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Designing workplaces for trust
There are three main factors that contribute to the overall performance of a workplace: trust, leadership and collaboration.
A 2013 report by the Human Capital Institute outlined the main actions that can improve trust in a workplace. These actions are:
- 1.Provide tools, resources and learning opportunities to set employees up for success
- 2.Share information about decisions
- 3.Seek input before making decisions
- 4.Follow the company’s values
- 5.Inspire employees with a shared purpose
Developing trust in the office requires constant consideration for all employees and guests, but here are some down-to-earth tips to design an office to follow the five actions to improve trust.
Showcase your company’s values
Values guide the overall direction of the comapny and is a compass for all decisions. Display your mission and values throughout the office – paint the words onto a wall, feature a display in your lobby or print them out to tack up. Employees and guests will be continuously reminded of the direction the business is headed. You can also include the values in company communications. Add the values in email signatures, newsletters and internal notices. Here is another idea: print your values onto a Clarus Glassboard to instill the company’s goals into brainstorming sessions.
Optimize for collaboration
Working alongside other people develops relationships, and in turn these relationships improve trust. An office can be designed for formal and informal collaboration. Choose functional and adaptable furniture for meeting rooms and collaboration spaces. Create comfortable lounges and gathering spaces with cozy seating. And let any space be a place for collaboration by having flexible workstations and tables throughout the workplace.
Trust requires communication. Minimize any barriers for communication, including daunting dividers and walls but maintaining sufficient privacy and peace. An excellent method are moveable privacy dividers, which can be adapted for the various needs throughout the day. The WAVE by LOFTwall is a stunning divider that minimizes sound distractions but lets light pass through. It is an effective barrier to keep an office feeling open but controlling sound.
As important as trust is, it can be difficult to define concrete steps to nurture it in the workplace. We hope these design tips can improve trust – and ultimately productivity – in your office.