Open offices with business etiquette intelligence

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Are we preparing employees and managers with the professional behaviour and business etiquette intelligence, for “open” workspaces?

Two Harvard Business School academics set out to test the proposition of the impact of the open workspaces on human collaboration. The article “Open office, closed minds” - Bartleby (Economist July-August 2018) highlighted an example of the findings in one company, where face-to-face interactions decreased by a third after switching to open plan, whereas email traffic increased between 22% and 50%.

While some prefer to work in open hot desk environments we would suggest from our clients feedback the “jury” is still out on whether employees have more or less contact with each other and collaborate more readily, and enjoy the environment.

Frequent feedback we hear includes how the open environment can be daunting and particularly for a new comer.

“No longer get to know people as everyone scattered”
“Feeling lonely”
“Harder to connect with your team”
“Harder to find a desk or workspace”
“More use of instant messaging rather than face-to face conversations”
“70% often to choose to work remotely”
“Others speaking on phone or jabbering right beside you”
“Earphones on to block out noise”
“A mix of business attire from casual to smart with a host of interpretations”

As companies shift to hot desks and open spaces, professional behaviour and business etiquette becomes vitally important in preparing employees and managers to succeed in this environment.

Our team at the Sydney School of Protocol are here to assist with designing and delivering bespoke programs for groups and individuals to support the transition into open works spaces and hot desk environments.

We invite you to register your interest on the Assessment link, for a complimentary needs analysis discussion.


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