Why IDEO Encourages Its Employees To Switch Desks Once A Week

Tim Brown desk

Photo: LinkedIn

LinkedIn recently released a series of posts showing the desks and workspaces of some of the world’s most successful people. Some, like T.Boone Pickens, who’s had the same desk since the 80s, or Sequoia Capital’s Michael Moritz, who keeps a small bottle of whiskey at his “for the bad surprise,” are very personal.Others illustrate the value of the office as a management tool, and use their spaces in service of a particular cultural or organizational goal.

One of those is IDEO CEO Tim Brown, who constantly keeps his company’s office flux, even for himself:

Individual IDEO-ers reserve a new desk space every week—meaning you never know who you’ll be sitting next to. This constant flux makes it easier to get inspired by colleagues in other disciplines. You never know when you’ll be sitting next to me!

The idea is to keep people from becoming to insulated in their own departments and job functions, and to make sure that employees and management don’t get disconnected. With the existence of cloud storage and web based applications, it really doesn’t matter all that much if you’re at the same workstation every day. 

IDEO is a design consulting firm, it’s based around creativity, so this is a way to both keep people focused on that by using “to enable the fluid nature of creative work.” Open office plans are already common, especially in the startup world, this is an experiment in taking it to the next level. In this case, even the CEOs given up his desk to reinforce an idea. 

NOW READ: See What The Desks Of 39 Successful People Look Like

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