The cohesiveness of your company's office environment directly affects your productivity and profitability. Whereas many corporations and companies strive to create formal workplaces, the shift to more casual cultures is on the rise. Creating a casual environment where employees feel less restricted and more valued for their performance may prove to be beneficial for your company culture and your company's ability to succeed.
In the past, workplaces often adopted formal dress codes that required employees to don uncomfortable suits, expensive dress shoes and neatly arranged hair styles. However, with a push toward the encouragement of creativity in the office environment, self-expression through dress has driven companies to loosen the reigns and encourage more than just an occasional casual Friday. By letting go of the formalities, a company's hierarchy levels dissipate, which ultimately fosters more open communication between the staff and management.
The Push for Collaboration
Adopt a casual approach and provide comfort in the office to promote a more collaborative workspace. Firms are opting for communal spaces, employee lounges and reclining seats in place of the executive desks and formal conference rooms that offered minimal comfort. As a result, the open office environment offers a balance of work and play that can improve productivity. Instead of lining the office with cubicles that close employees off from one another, incorporate standing desks, open spaces with tables for meetings and sofas that encourage your staff to communicate.
A formal memo is no longer standard procedure. Communicating through advanced technology has shown the positive aspects of creating a more casual office environment. Employees utilize smartphones to email clients, text co-workers and chat with managers, and this informal approach does not necessarily hinder production. In fact, it may improve your staff's ability to meet deadlines, enhance their overall performance and tackle once-overlooked obstacles. Instead of formal meetings, video conferences and webinars allow more members of your staff to attend and become involved with projects.
Offering Flexibility for Multiple Generations
The influx of millennials in the workplace has significantly impacted the push for a more casual office environment. This diverse generation has grown up with technology, and it thrives on innovation and creativity. Your firm is more likely to attract highly talented individuals when encouraging the use of technology in the workplace. Flexibility is also closely tied to transforming into a "casual" company. Each year, more firms offer telecommuting options, social hours and partnerships with the community to adhere to the goals and values of the younger generation.
Consider your company culture and the needs of your employees when transitioning to a casual office environment. While the shift may be a solid move for productivity and employee satisfaction, employers must also consider the most effective strategies necessary to promote customer satisfaction and thrive in the industry.
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