While it’s often talked about that “millennials” have a hard time assimilating into a corporate setting, this has actually always been a non-issue working at Reebok HQ. In my two and a half years at the Home of Fitness, our office seems to embrace all ages through encouraging internal moves, promoting a leave-your-job-title-at-the-door fitness culture, and having an overall entrepreneurial approach to work.
In my own recent role change, I experienced this open culture firsthand – changing gears from Internal Communications and joining the Reebok Global Brand Marketing team in Digital. Around the same time, our team and the Social Media team were given a shared home in the newly created Digital Hub. The two-room center was built with open workspaces, a couch and coffee table area, screens streaming social media analytics, plus plenty of whiteboards, glass walls, and pinboards for displays. In reality, the space mirrors exactly what the digital and social landscape is all about: constant communication, transparency, collaboration, and ideation. And my experience so far in this shiny new space has encompassed all of the above.
Previously sitting in a traditional cubicle, the first noticeable effect of an open workspace was the realization of how cumbersome sending frequent emails to those around you is. Working right next to the rest of my team (without the symbolic barriers of ominous cube walls) somehow has had the instant result of increasing productivity.
There are more impromptu meetings, quicker answers to questions, and constant knowledge share. Tens of minutes spent seeking out information (a huge timesuck in any role) is constantly cut down by a quick conversation here and there. As strange as it sounds, the Digital Hub in many ways takes a great deal of conversations offline.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
In a multi-faceted organization where tons of stakeholders could be involved in any given project, it often serves to create an out of sight, out of mind approach where the less involved, the easier. This kind of mindset gets ideas executed faster, but does it always mean better?
What such a social new space is doing is really rejuvenating this process, giving the Brand Communications team a collaborative place to come to decisions, to get opinions, and to create more on-brand, cutting-edge communication. The Hub fosters connections between teams that may not have always thought necessary to align.
With the Digital and Social teams for example, the space has created new opportunities to work together and run ideas past each other – a huge win for the brand especially with two parts of the business that only become stronger by complementing each other.
The word “millennial” very well may be a millennial-aged person’s least favorite buzzword due to the amount of flack this generation receives for how “unfit” we are for the corporate landscapes. So it’s a change of pace to work in a large company that knows that not only do entry-level employees have ideas on what might be a better way of working, but at times, actually implements it.