New York, New York (January 22nd, 2016) – Communication and connection allows employees to feel a sense of belonging within the company. An open office space can emulate these functions and improve the overall company culture. According to LMSW Laura MacLeod, HR Guru and founder of “From the Inside Out Project®”(www.fromtheinsideoutproject.com), open office space is a great opportunity to promote community and foster healthy employee-employer relationships. With desks out in the open and nontraditional office doors, interaction is encouraged among employees of all levels and departments. Quite different from traditional physical layouts where top floors are filled with top level executives, the new concept allows no separation between positions which offers employees a sense of importance and value.
“Although the concept of an open office space is an excellent way to implement team building and improve workplace comradery, it is a major change for all workers that can be difficult and uncomfortable.” States Laura MacLeod, founder of From The Inside Out Project®. “Navigating a culture change, even if positive, can elicit all kinds of responses from employees. That’s why it’s important to help employees adjust and embrace the new way of life at the office.”
More organizations have been following the trend of utilizing open office space format, led by companies like Facebook. But with any change comes questions. In order to help employees adapt to a new office environment, it is important that the company’s higher ups fully explain how the new layout will work. Addressing questions and concerns, listening to feedback (both positive and negative), and collaborating on findingsolutions to issues raised will help employees embrace the new culture.
The issue of office hoteling (no set permanent desk space) can be problematic. Determining where to sit and then changing that spot every day may be uncomfortable for many. Leadership needs to work out a system that gives employees some control and narrows down choices; for example, specific areas for particular departments, a weekly or monthly choice, or perhaps a valid reason to sit somewhere such as a set team location for work ona specific project. Privacy can also come into play especially when socializing occurs. It’s important that companies have separate rooms for meetings, group space for lunch, and a location for a private phone call, as we all enjoy and need privacy.
“With new change must come new discussions, “Continues MacLeod. “Leadership needs to initiate and guide those discussions to make a smooth transition. Open office space can certainly enhance company culture if concerns and expectations are addressed and employee feedback is welcome.’
For more information on From the Inside Out Project® or Laura MacLeod visit http://fromtheinsideoutproject.com/. To interview MacLeod on her techniques or gain media access to her photos please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1.877.841.7244.
About Laura MacLeod
With a background in social work and 2 decades of experience as a union worker, Laura MacLeod created “From The Inside Out Project®,” with all levels of employment in mind to assist in maintaining a harmonious workplace. She is an adjunct professor in graduate studies at the Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work and leads training sessions for social work professionals at The Coalition for Behavioral Health and Institute for Community Living in New York City. MacLeod speaks on conflict resolution, problem solving, and listening skills at conferences across the country.