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Bad planning

Is your seating plan bad for business? A new report suggests it could be.

There is a huge disconnect between how the average office is structured and how senior business decision-makers believe it should be organised to maximise productivity, claims a new report by Red Badger (Agile Ways of Working: The Great Leadership Disconnect).

Almost two thirds (64%) of the 751 senior executives surveyed by the digital consultancy say their offices are structured on a departmental basis, but few think this is the most efficient arrangement.

In fact, almost all (94%) say project efficiency could be improved significantly by re-arranging office seating plans to promote cross-departmental collaboration.

More than half (58%) believe breaking down functional silos would boost efficiency; 42% feel it would create more organisational trust; and 38% believe it would create a less hierarchical environment.

Commenting on the findings Cain Ullah, founder and CEO of Red Badger, said: “Departmental silos, and arranging offices in this way, feel like a hangover from a time when industrialised workers needed to be closely supervised to ensure that they completed tasks efficiently. In today’s economy, where skilled workers have more autonomy, these seating plans are outdated and, as our research shows, are actually slowing down organisations.”

Despite agreement on the need for change, the median length of time before those surveyed expect to transform office structures is two years and eight months.

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