Skills Spot – Creating An Effective Office Environment
Creating a productive space for staff to work in is a difficult task; getting the balance right between an open, airy and refreshing workspace and the need for quiet and calm in smaller rooms where confidential conversations can take place is not easy.
Perhaps considering the following points might shed some light on this important managerial challenge.
- Make sure that there are quiet corners where team members can find some solitude and do some serious thinking
- Set the seating plan in such a way that teams sit together but that they are not cut off from other colleagues as this will weaken an open communication approach
- Set up communal areas so that staff from different teams can mix socially – this is an important part of productive working and the lure of the coffee machine/kettle/water cooler should never be ignored.
- A nice touch is to arrange for a weekly delivery of fruit for staff to nibble at – this may sound like an extravagance but it pays dividends in terms of keeping up energy levels and shows that you care about the welfare of the team!
- Make sure the open-plan aspect of the office allows staff to raise their views to others quickly and effectively. It also makes sure nobody is isolated and removed from the action.
- Take an interest in and encourage if possible the out-of-work activities of the staff – this pays dividends in the team bringing passion and inspiration back into the office.
Always consider the material trappings of the office but never forget that more important is the atmosphere that is generated in a happy workplace. If you can go home at the end of the day knowing the team supports each other and supports management at the same time you have an effective and efficient workspace.
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