The Concept of ‘Office Freedom’ and How It Fixes Age-Old Organizational Problems

Liz Presson • 19 April 2014

Giving people community tables instead of cubicles is not the answer to baffling management conundrums. Giving your employees real “office freedom” on the other hand, is.

Traditional work environments are being challenged. Many managers are taking notice and are trying to change with the times. But, what they need to understand is that it’s employees’ motivations that are changing. In order to speak to these new motivations, the deep-rooted culture of the traditional corporate world must evolve.

A friend who has worked in finance for 13 years recently told me that the investment firm she works for went cubicle-free. The higher-ups installed community-style tables in an effort to modernize the workspace. But, instead of making their employees more satisfied, they totally missed the mark. Office morale is lower than ever. The employees feel ignored, like management has no clue what they want or need. As my friend explained, she and her colleagues want more than a change in office feng shui. They want management to confront the underlying issues that have gone unaddressed for years.

These traditional environments have been known to evoke principles that are decades old, such as the Peter Principle, the Dunning-Kruger effect, and groupthink. (Don’t recognize these? Read on, you may not recognize the issues by name, but you surely will in explanation.) How do we create a solution for these age-old problems? We can start to solve them with a shift in mindset towards work. And, that shift can start with office freedom. Here’s how office freedom can be a part of abolishing these principles and theories that have been deeply rooted in traditional offices for decades.

This authored article was originally published on Fast Company. Head there to read the rest. 

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