Google UK boss recommends long lunch queues to get employees talking, Management Today’s article this week suggests trendy breakout rooms with pool tables or redesigning offices with wide, sweeping staircases to promote more chat.
Physical environment can undoubtedly facilitate more mingling, but this has to be underpinned by a culture that encourages curiosity and where people value each other’s input.
Try getting your teams together and asking them what they could each do to create more frequent and open communication with others in the organisation?
Here are just a handful of practical ideas that all your people can start doing to build an environment where people want to talk to each other... and it doesn’t take an office redesign to do them!
1. Decide to speak to everyone you come into contact with during the day – even if it is a greeting in passing
2. Make an effort to get to know people – especially people you may perceive to be different to you. This starts to break down barriers and starts to foster a more friendly inclusive environment
3. Look for opportunities to say something nice to others – everyone likes to be appreciated and others will want to return the compliment, opening up more conversations
4. Be courteous to your fellow team members...does everyone say hello and goodbye, please and thank you, for example? Creating a respectful working environment will encourage more willing communication
5. When having a conversation, listen to others without interruption and without doing something else at the same time (such as checking your mobile or email...how many people do you know who do this?)
6. Start team meetings by sharing positive experiences from each person in turn to share ideas and recognise effort
Hot desking alone does not ensure more exchanges and sharing of ideas. The quality of people’s working relationships does.
If you would like more information on creating a cooperative, respectful working environment or need to get your teams working better together have a look at our workshops on Managing Appropriate Workplace Behaviour and Team Building Workshop or call us on 01903 732 782
I joined Stella and Tracy at Focal Point in 2003 and have seen both the Company and my role evolve during this time. I now work closely with the management team to achieve and improve business efficiently. To re-energise myself after a day in the office, I like to go to Zumba classes in the evening!