No matter where we may turn at work, in the street or at home, technology surrounds us. Making many of our daily tasks easier to perform, as well as enhancing our leisure time, this fact should come as no surprise.

If you’re responsible for your workplace, do you have a team of people that connect with each other digitally, rather than face-to-face? As tech has taken the way we communicate to new heights, it has been affecting commercial office design, with the agile and paperless offices now being commonplace. No longer do we need to sit at the same desk all day, every day. No more having to store and organise papers and files. Work is now more efficient and collaboration happens almost instantly.

However, due to the lack of face-to-face contact that accompanies an office that is more in-tune with the digital world, is it actually of detriment to us? Here, we’re going to look at some of the missed opportunities of not taking our work meetings offline.

The value of face-to-face meetings in commercial office design

  • Builds a sense of trust. Many eyebrows were raised in the internet world when Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer, put an end to the company's telecommunicating and instead, told employees to physically attend meetings. Rather than have her employees call in and work together virtually, Meyer believes that face-to-face communication is better to enhance collaboration, which helps to create a better quality of work.

    Studies have shown that it is more difficult to build trust within teams that work remotely, it is harder for leaders to emerge, tougher to create genuine rapport and much, much easier for misunderstandings to grow. Meeting in person will not only build trust between employees but also their creditability to each other. It will establish partnerships that are meaningful, built on something more than a digital platform.
  • Sharing ideas better. What could take a good half-an-hour in sending e-mails back-and-forth, can be achieved in a couple of minutes through face-to-face conversation. Even the time spent on the phone could be cut too; in person, people are less likely to talk over each other, there will not be a time lag, nor will there be any issues with the connection. Collaboration can (and should) happen naturally, as ideas are bounced around and immediate feedback is gained. This is part of the reason why comfortable, collaborative areas such as breakout rooms are becoming commonplace in modern commercial office design.
  • Gauge body language. It's not what we say, it's what we do. An old adage, but one that has been around for so long because it remains true. In face-to-face meetings, you will gain a better understanding of a person's situation by reading what their reactions are. When communicating digitally, this will not be possible; whilst sending a smiley face emoji will mask sadness or frustration, it's more difficult to do in person.
  • Open communication. Meeting face-to-face shows transparency, allowing for more open communication between staff, keeping their points clear and concise. Writing e-mails or consolidated feedback takes time and much concentration, whereas open dialogue can allow people to explore their ideas, to really ascertain the situation and find a solution.
  • Mutual respect. By capturing each other's attention, employees will be showing a willingness to put time and effort into their meeting. This makes their partnerships valued, as though they are on a shared mission. This mutual respect forms a strong foundation for trust and as we've covered, future collaboration.

    Whilst digital interactions allow for efficiency and cost-saving benefits, being in the same room provides an information-rich method that will always be necessary to grow a strong team full of collaboration and creativity. All you need to do now is to get your commercial office design right!

Improve your office interiors with us

Any business that is hoping to get the best out of their employees will need a commercial office design that is able to complement their skills, as well as provide a collaborative environment. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can improve the effectiveness of your team through the design of the office interiors, why not consider a bespoke fit out from Oaktree Interiors?

Throughout the last 30 years, our team have worked with a wide range of clients, operating in a variety of industries. No matter the requirements of the business, its employees or its clients, we have a proven track record of creating imaginative office interiors that help, not only to cater for everyone’s aims but also lays the foundations of potential future growth too. Why not get in touch with our office design experts to learn more?

Get in touch with our office design team to learn more

If you would like to learn more about our commercial office design service, which includes a completely FREE no-obligation consultation, then please do not hesitate to give our team a call on 0345 21 86955. Alternatively, you can send an e-mail to us at hello@oaktreeoffice.com and we'll be in touch as soon as possible.

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