Jeffrey Phillips has written an insightful article called Gimme some space!. He mentions not only an optimal physical spaces that people require to perform their work productively, but there are also three more spaces to consider for maximum productivity – team space, thinking space and emotional space.
I see team space is exceptionally important:
… there are rarely spaces set aside for teams to work together, either in a physical sense or in a virtual sense. Much team work is based on shared documents, so a virtual space with enabled workflow and document management is exceptionally helpful. In most cases, rather than provide these spaces we expect teams to generate a working environment based mainly on shared folders and Excel or Word documents. Helping teams become more effective is another way that organizations can improve efficiency and productivity, yet few tools are provided, so teams are never able to become as productive as they should be.
Being manager in a virtual team, I drive to create a better virtual space for every members within my team and for other teams to collaborate. On one hand, we support changes from company and department on software tools and virtual processes implementation. We see changes are good for creating more space for the team to work together. On the other hand, there are software tools that we try to build within the team level, to serve the specific needs for the team. Once it is proven successful, we try to generalize the tool, and contribute back to overall department.
This way, we support what flows downward, we also solve some specific needs for the team, and also what we do are not limited by the bureaucratic decision. More importantly, we are not being a solo either – if a tool can be generalized and can be used by more broader audience, we propose and contribute it.
Gimme some space! – [Thinking Faster]