The courtyard at American Funds’ Irvine campus serves as more than just a meeting place, according to at least one expert. Jennifer Kahnweiler, executive coach and leadership consultant, strongly encourages employees to get outside during the workday. “Much of our creativity comes when we’re not in the cubicle,” she says.
Kahnweiler, author of The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength, also emphasizes that firms that have opted for more open work spaces must also provide employees with more private rooms where they can work and think in a quiet environment, and encourage workers to use them. While some employees may not want such space, the introverts among us, who make up about 40% to 50% of the population, need those spaces to be productive, she says.
There needs to be enough of these kinds of rooms so that they don’t always have to be booked in advance. At a lot of companies, she says, people have to fight for a conference room because of their scarcity.