Experimentation & Adaptable Workplaces

Learn how teams can use experimentation to make progress in their workplaces.

Experimentation & Adaptable Workplaces
Photo by Jason Goodman / Unsplash

Finding one’s footing in the rapidly evolving landscape of the modern workplace can be as daunting as it is crucial. Static workplaces seem increasingly outdated for those who have navigated the startup environment or juggled multiple roles within more established businesses. Just as a community provides a support network and a platform for shared growth, experimentation within our workplaces offers a pathway to continuously evolve, adapt to new challenges, and share our findings with others.

The Necessity of Experimentation

Merriam-Webster defines experimentation as “an operation or procedure carried out under controlled conditions to discover an unknown effect or law, to test or establish a hypothesis, or to illustrate a known law.” In the context of workplace management, experimentation is not just about innovation for its own sake; it’s about survival and adaptation in a perpetually in flux business ecosystem.  We're in a time of extreme change where the workplace is competing more than ever with other places.  In order to form new standards with finite resources, we should look to small-scale experimentation.

Long-term Sustainability vs. Short-term Fixes

In the throes of workplace challenges—be it under-resourcing, rapid scaling, or operational inefficiencies—it can be tempting to normalize firefighting modes of operation. "Build the car as you're driving it,"  is a favorite quip of startup life.   However, just as communities thrive on progressive enhancement and adaptive strategies, workplaces, too, must look beyond the next two weeks. Experimentation allows us to test new ideas and techniques without the commitment to wholesale, immediate change, enabling a more thoughtful evolution of our work environments.  For small companies, this may look like changing the layout of a single room, or for an enterprise company, you may design a series of experiments across multiple offices testing different factors.  The goal is the same, to move forward in an intelligent way.  

Experimentation as a Community Effort

Often, the broader benefits of shared experimentation can be overlooked in the isolation of specific roles or small team structures. Collective problem-solving diversifies the pool of ideas and distributes the risks and rewards of trying new approaches. By fostering an experimental culture within our workplaces, we invite collaboration, cross-pollination of ideas, and, most importantly, shared ownership of successes and lessons learned.  More importantly, as we experiment and find things that both work and don't work - we must share those lessons learned with our peers at other companies.  By channeling the power of our collective resources, we can all make faster progress.

Implementation In The Real World

Consider the example of teams like Trello that tested and experimented with new practices for distributed work and workplace norms well before the pandemic. Through having an open culture of experimentation and learning, they created an environment that was welcoming, productive, and ready to adapt to change.  They also were able to accommodate the needs of both fully remote, hybrid, and full time office employees within the same space. Those habits definitely suited them well when COVID struck, and suddenly, the entire world was trying to figure out what they were already great at, adapting via experimentation.

Strategies for Implementing Experimentation

There's no one way to get started with experimentation but a basic method for moving forward is as follows:

  1. Identify Areas for Improvement: Start by clearly identifying processes or areas within the workplace that are ripe for innovation.
  2. Set Clear Objectives and Metrics: Define what success looks like for each experiment and how it will be measured.
  3. Small-scale Pilots: Implement changes incrementally through pilot programs that allow for manageable observation and adjustment.
  4. Feedback Loops: Establish mechanisms for regular employee feedback to ensure that experiments are monitored and iterated upon effectively.
  5. Culture of Learning: Promote a workplace ethos that values curiosity, learning, and an openness to change.

The Role of Leadership in Fostering Experimentation

Leadership plays a crucial role in championing a culture of experimentation. By setting a tone that values creative problem-solving and the courage to try new things, leaders can significantly influence their teams’ willingness to engage in experimental practices. Furthermore, leadership can ensure that the necessary resources and support systems are in place to test new ideas effectively and safely.


The journey of the modern workplace is inherently experimental. The continuous pursuit of creating adaptable, resilient, and ultimately thriving workplaces is not just about the tools and technologies we adopt but also about the mindset we adopt when approaching our roles and responsibilities. In an era where change is the only constant, fostering an experimental approach in workplace management is not merely beneficial; it is essential.

Call to Action

As we navigate the complexities of modern work environments, teams need to embrace experimentation not as a task or a challenge but as an opportunity to redefine the potential of our workplaces. As a team-building software for workplace and real estate professionals, enabling this experimentation is a primary goal of the team at Trebellar.  Stay tuned for some exciting updates on that front.