Communication in the workplace is the key to a successful and efficient one. Approaches like open-plan layouts and communal spaces are popular in offices to boost communication and collaboration in the office. Good communication in an office ensures that everyone is aware of their responsibilities, aware of their progress and healthy work relationships are present.

However, a 2014 survey from About.com revealed that a massive 62% of respondents dislike their job due to communication issues, so here are some tips on how to go further in pushing communication than a simple open-plan space.

Team work

While some prefer to work independently, group tasks are a great way to create and improve employee working relationships and morale. Setting a weekly team task or activity will be beneficial and allow socialisation and communication in the office

Technology

Technology is everywhere you look in a modern office, and so ensuring it’s useful for the individual without isolating workers is key. In communal working areas like lounges, provide power supplies and charging ports to encourage workers to work alongside others rather than alone at their desk all day – the convenience of laptops is only so great until the battery dies, so charging ports are a winner.  Ensure Wi-Fi is reliable in all areas of the office too so people aren’t deterred by irritating weak connection.

Social intranet platforms for the office are also great to boost communication. A ‘work-Facebook’ to share files and documents, easily contact a colleague and keep record of conversations to refer back to if needed. These platforms encourage employees to engage with each other and be social.

Communal spaces

Ensure seating in communal spaces encourages communication; inwards, comfy but still allowing personal space. Lounges and break areas should be relaxed but collaborative areas in the office, and even spaces like corridors and stairways should be open; perhaps add sofas to widened corridors as an alternative space for employees to chat and work.

Meeting rooms are hubs for communication, and so ensuring they’re functional and well-designed is important. As our previous post notes, ensuring there’s a good table, comfortable seats, temperature control and power-supplies are the basic steps to a successful meeting room. Good technology and an easy-to-navigate booking system (if applicable) are also great to encourage employees to use these spaces.

Save money with shared facilities

A way to boost communication as well as save money is to have shared facilities like printing and copying technologies. Taking that walk from your desk to the printer gives your eyes a rest as well as meeting new people from other offices where ideas may be shared or casual conversation may ensue.

Ultimately, allow for voices to be heard, encourage questions to be asked, concerns to be raised and feedback to be known. With design and design features that bring employees together, the office will be a productive one with meaningful communication and connections.


Laura Sewell

An aspiring journalist, Laura is our content writer intern.  Pop-punk gig-goer and drag queen enthusiast, Laura is working her way into the industry with an English A -Level and love of writing about anything and everything in tow.
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