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Collaborative Article: What are 3 ways to foster an open office environment?

Introducing our latest collaborative article, titled “What are 3 Ways to Foster an Open Office Environment?” We’ve received a collection of brilliant entries from leading professionals, and we’re excited to showcase their insights below. At Expert Circle, we firmly believe that an open office environment is essential for fostering creativity, collaboration, and productivity. Our expert contributors share this belief and have provided valuable advice and strategies to help you create an open and engaging office space.

Each contributor brings a unique perspective on cultivating an open office environment. From practical tips to innovative ideas, there’s something for everyone looking to enhance their workplace. Sit back, take notes, and learn from the best in the field. Whether you’re a manager, a team leader, or an employee looking to improve your work setting, this article offers actionable steps to transform your office into a more open and collaborative space.

Simon Pridgeon

Exemplia Group

Training & coaching – particularly around the customer, service operations, continuous improvement and growth mindset

Joao Bocas

CEO at Digital Salutem

I believe that ethical design and a focus on well-being is paramount.
I work from an office place where I feel good and I wish to come back anytime, every day.

Lorri Haines

CEO Shoorah Ltd

Promote active listening: Encourage employees to practice attentive listening during meetings and conversations, ensuring that everyone’s ideas and opinions are heard and valued.
Implement open forums: Provide opportunities for employees to voice their thoughts and concerns through regular town hall meetings or open discussions. This can help build trust and transparency among team members.
Foster cross-functional collaboration: Create opportunities for employees from different departments to work together on projects, promoting a diverse exchange of ideas and perspectives. This can help break down communication barriers and encourage a free flow of information throughout the organisation.

Elizabeth Houghton

Career Coach

Ditch the dungeon vibes and let the sunshine (and ideas!) flow! Here’s how to turn your office from a boxy maze into a collaborative haven:

Chuck the Walls (Metaphorically): Information shouldn’t be trapped in silos like last week’s office snacks. Encourage open communication! Break down physical barriers (if possible) or set up communal areas where brainstorming can bounce like a superball. Think beanbag chairs and whiteboards, not cubicles and filing cabinets.

Embrace the Icebreaker: Sometimes sparking conversation is like starting a campfire – you gotta get a little tinder involved. Host casual coffee chats, team lunches, or even (dare I say it) board game nights! These light-hearted interactions build trust and help colleagues see each other as more than just avatars on a screen.

Mural Power!: Blank walls are a snoozefest. Liven up the space with collaborative art projects! Think giant mind maps, inspirational quotes, or even a company mascot mural everyone can contribute to. It’ll not only add personality but also spark conversations and friendly competition (who can draw the best unicorn?).

Remember, an open office environment isn’t just about layout, it’s about fostering a culture of openness and connection. So ditch the stuffy suits and embrace the fun – after all, happy and connected teams are the most productive ones!

Ketan Dattani

CEO, Buckingham Futures

At Buckingham Futures, we believe in the power of an inclusive, transparent, and supportive workplace. This article will explore three key strategies to cultivate such an environment: creating an inclusive atmosphere, recognising small achievements, and maintaining transparency as a manager while keeping necessary confidentiality.

Inclusivity in the workplace is not merely a moral imperative but also a strategic advantage; companies with a more diverse workforce are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians. Furthermore, diverse management teams have 19% higher revenues due to innovation. Creating an inclusive environment involves ensuring that every employee, regardless of their background, feels valued and part of the team.

One of the primary ways to foster inclusivity is by implementing robust diversity and inclusion (D&I) programmes. These programmes should focus on recruiting a diverse workforce and promoting an inclusive culture through training and policies. For instance, unconscious bias training can help employees recognise and mitigate their biases, leading to a more equitable workplace.

Effective communication is key to inclusivity. Encourage the use of inclusive language and ensure that all voices are heard during meetings. This can be facilitated by setting up regular check-ins and feedback sessions where employees can voice their concerns and ideas. Additionally, using collaborative tools that support diverse ways of communication, such as text, video, and voice, can accommodate different preferences and abilities.

Creating safe spaces where employees feel comfortable sharing their experiences and perspectives is crucial. This can be achieved by establishing employee resource groups (ERGs) that provide support and advocacy for various communities within the workplace. For example, having ERGs for women, LGBTQ+ employees, and racial minorities can help these groups feel supported and valued.

Moreover, another way to lead to an open-office environment is through recognition – it is indeed a powerful motivator. Recognising small achievements not only boosts morale but also encourages continuous effort and improvement; it’s strongly seen that employees who receive regular recognition are 21% more productive, show a 22% higher level of engagement, and are 27% more likely to stay with their company.

Instituting regular recognition programmes can make a significant difference. These programmes should be designed to acknowledge both major milestones and miniscule, everyday successes. For example, implementing an “Employee of the Month” programme can highlight significant contributions, while daily or weekly shout-outs can celebrate smaller achievements. Tailoring rewards to individual preferences can make recognition more meaningful. This could range from public acknowledgment in meetings to personalised thank-you notes from managers. Some employees might appreciate tangible rewards like gift cards or extra time off, while others might value opportunities for professional development, such as attending a conference or enrolling in a course. At Buckingham Futures, the team consistently has their favourite snacks within eye-distance – from a rainbow basket of fruit, to extra chocolatey bars and lots of praise!

It’s also important to celebrate team achievements. Organising team outings, lunches, or informal gatherings can help build camaraderie and reinforce the value of collective effort. Such practices not only recognise individual contributions but also highlight the importance of teamwork.

It should be known, transparency is a cornerstone of trust in any organisation. Employees need to feel that their managers are honest and open with them about company goals, challenges, and changes. However, this transparency must be balanced with the need to maintain confidentiality regarding sensitive information.

Creating open communication channels is essential for transparency. Managers should regularly share updates on company performance, strategic decisions, and any changes that might affect employees. This can be done through town hall meetings, regular newsletters, or dedicated communication platforms. In a similar manner, transparency in communication leads to higher employee trust and engagement. Managers must also be adept at handling confidential information. This includes personal employee information, sensitive business data, and any other proprietary information. Ensuring that such information is kept confidential is crucial for maintaining trust. For instance, details about individual performance appraisals or disciplinary actions should be shared only with relevant parties.

The advice stems further: explaining the reasons behind decisions can also foster a sense of inclusion and understanding. When employees understand the rationale behind strategic choices, they are more likely to support and engage with them. For example, if a company is undergoing restructuring, explaining the economic or strategic reasons behind it can help mitigate anxiety and resistance.

We as a company wholeheartedly understand that fostering an open office environment requires a multifaceted approach. By creating an inclusive environment, recognising small achievements, and maintaining transparency while keeping necessary information confidential, we can build a workplace that is not only productive but also supportive and engaging for all employees. This holistic approach not only enhances employee satisfaction and retention but also drives overall organisational success.

 

In this collaborative article, “What are 3 Ways to Foster an Open Office Environment?”, we have gathered valuable insights from leading professionals on creating a workspace that promotes creativity, collaboration, and productivity. Our expert contributors have shared practical tips and innovative strategies to help you transform your office into a more open and engaging environment.

From promoting active listening and cross-functional collaboration to embracing inclusive language and celebrating small achievements, each piece of advice aims to cultivate a culture of openness and connection. An open office environment isn’t just about the physical layout- it’s about fostering a supportive atmosphere where everyone feels valued and heard.

We hope these insights inspire you to take actionable steps towards enhancing your workplace. Remember, a happy and connected team is the most productive one. So, implement these strategies, break down barriers, and watch your office environment thrive. Thank you for reading, and we look forward to seeing the positive changes you bring to your workplace.

If you are interested in becoming a thought leader with Expert Circle explore our latest collaborative article opportunities by click below! Start elevating your professional voice today.

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About the author: Tilly Little
Digital marketer at Expert Circle

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