The Ryerson Digital Media Zone (DMZ) is a space where Ryerson start-up businesses collaborate with other start-ups, and showcase their products/projects to investors and media outlets.
The greatest element about the DMZ space is that it is not an office.
The Globe and Mail recently ran a piece titled “The end of the office” which speaks about how now-a-days we network through social media sites, online services and software companies, rather than your standard office.
The people in the Ryerson DMZ belong to Generation Y. Those that are part of the Generation Y populace no longer need to be in an office type environment to get their work done. WiFi permits them to work anywhere from coffee shops, to schools, to homes.
People do not necessarily need an office to help them succeed. They need flexibility.
The DMZ is not a structured space. In the Zone, people are organized in teams working towards a common goal. Each team is equipped with resources dedicated to their projects. There is even extra space in the zone to give people the flexibility to work in the best setting depending on their needs.
Solo & Group Work
In the DMZ, people are easily able to work collectively or independently in their own space. There are whiteboards, group desks and a massive conference room to accommodate the tech savvy DMZ users. Then there are individual, isolated work areas where one can have complete control over the environment. The DMZ promotes both work settings.
When people are working together in an office, side by side, in the Zone, often distractions seems to show up frequently. Skype chat, gchat, msn, facebook, and of course people asking one another questions or interrupting one another’s work flow.
If you are working online with co-workers clearly, the polite thing to do is stray away from personal email and IM distractions. The following link talks about software that can help with this [http://www.economist.com/node/16295664].
Studies show that working in an office with increased face time between co-workers helps people develop stronger relationships, quickly, compared to working remotely.
The bottom line is that to do great work, people don’t need a home office, a cafe, a structured office or open space, what they really need is flexibility and direction.