Over the past few weeks I’ve been chatting with Jamie Powter of Rivercity, a long time client and friend of BrightGauge, about his new office space he’s designing. He reached out to me because at our MSP we had recently moved into a new office which was an open concept and he was curious to get my thoughts on the design. One of his biggest concerns was about the noise level of his Service Desk, below was my response to his concerns that I wanted to share:
#1 – White Noise – You can invest in some noise canceling solutions that will pump in white noise into the office. We did that and it was a huge help. Just one thing to remember, if you go forward, pump it into the ENTIRE office, don't just do sections. The change from walking from a non-white noise to a white noise area will get annoying for your team.
#2 – Self Policing – When you reduce the barriers everyone will begin to self police each other. Either someone will tell the loud talkers to quiet down or they will naturally quiet down because they are self conscience on how loud they are. The low talkers will be forced to speak louder because the clients won't hear them on the other end. They will all find a natural balance.
#3 – Trust the Open Concept – Your team may fight it at first (my team hated it) but then after a few weeks everyone gets used to it and they won't remember how they did it before without everyone being together.
#4 – Have Some Fun – During the first few weeks I would jump out into the bullpen and have team chats with everyone and we would have some play time, like gang up on 1 person and shoot nerf arrows at them. In my case the teams weren't used to working together so closely and certainly not in the same room (they were on opposite sides of the building). We did some team lunches and after work activities to give them the opportunity to bond.
#5 – Celebrate the Victories – The other thing that was helpful is once the team starts to collaborate more because they are all together, point out the victories. As an example, about a month in after our move, one of our Help Desk guys overheard the NOC talking about some alerts at a client and he was on the phone with the same client about a completely different issue. The help desk guy mentioned that we were getting alerts and looking into it, it impressed our client so much.
Our experience with the Compuquip designed proved that the open concept is the way to go which is why our BrightGauge is completely wide open and we have found to to be incredibly productive.