Working in Hopwork’s open space office has helped me identify five fundamentals that are the difference between an open space that is productive, fun and stimulating and one that has employees heading straight for the door.
1. Open plan is not open space
It is vital to make a clear distinction between open plan (think call center) and open space (think startup). In an open plan office, you are still stuck in front of a computer at a desk, there are just fewer walls and therefore no freedom or privacy. Quite simply, it’s awful.
In open space there is, well, space: Little hideaway meeting rooms to get away into, a kitchen that people actually spend time (in French, they call this an “espace convivial”), a lounge area where you can take a call or have a discussion with colleagues. This variety of areas and lack of constraint are the real difference between an open plan and open space setup.
2. It really is all or nothing
Either open space is a good thing for your company or it isn’t. The moment any one person in the team “needs” an office, they become intrinsically separate and the power of the model diminishes. If the CEO truly believes in the benefits of an open space setup, then what is good enough for the team should be good enough for them.
The only exceptions to this rule are doctors and those working on highly confidential material - for obvious reasons, they may need their own offices on occasion.
3. Culture is king
Most open space disasters seem to happen in a very specific environment. Typically, when someone high up decides what the culture should be and expects change to simply flow through the organization on their command.
It takes more than removing a few office walls to break down the real barriers to culture change.
Trust is the cornerstone of culture. If your employee has not been at their desk for the last 10 minutes, what is your reaction? Anything other than “so what” suggests you don’t have complete trust in your team. And if you don’t trust your staff implicitly, why did you hire them in the first place?
Perhaps they are taking a personal call, maybe they are speaking with an important client. An open space environment isn’t about being able to keep a closer eye on everyone because there are fewer walls. As Marguerite, a Senior Account Manager at Hopwork, says:
"If you trust your employees to do the right thing, they most likely will. And it goes both ways, we trust our leaders just as much as they trust us."5. Home office acceptance
The concept of “home office” is still incredibly divisive. Some people believe that “I’m working from home” translates as “I’m not really working today” while others extol the benefits."
Sometimes, employees genuinely need to get away from the hustle and bustle of a busy open plan office. If they have a report to finish that needs complete focus, or an article to write without constant distractions, their usual workspace isn’t always ideal. Perhaps they have a long commute and skipping three hours of travel will make them more positive and more productive.
Whatever the reason, the occasional instance of employees opting for a home office can be beneficial for everyone. Working from home” doesn’t have to mean “leave me alone”, on the contrary. With email and communications apps like Slack, they very easily could be just next door.Developers are a great example of a type of role that really benefits from working from home regularly, allowing them to be completely focussed on the task at hand. But when they need to meet to share ideas and information, you can bet open space is much more productive than a closed one.
Could open space work for you?
The environment we work in can have a huge impact on our productivity, work relationships and overall happiness. So why wouldn’t you want to create an atmosphere designed to bring out the best in everyone?
If you are looking to transform your workplace into an open space office, consider these five fundamentals and you could discover an exceptional new way of working that takes your business to the next level.
Exciting News! Starting today we are partnering with hopwork.fr, an online platform which connects businesses to freelancers. Hopwork is growing rapidly and we will be helping them recruit some top talents.
Lots of opportunities, here are just 2 examples:
Account managers: Multiple positions available!
You enjoy nourishing relationships with clients and you aren’t afraid to pick up the phone. The ideal candidates will have at least 1-3 years experience interacting with stakeholders in a B2B environment.
The Country Launcher will lead the deployment of the Hopwork platform, processes and culture as Hopwork expands in new countries. Mobile internationally with a “get things done” attitude, you should be excited by the prospect of identifying and recruiting the first freelancers.
To apply, learn about the culture or see all the open positions check out their recruitment site.
Employees regularly cite “lack of development opportunities” as a reason for wanting to leave their current company. This 2016 Forbes article went as far as suggesting that development was the most neglected aspect of the management function, while a 2013 CEB study highlighted that only one in four organisations had effectively integrated talent management with the companies strategic objectives.
In a nutshell, many employees lack a development plan, or the one they have is not linked to business performance. Either way, this is bad.
The good news is that it is easy for managers to put in place an effective and engaging talent development plan. Before we start, there are three principals that you will need to get onboard with.
Principal 1: Development comes from a variety of learning streams such as experience, formal training, informal learning, feedback and coaching
Principal 2: Managers are ultimately responsible for developing their employees
Principal 3: Employees share some of the responsibility and should have a say in their own development
Now use the following questions to guide you:
Now you have highlighted the needs and possible solutions, you are ready to draft a basic development plan and discuss it with your individual employees. Need some help?Contact Shapes HR.
5 Articles to Help You Navigate an International Career Move
It is hard to understate the personal and professional benefits of living abroad at least once during your career. Having the opportunity to immerse yourself in different cultures, sounds and tastes is truly life changing.
At Shapes HR we have put together our five favourite articles to help you understand and prepare for such a move:
Do you have any articles that you found helpful? Share them in the comments section.
(Shapes HR is not affiliated with, nor responsible for, any content on external websites)
3 reasons for not getting an interview and what to do about it
Recruiters receive hundreds, if not thousands, of CVs each year. Unfortunately, a lot of candidates receive nothing more than an automated email informing them they have not been selected for an interview. It sucks, I know.
Here are the top three reasons why you may get rejected because of your CV alone, and what you can do about it:
Reason 1: You applied too late
The greater the time between the job publication and your application, the more chance the recruiter has already commenced the process with several good candidates. They stop looking at the new incoming CVs and you receive the generic “rejection” email. The fact is, in this scenario, the recruiter may not have seen your CV at all.
What to do:
Reason 2: You are not qualified for the role
Be honest, does you CV tick all of the boxes in regards to the job description? Having proven experience is very different to believing you could do something.
What to do:
Reason 3: You are qualified but your CV doesn’t show it
If reasons 1 and 2 don’t make sense, then you need to take a hard look at your CV and find a way to showcase your skills and experience.
What to do:
It can be disheartening applying for what you think is your dream job, only to fall at the first hurdle. But don’t give up. By taking a step back and reviewing where you might have gone wrong, your next application will be that much stronger and your chances that much greater.
Today I had the chance to visit the Salon des Entrepreneurs in Paris, my first salon as the founder of Shapes HR. My experience was overwhelmingly positive but I did find one thing curious.
It was by chance I heard about the event
I didn't see a single advert about the salon, this surprises me considering on Google, Linkedin and Twitter I am an entrepreneur based in the Paris area and therefore an ideal target. I only heard about the event when a friend posted that they were going.
So what did I gain from the experience?
All the exhibitors were engaging and knowledgeable. It was refreshing to be able to ask all my "dumb questions" to companies I was either already in contact with or was thinking about working with.
Interestingly, as I spoke to some of the other visitors, it was obvious that many entrepreneurs are in need of some kind of recruitment services. Yet it is not easy for them, entrepreneurs;
If any entrepreneurs are interested in helping us create this service, please drop us a message in the contact section.
When your company receives an employer award (such as Great Place to Work, Top Employer, Aon Hewitt Best Employers...), it is a great opportunity to share the recognition with your employees. After all, it was their engagement, talent and success that contributed to the award. Here are five tips to help you get the basics right and ensure everyone feels pride in the achievement:
1. Get Cake and Announce the Award in Person
When possible, have a leader from Human Resources announce the award in person at an employee meeting. It doesn’t have to be formal; a simple cake and a few balloons gives it that celebration feeling.
2. Use Your Internal Communications Channels
TV Screens and Intranets are a great place to spread the good news. A simple photo taken on your smartphone and a short message is all you need.
3. Send an Email
A email is a great way to let everyone know how to add the award logo to their email signatures. Just be sure to keep it quick and easy to read.
4. Get Social - Go Viral
Share the news on LinkedIn and Twitter, and encourage your employees to retweet/ like the message! Something simple like “COMPANY NAME is proud to be recognised as AWARD NAME, thanks to all our employees for making this happen” is all it takes.
5. Leverage Your Employer Branding
Add the information to your employer branding and be sure that your recruitment team understand the specifics of the award so they can share it with candidates when talking about the company.
Need help celebrating your employer award? Contact Shapes HR.
A structured interview process helps you:
- Objectively assess candidates
- Improve the candidate experience
Download our quick guide here/uploads/2/5/7/2/25729364/quick_guide_structured_interviews.pdf