15 Mar Why the office will always be social
Being social is part of your DNA
People are inherently social creatures. We all have varying levels of social needs. From a very young age, you learn by interacting and watching other people do things which you then imitate and practise until you get better at it. A big part of your existence involves socially interacting with other people.
Human babies cannot do anything for themselves when they are born. They are depended on caretakers to look after them, to feed them, to bath them and to interact with them. Without the caretakers diligent care human babies will die. The same principle applies in the workplace. People learn from each other consciously and subconsciously. Employees start off as interns or juniors, learning from mid to senior management. We learn by observing others, asking questions even making mistakes and learning from them. The Indi 16 is ideal as a versatile and agile workspace with multiple uses. For mentorship sessions or employee engagement or even everyday work, ideal for small meetings or discussions.
Different forms of socialising
Team Building – Team building is the process of turning a group of individual contributing employees into a cohesive team. Think about your workplace and some of the team building moments you have been part of. Team buildings are structured socialising. The Boulders offer a fun casual feeling for a team building exercise away from the desk. They encourage collaboration rather than competition.
Canteen – Socialising also occurs spontaneously during lunch breaks or at the coffee station. Noot chairs offer comfortable seating for employee canteen areas. The workplace canteen is a place of networking and communication and collaboration. They foster creative thinking, which helps employees generate new ideas and identify potential synergies.
Online – The world has changed; nowadays you can be social for hours online without physically meeting with someone. This form of interaction works very well for some people. Other people prefer being actively connecting with people face to face. I think where the work from home caters very well for those who prefer to be locked away, this may be due to the nature of their work or their social preference. If you are working with numbers all day you don’t want to be disturbed. Others may crave the social interaction every day.
Why connections in the workplace matter
- A valuable connection is about relating to someone’s perspective and ideas. We all want some form of social interaction. Even if it is only a couple of days a week. Somewhere where you can work and have lunch with your team.
- Connected teams drive collaboration, nurture healthy working relationships and promote knowledge sharing.
- Excitement is contagious. People who feel connected to their work, care about doing great work.
Workplace social spaces
“It’s what those in the industry call a ‘third space’ – a middle ground between work and home where people can communicate casually, find rejuvenation and share ideas freely. This kind of space often conjures up images of foosball tables, fridges full of beer, ice cream machines, miniature sandpits and beanbags fit for a giant but this certainly isn’t standard.”
What you spend time on at work
On average people spend between 90 000 hours or 25 – 30 years of their lives in a workplace. This averages around 40 hours per week for full-time employees. We spend 8 hours of our day at work.
- Reading news websites: 1 hour, 5 minutes
- Checking social media: 44 minutes
- Discussing non-work-related things with co-workers: 40 minutes
- Searching for new jobs: 26 minutes
- Taking smoke breaks: 23 minutes
- Making calls to partners or friends: 18 minutes
- Making hot drinks: 17 minutes
- Texting or instant messaging: 14 minutes
- Eating snacks: 8 minutes
- Making food in office: 7 minutes
Connection shouldn’t be forced upon anyone. But it can be encouraged through reaching out and by creating opportunities to learn about unique perspectives. It is therefore necessary to create an environment for your staff to get together. Even the introvert will feel good after a good laugh at the lunch table. Hopefully, if you have had your social fix, you will be able to knuckle down on the work that lays ahead of the day. It is said to have some benefits on employee satisfaction and wellbeing.
How to create a connected workplace:
- Engage without pretence
- Interact frequently
- Find corporate values that employees relate to
This could be done with lovely breakout areas that become the transition space between home and the office. Where it is homely and comfortable encouraging relaxations and nurturing social interactions. A space for you to properly switch off and rejuvenate before you head back to your pod, desk or the meeting room.
The Plano desk range is minimalistic and practical and ideal in a space that is shared by different people on different days.
Since we are spending so much time at work, it is important to create a healthy work environment that energises and motivates teams to perform and feel their best.