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Updated 26 Feb 2020

Bringing BA Baracus to the boardroom

How to encourage ‘A-team’ players in your office.

Linda Trim, Entrepreneur, 23 February 2013  Share  0 comments  Print

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Office design and layout plays an integral part in how people perform and how productive they are at work.

Everyone wants the most out of their people and it isn’t just money that drives people. 

It’s about creating a space where people want to come to work and be productive and the best that they can be.

What then is the secret to creating and keeping ‘A’ players in your team?

Happy staff also encourages the rest of the team and create a motivating atmosphere.  It’s always easier to diet when the whole household is on diet, same as you want to be happy when everyone around you is happy at work.

Finding your ‘A’ players

  • Give people control over their environments. Everyone has a need to express themselves in their own way. It is great to have a workstation where by you can choose your own accessories and style of work. Especially today where very few people have their own offices and open plan desks are all alike. People need to feel they have control to work how they want to and where they want to.  Having your own personal ‘workstyle’ is important where creativity doesn’t feel like it has been stifled.  Having a space to put a picture of your pet dog or baby can greatly change your day at work.  Or hang your favourite plant to glance at all day.
  • Have a clean and tidy office.  Have a clean up Friday where people have the afternoon off, can come in their jeans and are forced to tidy up their desks and work environments. It is always easier to work and be productive in an area where everything is properly placed, filed and where you know how to find things and what you are busy with.  Have a fridge clean up day once a week, where the office fridge needs to be emptied and cleaned out.  Or a policy that every day food is cleared out to discourage any bacteria’s growing.  Bacteria on desks and around offices can result in many illnesses, even the cold and flu which creates a big sick day registry.
  • Paperless desk policy. Walking into a spotless office is like walking into the most beautiful creation. People feel good about themselves. Have spaces in offices where staff can file and put their belongings away. Policies and systems in place for people to file documents and retrieve them easily without always having to ask for help.
  • Provide places for people to chat privately.  We all have personal needs which need to be taking care of in work hours. Be it discussing our overdrafts with the bank manager or having a deep discussion or argument with a partner you don’t want overheard, we need to feel there is a private space to do this.
  • Areas for concentration. As much as open plan has taken over there are still tasks which require thinking space and alone time. There should be a space in an office where people can easily step away from their desks and work quietly. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a meeting room or meeting area but a zone where people know not to disrupt you whilst sitting there. Also a zone where people know they can only use it for short spurts of time.
  • Have fun activities at work. Socialising should be encouraged. Research shows people are their most creative when socialising or talking to other people.  Create a specific corporate culture that draws people in.  Most of the time people socialise at work they are chatting about work topics or ideas and it is often at these times that they best ideas come about.
  • Areas of collaboration where people aren’t stifled in a stiff dark boardroom. The world is about social media, communicating and collaboration so why should the office be any different.  We need to meet and work as teams to be the best that we can be.  Collaboration areas come in different shapes and forms but it is great to have a few placed all around the office to encourage teams to gather and strategise.
  • Provide training. Detailed training on specific expertise to a job, encourage people to feel they are growing in their fields. As well as basic training such as time management skills and planning skills.  Training allows people to feel they are being supported and looked after by their employees. It helps a company keep ahead of the pack.

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About the author

Linda Trim, Entrepreneur

Linda Trim is the marketing and sales director at Giant Leap, an interior architect firm that believes everyone works, feels and plays better in well-designed spaces.

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