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October 25, 2016

Socialising in the workplace

If you were to mention the topic of socialising in the workplace you may automatically jump to the conclusion that employees are using this as an excuse to chat, waste time and more than likely, gossip. However, in an age where co-working and collaboration is promoted, socialising in the workplace may not necessarily be a bad thing.

Through advancements in technology we are now more united and as a result more businesses and organisations are recognising this potential.

In this blog we will look at the advantages of socialising within the workplace and how office design can best facilitate this.

Breaking the ice

It’s your first day at a new job. You don’t know anyone. No matter what age you are or what experience you have under your belt (if any) starting a new job is a daunting time. Where do you go for lunch? Do people normally eat at their desk, the cafeteria or go out? Therefore for these questions to be answered, socialising is key.

Socialising will make new employees feel more at ease and comfortable within the workplace. After all your employees spend eight hours a day, five days a week with one another in the same space so it’s vital that they get along. Many businesses use socialising at work to encourage this sense of welcoming for new employees and promote overall wellbeing. It’s also easier to help new employees acclimatize to their new surroundings, familiarise themselves with their new role and embrace company culture.

Employee wellbeing is extremely important and many organisations today are recognising that they must achieve this to not only keep their staff motivated and happy but also productive. Take a look at our blog about wellbeing within the workplace for other advantages.

Teamwork can make a dream work

We’ve all had those days where imagination is lacking and we spend hours (or what feels like hours) watching the clock tick by but when in an encouraging environment where employees socialise and spur each other on, one person’s positive energy is enough to be infectious for the entire team.

Working with one another in the office also helps build alliances. It’s important for members of different teams who wouldn’t ordinarily work with one another to get to know each other. This is beneficial in promoting a happier and more productive workplace. This encourages a good, positive team spirit.

Knowledge is power

Social activity within the workplace will also make it more likely for inspirational and innovative ideas to manifest. While socialising, employees will constantly be giving each other updates on their daily activities. Even if one individual’s task is completely different to someone else’s this increased awareness to different goings on could influence another’s decision or fuel his or her creative activity.

How can office design facilitate this?

As mentioned, many organisations today have recognised the importance of wellbeing and socialising within the workplace. How can office design facilitate this?

Open plans, break out rooms and communal coffee and kitchen areas can all be incorporated into office design to encourage employees to spend time together. As well as being areas for individuals to chat and socialise, a productive benefit of this is sparking innovative ideas.

Steve Jobs recognised the potential in allowing friendships to form between colleagues in the corridor in the aim of promoting “casual collision”, which would benefit overall productivity. Take a look at our blog about what we can learn from businesses such as Google’s office design and how it can help overall employee satisfaction and productivity.

And you?

What do you think? Do you think that socialising within the workplace should be encouraged and that it can benefit overall productivity and drive the success of an organisation? Let us know by getting in touch or fire us a tweet!