12 Jan Cultivating Connections | The BUMP Factor
What is “the bump factor”? Just as it says. When you “bump” into someone. But it’s what happens when we “bump” that we’re interested in.
The unfortunate truth is that typically offices have some form of hierarchy, politics, siloed departments or other spoken or unspoken “rules” about where you sit in the pecking order and who you need to work with. By nature we don’t often venture out of our comfort zone to seek out someone outside of our circle.
Bump spaces are spaces that help to engage us with our peers.
They are no pressure environments for people to interact and cultivate personal relationships outside their roles & departments. These places can be likened to the “water cooler” conversation, they are the photocopier, kitchen/cafe, corridors, breakout area, gym, lift etc.
When designed well a workplace embeds these spaces into the work environment, constructing informal and chance meetings for employees to connect. They become a neutral ground for all employees, where the CEO becomes just another colleague getting their morning coffee. They are places where people from different departments who may not work together cross paths, share information and collaborate informally, sparking idea generation and innovation.
In addition to this, Gallup, an authority on employee engagement, has done extensive research into what makes people happy at work. What they have found is that “people who are engaged at work feel connected to the people they work with and enjoy being there”. Companies who reported higher levels of engagement showed that the strongest effects were on levels of customer loyalty metrics, productivity, employee turnover, safety, absenteeism, and quality.
So “bump” spaces not only connect your employees they can also boost your bottom line.
How do you facilitate “bumps” in your workplace?