Businesses needn’t flush its office with an uptight and tense environment to thrive. While professionalism is key and often quite important in serious practices such as the legal field, an optimized office isn’t always one with the densest gravity between its four walls. You’re allowed to run your business with a sense of humor and to allow even your hardest workers to love each and every moment they spend in your office. A satisfied employee is often an employee with absolute job preservation ideals. They begin to love the workplace, and for that reason, they will do all they can to sustain it.
Conversely, an office environment with levity isn’t always an office flush with jokes every moment, or one with wacky painted walls. There is a balance point. It can be instructive to consider – what does your office environment say about you and your business?
Consider these parameters:
How well do your staff communicate with one another? This could be seen from multiple angles in order to measure its positivity. You may see just how many staff members engage with one another in the break room, or perhaps how collaborative the office environment is. You may gauge just how much-relaxed chatter there is during the day, or what kind of in-jokes are told. A little teasing might also be a healthy form of communication, but beware the ultra thin line that separates teasing from bullying.
Your employees need to communicate. They need to be able to open up to one another, to ask for help, and to share small talk. They need to congratulate each other, offer thanks for good work, among many other positive things. There’s almost nothing as dead and decaying as a silent office. It can feel eerie. Even in professional practices, a lighthearted spout of chatter can be worthwhile from time to time. Many employers feel this could impede the working day, but actually, it can help employees partake in collaborative and mutually sustaining efforts if only you keep an eye out.
There are many things that can influence positive workplace chatter for the better. Purposeful seating arrangements can be one thing. Collaborative projects can be another. Good managers will always try to heal the social environment of a workplace to ensure optimum efficiency. A great HR department can help settle differences between people, and keep arguments from taking root. They can also help seek justice in workplace bullying tactics. Communication is key in the modern business, so be sure to make this a natural priority.
Synergy is something often spoken of in training boardrooms. It signifies the connectivity between how departments and individuals can work together to achieve a process. Consider that different departments of your business are on the same team, but the social makeup may be somewhat divided. Open plan offices can help with this, as can routine collaborative meetings. An easy company-wide VoIP and instant messaging solution can often allow people to speak in real time.
Also, informing both teams of the overarching responsibility of an upcoming task together, and instructing the responsibilities of the teams in tandem can help staff understand what they should be doing, and how that fits into the larger team. In other words, ensuring mutual efforts are continued will require you to keep your entire team in the loop.
Bonding activities are essential for an office environment. Without this, it’s easy to fall prey to only talking about work, and never straying from that topic. Thankfully, there are a few methods you can take to resolve this. Your team may have some fun in the process. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Even businesses concerned with serious topics can benefit from their staff getting to know one another and involve themselves in a collaborative environment. You may invest in a team building escape room activity, or perhaps help them visit an outdoor sports center to work as a team. The reason these events are so rewarding for your team is that it brings them together without artifice.
This sounds odd. Surely a designed activity is the height of artifice? Well, actually no. Your team are used to completing tasks together. Instead of making them sit around a table in a social environment like a restaurant, having them talk while also focusing on a collaborative task can open them up in the same vein they are used to interacting with one another. Except this time it’s fun and hilarious. You can see why these work so well for people already conditioned to work together.
If you can manage to ensure communication, mutual effort and bonding, your office environment says plenty about you for the positive. You should aim to get here, always.