ACCORDING to a study carried out recently, it was found that the productivity of a person is increased by “matching workplaces, not only with the jobs performed in them, but also with the personalities of the occupants”. If there is a mismatch, says the report, there will be “dissonance”. How many organizations pay attention to this seemingly minor detail? In most cases, even after the appointee reports for duty, there is no place for him or her to sit and game of musical chairs is embarked upon, moving from one table to another. This can very well go on for months as the person in charge of sanctioning these facilities is either too busy with ongoing office matters or worse still, there is no space available in the office.
The employer has ample time between his decision to take in new staff and the actual appointment of the person to devote some attention to this aspect. This means planning and expenditure too—if he has to buy furniture or make a cabin or put up a partition wall. Whatever has to be done must be ready before the person reports for duty. It makes the new appointee feel he or she ‘belongs’ from the very first day. Finding a place for a person to sit does not absolve the employer of his duty. Can the new employee function effectively from the allotted place? The purchase officer cannot be given a corner table next to the accounts office. Suppliers would keep coming to see the former with their samples which would need to be spread out on a table for display while they discuss prices and other specifications. All this will disturb the accounts man, who needs a quieter environment to concentrate. Those who are required to make long distance calls should be given a sealed cabin away from others as their loud conversation could disturb the others. Creative staff will function better in a noise – free corner.
Secretaries should sit in the vicinity of their bosses and have the filling cabinet close by. Much of their time is spent commuting from their table to the cabinet to the boss, which is not only physically exhausting but also an additional factor which adds to the confusion. Telephones are best kept close to the people who use them the most and away from those who have hardly any need of them. With the open office norm becoming very popular the placing should be planned in such a way so that discussions, can be held without others who are not concerned overhearing them. An excess of unnecessary movement and ‘walking about’ in the office should also be avoided. Those departments that inter-act constantly can be grouped together. The people who have a stream of business callers would be given some privacy and ones with routine work, accommodated as per available space.
An office is no place for a nomad. To make employees feel they are an essential part of the organization and to encourage their best effort, they must be given their own demarcated little places, which to each will become a place in the sun.