Creating a collaborative environment that connects employees
Modern office design has drifted to more open spaces to invite internal collaboration. These designated areas are created so that management can join employees to promote integration and innovation. We understand that not all companies have substantial budgets or time to renovate their current office spaces.
A simple step that can be taken to encourage collaboration includes removing detachable walls that are placed between desks. This will open the workspace and change the dynamic of the office. Another small step that can be done is rearranging the location of desks in a particular area. Think of creative ways to move the desks in relation to the employee organization. How can you create a transparent workplace that allows employees to speak with managers anytime? Most companies have an open-door policy that is unclear to most employees.
While creating a workspace that invites collaboration with employees and management, be sure to keep a designated quiet space in mind as well. To prevent employee burnout, a quiet area should be available for private time and a place to think freely. Offering a variety of spaces for employees provides them with choices that are tailored to their needs. These quiet spaces can also serve as a relaxation area. Taking small breaks can boost productivity and decrease employee burnout.
Personal Workspace Opportunities
If significant design changes can not be done at your office, new policies can be used as a substitute. A simplified example of a personal workspace opportunity includes;
Bringing Your Dog to Work
Would you allow employees to bring their dogs to work with them on certain days?
Studies have shown that dogs help lower stress, anxiety, and depression. Bob Vetere, president and CEO of the American Pet Products Association has said; “employers are starting to realize that [when you allow] a millennial to bring a pet to work, you wind up getting a more focused employee…someone more comfortable at the office and a person willing to work longer hours.”
We understand that some workplaces can’t commit to dogs being in the office daily, but starting with one day a month or specific times throughout the week should be considered. Of course, you will need to consult with the owner of the property and HR to make sure that valid policies are in place before launching this new pet policy.
The Hawthorne Effect increases productivity in the workplace when employees feel that they are cared about. This does not require a lengthy conversation daily, but a simple “how are you doing” is often enough. The intention behind asking an employee this question should be genuine and with intention. The thought behind this simple gesture can improve the dynamic of the workplace and culture within the office.
Community Outreach with Employees
Find opportunities to give back to the community and include employees in this initiative. You can take it a step further and allow employees to find opportunities to give back within the community and organize the entire project. This will enable employees to feel appreciated and will let leadership see what their employees truly care about.