one, provide the underpinnings for collaborating more effectively using modern tools, and second, create an awesome company culture.

PACE Streams

Are there any specific cultural practices that you enact in your team/department/organisation to make team collaboration a reality?

Read the related blog: When shifting desks doesn’t work: Pair-Ups”

Download the PACE Whitepaper to know more about cultural and collaboration practices. 

Silverside eBook

Download our eBook
User Adoption for Office 365: How to Lock-in a Return-on-Investment

Join our mailing list to receive the eBook. After subscribing you will receive the eBook in your maibox. And... we will not SPAM you with stuff you don't like. It is all about happy users.

You have succesfully subscribed. Please check your mailbox (and your SPAM-folder) for a copy of the eBook.