Many people prefer a silent place to gather their thoughts when they work.
This is why most companies create offices for their managers, allowing them to have their own spaces.
However, sitting in an office with the door closed may ostracise the leader from the rest of the team.
This is why many managers choose to work in cubicles amongst their staff; while not everyone is ready for this decision, just leaving the door open, often called an open door policy, can improve workflow in these areas:
A closed door signifies the fact that the person inside is busy and does not want to be disturbed.
Even if you are sitting in your office with nothing to do, a person outside doesn’t know that.
He may come up to ask you a question, but leave seeing the door closed.
An open office door is an invitation to come inside, which encourages communication between a leader and his staff.
By leaving your door ajar, you let your team members know that you are accessible to them, and are available for questions, concerns, or even just a friendly hello.
Keeps You In The Know
When you close your office door, you do so to drown out all distractions; however, you also keep yourself from hearing what is happening in your office.
By leaving your door open, you will be much more in the know of what is going on.
If there is an argument happening between two colleagues, you will hear it and may have the chance to intervene before it escalates.
You will also overhear chatter, knowing who is working hard, who is slacking off, and who may be disrupting others.
When your staff see your office door closed daily, they begin to view you as an outsider, separate from the rest of the team.
However, if you have an open door policy, you signify the fact that you are involved, and are interested in their experiences and possible concerns.
An open door signifies trust between you and your staff, they can trust that they can come to you, and you’ll be able and willing to help them.
It is not possible to always have your door open.
There may be times when you need to finish an assignment, and do need to keep out distractions or people sticking their head in.
Or, you may need to have a private conversation with another person, choosing to close the door so that others don’t hear what is being said.
As long as you close your door at a minimum, and have an open door policy the rest of the time, you should reap all the benefits outlined above.
Head of Training and Development
Originally published: 6 April, 2016
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