Your co-worker is a little too loud on the phone, clears their throat what seems like hundreds of times a day or clips their nails. Boy, wish you had a little more space between you and your co-workers?
Your co-worker you need to do business with daily is on the other side of the room, never picks up their phone or doesn't respond to instant messages and emails. So, wish you and your co-workers were not so spread out?
While many employees enjoy the telecommuting option, many more find themselves in confined or spread out work stations eight or more hours a day, having to deal with the above-mentioned issues.
As a small business owner with workers too close or spread out in your office, how can you make them most happy so that their focus is on their jobs and not the guy or gal less than 10 feet or more than 50 feet away from them?
In reality, it isn't uncommon for offices to have workers within earshot of each other, provided of course those individuals are not at each other's throats. Countless small businesses take advantage of furniture workstations within their companies so that employees can communicate with one another.
On the other hand, employers don't workers who are part of a specific department having to endlessly contact another co-worker in that department with necessary questions or requests daily.
In the event your company is hoping to put in place or change the current workstation environment, there are ways to go about it:
- Get together with your department heads and gather their input. As managers of specific departments, they know which workers work best together and which may mix like oil and water. All offices have cliques (don't kid yourself), so work to have the most productive environment in place;
- Get workers in respective departments together so that they do not have to wear out the carpet or telephone to speak with people on a daily basis needed to assist them in their job tasks. It doesn't make sense to have an editor at one end of the building and his or her writers at the other. Yes, the editor can get a private office, but keep their workers close by;
- While input from workers is good, they cannot pick and choose seating arrangements. Friends in different departments will want to sit near one another; therefore you are left with scattered departments. Allowing workers input on this matter is like opening up a can of worms;
- Keep workers in the loop so that there are no drastic changes to their workplace environment. Face it; most of us are creatures of habit, meaning we don't like a lot of change. Showing up one day and doing a 180 on the how things are set up in the office is probably not going to go over too well;
- Utilize space as much as possible. While you do not want workers on top of each other, utilize the space you have in your office (you are paying for it). In the event you are planning on growing, you can always tighten things up a bit if more people come on the scene.
While change can be a good thing, make sure any restructuring in your office work stations involves input from the departmental managers who knows their teams the best.
Even though it is work, you want your office's workplace to be a productive yet fun environment for those who you brought on as part of your team.
Photo credit: Foreverindependence.org