A silent workplace with workers all heads down typing diligently may look like some peoples idea of excellent efficiency.
However, if the typing is actually firing off brief, and easily misinterpreted emails to colleagues sitting several desks away there is a risk of alienating rather than building relationships with colleagues.
“Can’t sounds worse than it reads” purports a current ad on the Tube – their point being people talking to one another are much more likely to find solutions, instead of typing ‘no we can’t’ and shoving the problem back over the email ether.
A group of colleagues we worked with recently spent a day developing their team and relationships. They were discouraged from checking phones or email during the day, and when phones went back on at the end of the session several remarked how few emails they had to deal with. Highlighting what we had already discovered; that these 25 people in the same office spend much of each day emailing each other when a conversation could be so much more efficient, fruitful and fun.
Idle chat is where ideas can be formed, trusting relationships enable solutions to be found and remembering the person behind the email address might just inspire you to get up and go and have a chat.