In an ideal world, open office designs should boost collaboration, productivity, and improve the way your business functions. In practice, though, getting all of your team members on the same page –– in the same space –– can be more difficult than it first seems. While business owners want their team members to feel comfortable with each other, it’s not a wise play to opt for an open office design without also implementing some rules for decorum. To that end, here are four simple guidelines that will help your team maintain good open office etiquette:
The Headphone Policy
It only makes sense for employees to use headphones and headsets while at work. After all, it’s impolite to subject others to the music you’re listening to and even a conversation with a remote coworker can be intrusive. Some professionals require near silence at the office to focus on their work, and chatter or music will prove an unwelcome distraction. What’s more, make sure that everyone on your team maintains proper volume control. Not only is listening to very loud music bad for your ears, but it’s possible that ambient noise can escape from your headphones and disrupt your team members’ concentration!
Designate “Quiet” Areas
Spontaneous collaboration can be a great thing for business. However, there’s a big difference between asking a team member a quick question and holding a meeting ten feet from their desk. An open office design should suit your company’s needs first and foremost, so there’s nothing wrong with looking for ways to make your workspace more private. Modular walls, for instance, will help you segment an office quickly. If you find your team is struggling to focus, then consider designating specific zones for team meetings, phone calls, quiet work, etc. Doing so will likely prevent quite a few headaches.
Keep it Clean
The cleanliness of your office is the responsibility of every team member. For businesses with open offices, it’s imperative for everyone to practice smart organizational and hygienic habits. Keeping desks clean and free of stray papers and clutter may seem like a small thing, but it can dramatically improve the conditions of a shared space. Lastly, employers must insist that sick employees stay away from the workplace. This is a good idea regardless of the layout of your office.
Too much collaboration can actually be a bad thing. While business owners should encourage their employees to work together, it’s also important for professionals to recognize when their team members need space. Some projects simply require isolation to complete. Business leaders, then, have to give their employees the freedom to go their own way from time to time. Remember, asking for privacy doesn’t make you a bad team player! On the contrary, being respectful and keeping your coworkers informed of your preferences will only boost morale!
Struggling to achieve your best in an office that doesn’t suit your company is both frustrating and unnecessary. Not only can a successful office redesign improve the way your team operates, but it will also offer tangible business advantages. Contact the Key Interiors team today to see how we can help you! Plus, to help you decide if an open office plan is right for your business, check out our free eBook here: