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Musical Office Chairs Reconnect Workers

Musical Office Chairs Reconnect Workers
Arts & Culture

Firm mixes up seating plan of their 50-employee office to enhance the creative environment.

Emma Hutchings
  • 23 april 2013

Custom-software company Menlo Innovations constantly mixes up the seating plan of their 50-employee office in order to encourage new collaboration channels and enhance the creative environment. Set desk spaces can lead to static relationships and complacency, so CEO Richard Sheridan describes how his company borrowed an idea from the airline industry:

The National Transportation Safety Bureau realized many years ago that if a pilot and copilot work together a lot it breeds a complacency that produces danger. Their minds no longer inject the questioning, the curiosity, the ‘Hey, why are you doing it like this?’ Switching gives us that freshness.

Company Plays Musical Chairs To Keep Innovation Fresh

Menlo Innovations’ employees work on projects with different partners each week, an element of variety that keeps things fresh for them. A “factory floor manager” maintains the seating chart to mix and match colleagues and projects.

This results in perpetual learning as pairs of employees mentor each other while they share one computer. Inc.com reports that 5% of the company’s revenue comes from teaching their practices to others. They conducted over two hundred tours last year, exhibiting Menlo Innovations’ culture to executives from Mercedes Benz, Thomson Reuters, Toyota, and more.

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