The calendar marked the 23rd of November when a tweet just caught my attention: Guilherme (@guictx) announced that he would start doing an initiative he entitled “Nomad Wednesdays”, which meant working in a place other than his office to meet new people and new ways of working.
One word immediately came to my mind: serendipity!
I later asked Guilherme, a designer, architect and partner at boq how he had come up with this idea, why, and how he is finding the places to be a nomad at Wednesdays. He kindly explained how the idea was born, from the starting point of a very flexible and sometimes remote work style at boq.
Guilherme had been musing on the idea of trying friends’ offices for a while but he’d never really done it. One day he just decided to change that and Nomad Wednesdays were born.
He shared with me four reasons to do this:
- stepping out of his comfort zone and dealing with the unexpected
- learning by working around people that do other stuff and see the world through different perspectives
- the curiosity of seeing people in action in their work environments and understanding how they organize their workspace [this must be his architect’s nature I guess 🙂 ]
- the chance to show his work to other people and get feedback
And again the word just popped in my head: serendipity! I talked about serendipity and business this year during my talk at the Switch Conference, emphasizing the importance of stimulating connections and conversations between employees, to foster ideation, innovation and also to strengthen network ties and a sense of connectedness.
In disperse organizations enterprise versions of social tools (blogs, wikis and social networks for example), can help. But thinking about the design of the office space in a way that will help enhance interactions and favour serendipity is also important. And so is Guilherme’s initiative of the Nomad Wednesdays.
It got me thinking what it would be like if companies would stimulate their employees to occasionally work at other places and also receive people from other organizations… what do you think? Would this work? Would you like to try something like this?
At the moment, Guilherme is using his network of connections to find the workplaces that can welcome him on Wednesdays but he’s willing to let serendipity run loose in strangers’ offices too 🙂
PS – you should also check my dear friend’s Ana Neves post on this initiative. She was also very curious!