When you first remove a company from the ground, you may have barely enough employees to rely on one hand. In that setup, it is very easy for you to sit with your junior staff.
But what happens when you expect – on a larger scale? Suddenly, your office becomes big. Before you know it, you have to decide whether you are going to sit on the floor with everyone or to distance yourself in a corner somewhere. A literal wall between you and your team can go up.
To be blunt, it never has to be. No matter how big, you should always sit in an open environment with the rest of your team.
Fast communication, fast business
It is easy to see why when you think of communication, you need to put yourself in a seat with your team, which is the life-flow of any organization.
As an analogy, let’s say you have a Formula 1 car. We are working on super sleek design, the best fine engine. This terrible car can run down the track, because each part of that vehicle is communicating on an incredibly efficient network to every other part as quickly as possible. On top of that, you have communicated your driver with the latest mode of telemetry to your pit crew. Everything is therefore set up to operate at the highest speed, as far as possible, by stepping out of many obstacles.
The same is true for your organization. The faster your communication, the faster and powerful you are compared to your environment and competition. If you bring walls into the equation and you are in another area of business, you are creating a bunch of unnecessary and unwanted traffic. Communication is slowing down. You will lose the strong meaning of what is going on and will not be able to jump as fast and take corrective action. Other companies may get an edge and pull in front of you.
Relationship with your employees
But other considerations with this are your relationship with your employees. When you have no walls, when you take down those barriers everyone can talk with each other and take action quickly, you are creating a culture of efficiency and competition, as much as Cultivating a culture of respect. You are not wasting anyone’s time. They understand that you are seeing everything they want or want to do and that you really care about their ability to think, be creative and stay healthy.
This is actually an easy way to put better fuel in your tank. When people see that you care about their time and who those people are, they have a much easier time building loyalty for you. Loyal employees usually become more personally invested in the company, and they work hard to ensure that everyone is successful. So it contributes to even more efficiency, productivity and market power.
But what if we need to have some private discussion?
It is regularly part of the business that sometimes there are confidential meetings with partners or investors or simply discussions about whether everyone in the team should be a part or not. For example performance reviews or discussions about health care may fall into this category.
It is no need to change your normal, no walls approach to communication. This simply means that, when you’ve got something private to talk to, you have a separate space such as a conference room available to use as needed. This place should always be ready, but This is not where your office work or communication is going to be discussed.
If you don’t have this type of separate space in your office, then you still have other great options. For example, you can have a dull meeting, or throw ideas through a dull thread. And many companies that do not have a designated meeting space get creative, such as putting comfortable, modular furniture in an area that is a little away from everyone’s desk or general workspace. Renting meeting space is also a growing trend. This can be a lot cheaper than paying regularly for square footage that you don’t really use much, and it lets you switch the environment once for your team to flow your mental juices and good mood lets you.
No matter where or how your personal conversation is, remember that you are still trying to cross the finish line quickly. Basic best practices, such as being brief and a meeting only when you’re ready to take some kind of clear action, can keep your wheels from spinning.
When you need to work in your company, there is simply no shortcut to good visibility and the ability to talk to everyone regularly without a speed bump. You can lead from within your team and keep walls as the default, even if you make occasional adjustments to privacy as needed. When you are having two-way communication and people know that you are available, they will feel confident enough to know the real energy they are doing and, as a result, get impressive results for you. So, if you can get out on the floor – do it. Your team, shareholders / investors and customers will all thank you.