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Productivity, Process, And Privacy: Tweaks To Make An Office Environment Thrive

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Tweaks To Make An Office Environment Thrive

We’ve all got our quibbles when it comes to our workplace environment. Sometimes we’re not as focused as we want to be, or there’s a lack of cohesion for some reason. If you want to make a strong team that works together well and embodies a worthwhile company culture, the important thing we’ve got to get into our heads is that it’s all about the environment we’re in. It’s not necessarily the tasks we hand out to our workers. And we’ve seen the impact a good environment or a bad environment can have on productivity. Some workers have found that they feel better when they work remotely; others need the team dynamic in which to thrive. When looking at an office environment, what is it that we need to have in place to ensure that every aspect is working to the best of its ability?

The Option For Collaboration And Privacy

We can really push the team spirit side of things, but this isn’t always what the team needs. While there is a lot of information about what an open plan office and what it does for teamwork, we have to remember that each individual worker has their own tasks to get on with. Having an option for collaboration and privacy to focus on the tasks at hand are both essential. We all have our own way of working, and it’s not fair for us to establish a process that leaves little room for maneuvering. While we may really push the idea of collaboration and working as a team, we have to be respectful of other people’s working habits. In an open floor plan, that option for privacy doesn’t mean setting up an office that could be used for meetings and other important tasks; you can easily purchase refurbished cubicles to keep your budget down. While it’s great to see a team working together and collaborating for the benefit of the business and the culture of the company we’re all going to have to sit down by ourselves and go through our individual tasks now and again.

Looking At The Wellbeing Of Your Employees

Many organizations are hot on wellbeing and mental health, but others are not so much. If you want your office to be thriving in every sense of the word, a productive team, and targets met and exceeded, then you have to ensure that your employees are in the right headspace. What we can easily get carried away with, especially when targets and deadlines are set, is that this is the priority of everything, regardless of how your workers are feeling. It’s a delicate balance. While we can have an open door policy so our employees feel they could come to us with any issues, we still have to work in the best interests of the business. As the expression, “it’s not personal, just business”, comes to mind, is this really something that you want to embody in the workplace environment? If you do, then carry on as you are, because you won’t have a team that is looking out for each other, or collaborates effectively. Instead, you will have an army of people that are in it for themselves. Wellbeing isn’t just a solitary pursuit, but it is a team one as well. Ensuring that their wellbeing is part of the culture doesn’t just make for a productive team, but it will make for a positive environment.

Should We Give The Employee What They Want?

We need to meet them halfway. Giving our employees what they want in every aspect can secure their allegiance to us, but will it guarantee their work improves as a result? It may do, but only in the short-term. We’ve got to be holistic in our examination of employee needs because if we encourage additional working options, like remote working, will this be to the detriment of the team spirit? This is something that we’ve got to consider. Even though we may have workers that need to be by themselves in order to focus on their tasks, we still have to figure out the best possible balance to ensure that the business is operating as productively as possible, despite a fragmented team. You don’t have to look very far to see that there are more remote working options and even full-time remote working jobs, to see that this is an area that may be tapped for potential. But if you want to make the office environment a thriving one, meeting them halfway on this and giving them the opportunity to work from home, but by giving them the appropriate tools so that they’re in the office in spirit could prove beneficial. As collaboration tools have improved infinitely over the years, this means that your team can be in contact with each other, despite their remote work. If we are to do this effectively, there has to be seamless congruity between the office and the employee working at home. This means to ensure your workers are all on the same page, the things you do in the office environment have to transfer to the home one, and vice versa. So, if you held team meetings in the mornings, you need to keep these up, and ensure that the employee doesn’t feel different or excluded in any way. But as remote working has thrown up numerous problems, if you want to give the employee what they want, and allow them to work at home, you need to be careful this doesn’t detract from the overall team spirit.

Do Social Outings Work?

This is a very interesting subject because there are organizations that believe their ability to work together well and have a close-knit team is provided by the foundation of a group of workers that are friendly outside of work as well as in the office. But we need to address the difference between a social outing and being friendly in the office. Sometimes it can be seamless, but everyone is there to focus on the work as a matter of priority. So if you’re trying to force teams to go out and socialize when their roles don’t really require interaction much, is this a pointless endeavor? You have to look at a social outing as a logical extension of the company culture. A group of people that work together well in the office and communicates with efficiency, but also has the opportunity to have a laugh now and again, could mean that the relationships they foster outside the office could strengthen their working practices. The role is the defining factor in this. But sometimes, if there are teams that work together and are they each other’s pockets constantly, they will already have a verbal shorthand, and are very friendly with each other, so the work gets done at a good pace. As a result, this company culture is as positive as can be.

How Can We Motivate Without Dictating?

Ultimately, we want to get the work done. In which case, it’s about a swift combination of the working environment, but also the best tools to engage them back onto the task at hand. And if targets aren’t being met, or productivity is low, we may have to look at other alternative approaches to keeping our employees engaged. If we’re looking at an environment that’s thriving, and full of hustle and bustle, but we also want our employees to feel focused so their productivity levels are high, is it about the rewards, or is it about establishing a baseline of productivity? These days because an office environment is so noisy and crowded, this automatically detracts from the focus and attention of the employee. But there are apps out there that may provide a simple solution. There are apps that minimize background noise, such as MyNoise, as well as other apps that generate binaural beats, which have been shown to increase focus and concentration. At the same time, you may want to take another approach to encourage focus and attention, namely through the food. It’s so easy for us to reward our colleagues with pizza and doughnuts, but why don’t we go for something a little bit more on the healthy side? Regardless of your opinions of fat, there are drinks like Bulletproof Coffee that have been shown to increase satiety in people and improve focus, and it’s definitely worth a go if you find your employees suffer from slumps in energy. Because if you’re not a motivator, and you don’t believe in being an enforcer, you should try a few of these different aspects and see which ones result in increased productivity.

There are so many different ideas at hand to help your office environment thrive, and sometimes the team spirit works, but sometimes it’s about something completely underhanded. Whatever it is, rest assured that it’s not something that happens overnight, but it can take a lot of trial and error. To make an office environment reflect the culture of the business, you may go through numerous incarnations. But if you’re looking to improve the business, not just for the customers or clients, but the employees as well, it’s about making those little tweaks and seeing which ones stick.

 

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