Just like any workplace, the key to a successful, productive and happy office is building a strong team. Even though everyone may have their own desk and working space, it’s still essential that they can all come together and function as one cohesive unit. This can be difficult in an office, as for the majority of the day many people have a job to do that is fairly solitary and self sufficient, and can go long stretches without talking to anyone. However, planning, strategising, collaborating and simply coexisting in a shared space all require team skills, and feeling like a team boosts morale and makes everyone feel more confident in their work and in each other. Therefore, building a good office team is extremely important to the wellbeing of your company.
1. Create a talking office. Trying to force conversation where it isn’t desired is not productive at all – sometimes everyone just wants to get down to work and do the job. However, especially in the morning when people are arriving, around lunchtime and breaks, and at leaving time it’s a good opportunity to try to prompt chat about simple general topics. It’s not about forcing a discussion, but the friendlier staff are the happier they’ll feel.
2. Share office goals and responsibilities. A big part of feeling part of a team is being invested in the collective success – as well as being responsible collectively when things go wrong. On the one hand, you don’t want to punish an entire group for the actions of one, but at the same time it’s good for everyone to want to encourage each other to stay on track and do the best they can, so it’s a matter of achieving balance. Likewise, reward and credit should be equally distributed (so long as there aren’t people who clearly stood out and pulled their share of the weight) amongst the team to encourage cooperation.
3. Make sure everyone understands why they’re important to the team. For general efficiency it’s important that everyone is clear about what’s expected of them and what tasks they have to do, but it also contributes to the general team atmosphere if they know why it’s important and what impact their work has on the wider picture.
Building a strong office team makes for happy employees as well as a more productive workforce, so it’s worth spending the time to make sure everyone is happy and feels like part of one single unit.