Here are eight tips for making a great team room.
Light, Air, Nature
An appropriate amount of natural light, air circulation and live plants are excellent ways to make a space suitable for human occupation. The lack of these things can subtly but surely slow down and demoralize a team.
People need to be able to face each other and work beside each other. They also need a semi-private space to have discussions or make phone calls. The walls of the space need to have large areas that can be used for whiteboards.
It’s just not worth it to have a high-performance team hampered by a poor workstation setup. Good chairs, tables at an appropriate height, and the flexibility to allow individual ergonomic needs to be accommodated all help.
Every member of the team needs to be able to get away for short amounts of time. Some organizations provide separate mini conference rooms or “hoteling” spaces. Others allow staff to keep a private cubicle away from the team room.
The area of space that a person occupies needs to be flexible and personalized. People need pictures, toys, plants, and other incidentals to help them make a space their own. For this, elbow room is important!
Visibility to Outsiders
Other people in the organization need to be able to walk by to see and hear what is going on with the Agile Work team. Open doors, windows or a “bullpen” formation of cubicles all allow this.
The space must be located so that washrooms, coffee, printers and other common services are easily accessible. It should not be set off and isolated far away from everything else.
The team will be noisy. Make sure that other people outside the team room are far enough away or isolated in some way from the noise. It can be hard to balance this with convenience and visibility.