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Hello,

I have a dilemma :D and I'd like to know your thougths.
I'm new in the company and I'm doing interviews for setting up my department (all interviews internal candidates)

By end of the week we are going to move to a new building and I have to decide if I want to sit in the managers area or if I want to sit with my team.

I don't know my manager and I don't know my DR. And I'm not sure what's the best option. I see pros and cons in each of the option.

What would you do? 8) Thank you

tcomeau's picture

You don't say whether the new space is offices or a cube farm, which affects my answer a bit.

As a first-line manager, I would always want to be in the space closest to my people that has a door. I need a door I can close about five or six times a week. (I leave the door open during one-on-ones unless we touch on something sensitive, in which case I or my directs can close the door.)

I think there is value in having the C-level and perhaps other manager-managers in their own space, since their role is often focused on coordinating organizational moves across the enterprise. I'm focused on execution, and it's my people that do most of that executing. I want to be close to them.

tc>
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http://tcomeau.org/

Mark's picture
chapu's picture

Thank yoU!

The working area is open. No cubes, no walls ...

Regards,

attmonk's picture

[quote="mahorstman"]Team.

Mark[/quote]

Communication !! 8)

rwwh's picture

Looks like my office: one large room, 12 desks, my desk is the one closest to the main doorway. My back to the wall with the door, my view onto the rest of the office. Great interactions!

cruss's picture

That sounds great, unless you are a high C (as in DiSC). When chapu described "The working area is open. No cubes, no walls" my first thought was 'How does anyone get any work done?' Now I realize that it was my C talking. If you put a high C, or even an S, in that environment they would go nuts.

rwwh's picture

[quote="cruss"]That sounds great, unless you are a high C (as in DiSC). When chapu described "The working area is open. No cubes, no walls" my first thought was 'How does anyone get any work done?' Now I realize that it was my C talking. If you put a high C, or even an S, in that environment they would go nuts.[/quote]

My top high-CS (perfectionist) will indeed go out and sit alone in a lab room most of the time.

Mark's picture

A couple of thoughts:

1. Note Rob's keen point: it doesn't matter JUST where your desk is, but also which way it faces. I haven't had my desk between me and the rest of my offices for 20 years.

2. Be careful of using our profiles to justify something ("I'm a high D, that won't work for me"). Think about what will produce the best results from your role. Your profile isn't a straitjacket - it's a set of tendencies. We all have ALL of the tendencies present, just to varying degrees. The key is our adaptability.

Mark

AManagerTool's picture

This is a great topic. I manage an instrument services department. Technician's are in a large communal work room. Engineers are in a cube farm. A hall separates the two and when I say separates, I mean it! They are sometimes act like two departments. My office is in the technician's work room on one side of the hall in the back of the room so they get to experience all the joy that is me. We are very close. While I work very hard to foster the relationships with my engineering staff, it is sometimes hard to get them to play well with our techies.

I would LOVE to rearrange the work spaces but our facilities guys won't allow it. There simply is not enough space anywhere to house my staff on one side of the hall.

What do you guys think? Should I mix the two up together? Rotate them around? The techies rooms are kind of purpose driven...it might be hard.

Advice: Keep everyone that reports to you physically in the same area as you. Yes you need a door but the other posters are right...keep it open. I hear all kinds of things from my techies that help me manage them better just because the door is open. I wish I had ears on the engineers side of the hall.

ccleveland's picture

I agree that effective use of your physical space is important. However, there are also other means of getting folks to work effectively when separated by physical boundaries.

The tangible and intangible cost of moving people to fit an ideal should be weighed against the value of the change. Aside from the actual expenses of moving and cost of lost productivity during moves, I have seen a lot of disruption and dissent caused when these types of changes appeared unnecessary or unwelcome by the employees.

One of my peers has DRs located in 7 sites across U.S. and Canada. My peer’s DRs could be “relocated” to one location, because their work is not site specific; however, the cost to the team is much more than any value gained by co-locating them. Her group works together effectively through regular staff meetings and continuous intra-group communication. They would not be more effective if we lost a large percent of the experience in our team because we asked them to relocate.

Clearly each case is different and may not be so obvious. I simply urge caution before shuffling people around because there are ways to be effective without all the moves.

tcomeau's picture

[quote="AManagerTool"]This is a great topic. I manage an instrument services department. Technician's are in a large communal work room. Engineers are in a cube farm. A hall separates the two and when I say separates, I mean it![/quote]

A colleague of mine encountered this kind of problem in a terribly pathological way recently. Two software groups, working on slightly different, but related systems. The group on the left side of the hall barely spoke, and never kindly, to the group on the right side of the hall.

The two groups interface, but they don't cooperate. System interface negotiations are very formal, and can degenerate into power struggles. The two groups are in the same Division. I remarked that they were a Division in the perfect sense: An organizational unit bound together by their differences!

I wish I could offer a solution, but I don't think either manager is ready for peer feedback.

tc>

imantri's picture

I thing if you meet your external guest or pathner often, you can chose to have private room, but if not, maybe the best option is you among your team.

Regards,
Iman

dhkramer's picture

[quote="mahorstman"]A couple of thoughts:

1. Note Rob's keen point: it doesn't matter JUST where your desk is, but also which way it faces. I haven't had my desk between me and the rest of my offices for 20 years.

Mark[/quote]

Mark, do you have your back to the door? Or the door to your side?

Back when I had an office, I put my desk facing the door.