There are many ways to build trust with employees, from the simple act of listening to opinions and complaints to grand gestures like giving them the VIP clients. It’s worth taking note, however, that it’s not just your actions that create this culture of confidence and security — it’s also your very workplace. As in, the office you go into every day.
The problem with many business leaders is that they only think of the workspace as nothing but mere workspace. Well, sometimes, it’s the object of some aesthetic improvements. Other than that, it’s just the place for doing their job. The reality is your office design subtly communicates whether you trust your employees or not. Here are the specific ways it does:
It encourages (or discourages) privacy.
An environment that allows workers to slip into seclusion whenever they want shows that the management trusts their team to stay on task, even without their boss hovering over them. The opposite is true as well. When there’s little privacy in the office, it gives employees the impression that they are to be out in the open for easy micromanagement.
If you trust your employees, give them space. Their personal space. This doesn’t have to mean going back to boring cubicles or expensive private rooms. You can go for the trendy ‘phone booths’ or soundproof pods where workers can take client calls or write their marketing reports in peace. You can fill these spaces up with used office furniture that Salt Lake City stores provide.
It promotes (or cares less about) interests outside of work.
When you have spaces dedicated to relaxation, wellness, or even breastfeeding, your workers will feel that you value what they value, even if it’s unrelated to work. That builds rapport. That creates trust. Employees have this reassuring feeling that they’re more than cash-making robots in your business.
Pay attention to the interests of your employees outside work. Are there fitness-loving people in your workforce? Dedicate a small room furnished with yoga mats, a few dumbbells, and jump ropes. Are there new moms among your employees? Give them a space for breastfeeding or milk pumping. There are state laws requiring this, so better comply and help your nursing mother employee. Of course, don’t neglect rest and recreation (R & R) spaces where workers can drop in for a break.
It’s equipped with (or lacking in) the latest technology.
For sure, you know well that a job well done isn’t possible (or at least, will be hard to achieve) when employees don’t have the resources like technology. More than that, technology, which is available and accessible in different spaces in your office, communicates trust. It tells your team that they’re free to do their job wherever, at whatever pace they would need.
When furnishing your phone booths or R & R spaces, make sure to fill them up with not just furniture, but tech as well. For instance, charging ports in benches or digital whiteboards. Let your people own their task by providing them with all the technology they need.
Your office design isn’t just an aesthetic canvas. It can very well make or break the culture of trust in your organization. That said, how would you change your work environment?