Modern Offices: Why Workplace Hierarchies Are Not Necessarily Overrated

Posted by Path Interactive on : February  19,  2016

Over the last several years, certain companies have made their mark in business news with their radical changes to the traditional workplace hierarchy. Zappos Shoes, Valve Software, and W.L. Gore have upended the traditional power structure pyramid in favor of unconventional means of hierarchical organization. Their successes have inspired other corporate leaders to consider the composition of their own corporate hierarchies.

Yet the traditional hierarchy in the workplace has not become obsolete. It retains undeniable benefits for businesses of all sizes. Even as the hierarchy in the workplace shifts to accommodate modern notions of hierarchical organization, the best underlying ideas of the workplace hierarchy remain valid.

New Ideas in Hierarchical Organization

The latest ideas in workplace organization revolve around the notion of a flat corporate structure, or of a holacracy. This progressive concept places everyone in the company on near-equal footing. It defies the traditional thinking, which says hierarchies are a necessary component of success. Managers and other higher-ranking company officials become outmoded positions.

Flat Structures for Corporations and Small and Medium Businesses Alike

Often, companies who adopt a flat structure or holacracy organize their employees in self-contained teams intended to manage themselves. Working towards common goals with suitable roles to fill helps maintain efficiency and forward momentum.

Flat structures can work for companies of any size. An expanding body of research indicates flat-structured companies may outperform those with more traditional structures. Yet compelling reasons exist to maintain a firmer workplace hierarchy.

The Advantages of a Hierarchy in the Workplace

Management teams remain important in today’s corporate culture. Hierarchies have existed for hundreds of years, and their staying power reflects their effectiveness as organizational tools for groups of people. They retain a familiarity which can both comfort and inspire employees driven to advance.

Even those who believe in more democratic workplaces embrace the thought of a hierarchy to guide the company strategy and overarching decisions. Organization often galvanizes employees to put forth greater efforts toward the company goals. A traditional workplace hierarchy can also empower employees to innovate in new directions and create exciting advances for the company as a whole.

Creating a System of Balance

A hierarchy in the workplace also allows for a system of balance when it comes time to make decisions. Clear chains of command give employees confidence in the direction the corporation is headed, as well as a measure of comfort that new company choices have received their due measure of consideration. Even in the midst of sweeping changes in corporate culture, management plays a key role.

Looking to Revisit the Structure of Your Office Space?

Benhar Office Interiors creates spaces that bring out the best in your company, no matter what structure it adopts.  For more information on how we can help you to meet your needs, call us at 212-481-6666 or contact us .