Did you elect your work colleagues?
As the dust settles on the latest general election and everyone tries to work out what it all means, it reminded us that we don’t ever get a chance to vote for those who accompany us in the workplace.
Of course, we are generally, but not always, surrounded by people in the same line of work with hopefully common goals to move a business forward.
However, whilst all will have been employed via the same recruitment channel, there will always be a wide range of people, who find themselves thrown together almost by chance, who will have to work together for long periods of time having never met before.
Inevitably this will involve the shy and the gregarious, the quiet and the loud plus the tidy and the messy, all having to co-exist in relative harmony.
At Whitespace we always insist that it’s the people that are the important factor in any office environment and it is the infrastructure that is there to compliment the staff and not the other way round. We not only talk to the project leaders but also try to get a real feel for the other personalities, how they work, how they interact and where problems and opportunities might lie.
If the atmosphere is quiet and reflective, with people silently getting on with their work, sympathetic open plan may be the way to go. Where there is a lot of noisy interaction with big characters then more individual offices and sound proofing may help unless the interaction is central to the company’s work.
Giving staff the ability to work efficiently is vital provided we also ensure that they can communicate effectively and don’t feel a sense of isolation that can be counter-productive.