With so much of our time spent in the office, we’re always looking for new ways to improve the workplace and make it a happier place to spend 38 hours of the week. One thing that’s usually guaranteed to bring the office together is our shared TV fandoms and the current buzz around the office is season 7 of Game of Thrones!
Winter is Coming – and we’re sure that this will be the talk of many offices around the UK every Tuesday morning for the next couple of months. So, when we saw one workplace’s attempt to literally bring Game of Thrones into their office, it inevitably caught our eye…
The Game of Thrones Wall Experiment
When leading courier comparison website Parcel2Go found some spare cardboard boxes in storage they thought – what better way to use them than to construct their very own Game of Thrones-style wall in the office?
Needless to say, the wall was very impressive. But what we found interesting was the effect the wall had on the working day.
When employees started to arrive in the morning to see the wall dividing the office in two, the reactions seemed to be a mix of amusement and confusion. As the day went on, the divide created by the wall actually seemed to affect productivity levels in the office.
So, why was this? In our experience, a shared interest like Game of Thrones has always created a sense of community in the workplace. However, this experiment highlighted to us the other factors that are important in creating a harmonious work environment.
We thought we’d take a closer look at what this Game of Thrones wall experiment could teach us about the workplace.
The Barrier to Productivity
From the reactions to the Game of Thrones wall, it became clear to us that communication plays a big role in nurturing productivity within the workplace and the physical divide of the wall placed barriers on effective communication.
Studies have shown that the most valuable form of communication in the workplace is face-to-face. Regardless of what technology is available to you (email/instant messengers/video messaging), the best way to engage your colleagues and form positive working relationships is always through face-to-face conversations or meetings.
Engagement in the Workplace
Another advantage to good communication in the workplace is that it can help to keep your employees engaged in the workplace.
Fostering employee engagement means that you have created the right conditions for them to stay productive and give their best every day. It’s a key part of any business, and studies have shown that engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their companies. Organisations with engaged employees can achieve twice the annual net income of their disengaged counterparts.
So, it makes good business sense to ensure strong communication if it reduces the need for recruitment costs and increases productivity in the workplace. But what other ways can you make sure that your employees remain engaged at work?
How to Encourage Employee Engagement
Avoid building a hypothetical version of the Game of Thrones wall in your workplace – follow our top tips for keeping your employees engaged and therefore productive:
- Encourage team building so that your colleagues can get to know each other. Engaging with colleagues personally means that you can enjoy better working relationships. Take the Game of Thrones wall experiment, for example – the team members worked better together during the construction of the wall, where they were communicating and working together towards the same goal.
- Set clear goals for your employees, both individual and shared. Working towards a common goal can help colleagues work together better as a team. Also, rewarding individual goals will help your employees feel more accomplished in their roles and therefore more engaged.
- Consistent communication is vital. Inconsistency and secrecy from management can be frustrating for employees so an open and honest workplace is likely to be where the most engaged employees want to work.
- Have confidence in your employees by working to empower them. Giving them more responsibility rather than micromanaging may reveal their leadership potential and stimulate them more in their roles.
So, what can Game of Thrones teach us about the workplace? Well, it’s not a good idea to divide the office with a giant cardboard box wall, for one! But also, that communication is a key factor to helping employees stay engaged and productive in the workplace. It may sound cheesy but to continue running a successful business you should plan to build bridges, not walls!