March 31, 2016
Office Chit Chat: Getting the Right Balance
Although the reason people come to work is primarily to do their job, it is conducive to productivity to have a good atmosphere in the office. People who like the people they work with are happier and perform better, so having a sociable office is only a good thing for company progress, as opposed to a silent unsociable place where people feel demoralised and disconnected from the rest of the workforce.
Getting the right mix of chatting and keeping quiet is a fine balance for the workplace, and one that can be abused by members of staff if there are no restrictions in place. Chatting on work-related issues can easily merge into chatter about the weekend, the evening ahead, Bob’s aunt, sister, brother, mother… However, this said, a healthy blend of socialising and quiet time is a good thing for the overall happiness and wellbeing of colleagues.
Knowing fellow colleagues are friendly and approachable enables others to be more open about their ideas and can improve innovation at work as even more junior staff come forward with new suggestions. An innovative workplace is a more productive workplace as people come up with better ways of doing things and aren’t afraid to share them.
Happy office, happy team
A happy office also has an effect on the positive PR image of a company. Word-of-mouth spreads and if company employees are telling their friends how much they love working somewhere then word will get out and a positive image will be generated about a company. This will attract the brightest and best talent as great people are motivated to apply for jobs with the company.
A good, strong team is built around people who are good at collaborating and communicating. Encouraging a certain level of chatting at work helps open the lines of communication.
Too far the other way?
Too much talking can of course have the effect of causing a professional environment to descend into chaos. This undesired effect can be detrimental to productivity and can cause people to neglect their work in favour of socialising.
A balance must be sought in order to enable a productive working environment as certain tasks will require a quiet environment so the employee has focus and can concentrate on the task at hand rather than being continually distracted by inane chatter.
Good design creates atmosphere
Office design can play a part in the atmosphere of the office facilitating collaboration on ideas while providing the employee with the essential amount of privacy to do their work in peace. Contemporary workplaces will utilise a mixture of work spaces such as break out zones, private work stations and open plan space in order to maximise employee productivity and enable people to change their surroundings as and when they wish, as well as allow them to move from a quiet space to a sociable open plan arrangement depending on what kind of task they are working on.
Those wanting to book in a consultation for an efficient workplace design which works for everyone should get in touch with Workspace today or share their ideas with us on Twitter.