In business, the inner workings of an office have always intrigued and literally amused me. It’s like high school football, you have the ones who love to play the game and get after it, the ones who just want to get through the game and then my favorite, the ones who just want to talk about the game.
As a leader/boss etc. in an office environment you need to change things up periodically like placing a new person in the middle of the all-girls or all boys club. You would be amazed at how a little rearranging people from time to time can be effective. It is also very important to walk through the office several unexpected times a day to keep up with the general vibe of the work place. You will learn a great deal just walking through, listening and speaking to people.
I had this graphic designer one time that had his computer screens facing away from the door so you couldn’t see what he was working on. Mental note, don’t let anyone hide their screens from open view. Anyway, I would go into his office and always had the feeling he was closing files down when I walked in. One day I just hurried into his office all the way the around his desk before he could close files. Yep, you guessed it. He was doing something that was completely unrelated to work. Bless his heart, I thought he was going to need a shower because he almost had an accident in the chair. His face turned beet red and he broke out in a cold sweat. Needless to say, we changed his seating arrangement so he would not have the temptation to check on his social media pages at work.
One of the best tip offs that something is up around an office, is when you see people whispering. This always raises my antenna as to a potential problem brewing in the back ground. Sometimes it is just an employee having issues and needing to talk it through with someone else. Nothing wrong with that but when you see the same person involved in whispering to numerous employees, it is best to head it off before it gets traction with your people.
Have you ever been around an office where people are just lazily going about their day and doing what I call busy work? It generally happens when several people sit close together for a long period of time. They bond up together and start watching out for the boss and alerting each other and covering for each other. Before you know it, they have developed this little pack together against everyone else in the office and basically they have their own little group. Have you ever seen this? Locating a new person in their midst generally does the trick. If not you just have to separate them. They will get mad but who cares. The main function of an office is the business at hand.
I call these little tidbits, course 101 of management. People want to be lead, respected, inspired and they want to have examples to follow in life even though they would never admit it. When people believe in the mission of the company, it is amazing how enjoyable a work environment can be. KT