You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy the ‘craic’ however – we Scots thoroughly approve of the sentiment and no doubt have a similarly evocative word for it [answers on a postcard please]. Craic also applies to the workplace; we want it to have little bit of life.
Had the event gone ahead, what might we have talked about?
Given the venue and the wonderful furniture on show at Tsunami Axis’ show-office, some of the discussion might have focused on the types of spaces and furniture settings required to create or support a workplace community. What are the right environments for people to come together? What pieces of furniture are available to allow you to customise space (being able to go from mini groupings to full-blown gatherings)?
Someone might have asked about the technology requirements in these community spaces. Town Hall style events often have a presentational aspect to them, so a ceiling-mounted projector or wall-mounted monitors might be just the job. What about the A in AV? Around Christmas time we have a film night in our Glasgow office, so a good sound system always comes in handy in the workplace. Do we need a DJ deck? Ask Neil Hemingway at 360 Architecture and he’ll undoubtedly say that every workplace should have one!
Creating a community is more than just a numbers game though – a simple product of X people attending Y events does not equal a workplace community. You need a critical mass of the right type of people to create a positive atmosphere.
A word of caution about forcing people to engage. Not everyone is comfortable with the concept of community – for some perfectly acceptable reasons. For every ‘life and soul of the party’ there are others who would run a mile at being coerced to participate in community – or team building. Is it a workplace community if it intentionally excludes people?