Photo by Shridhar Gupta on Unsplash
It is no secret that companies perform better when employees and managers trust one another. There are plenty of ways for companies to foster trust in the workplace, from company retreats to transparent decision-making processes. However, not many companies take into account the office layout as an asset to enhance and build trust among employees.
Office layouts that build trust give employees control over their workspace and allow them to decide how and where they will do their best work. Regardless if the workplace is open or closed; an office will boost productivity and trust if it is designed to meet employees ́ needs.
Some of those needs are:
1. Sense of Privacy
Give employees a sense of privacy, even if it doesn't involve a private office. Some companies, like Microsoft, are implementing “phone booths” that employees can use when they need to complete any task that requires concentration and or a quiet space. These phone booths are becoming very popular because they add privacy to open workspaces and minimize self-consciousness. At the same time, they let managers show that they trust their team to stay on task, no matter where they're working.
2. Feeling at Home
A good way to make employees feel trusted is by making them feel at home, even while working. Companies like Airbnb have modeled their companies headquarters after real apartments. The company encourages employees to work in different ¨rooms̈ according to the task they need to complete.
3. Taking the Lead
Let employees take the lead in the design of their own workspace. It does not mean that everyone in the office will have a paint roller and hammers. But allowing them to put a personal touch to the decoration or the furniture might be perceived as a sign of trust and freedom.
4. Show Them That You Care
You can show your employees you care about their interests and their life outside of work in many ways. One of these ways is to have flexible furniture pieces with multiple uses, for example, you could consider a stool that doubles as a storage locker. It would make spontaneous conversations easier while offering employees a place to store their gym bag. Another way is to furnish your company with ergonomic furniture that will keep your employees healthier and happier.
Remember that the most important aspect to consider is how well your office is adapted to your employees and their needs. By fulfilling these needs you will show that you trust your employees and care about them.