I wanted to share a recent experience with the MT community that I found eye opening. I have always been the type of manager not to sit in my office and visit with each member of my team during the day. I would make sure to get out of my office many times during the day and be amongst my team.   Like many managers, I thought I was spending enough time with my directs. However, due to some construction in our building my office has been closed for the last 5 weeks. With no office, I set up shop at an empty cube right in the middle of my team. The experience of being with my team all day long has been tremendous. The opportunities to coach and provide feedback (positive and correctional) have increased at least 10 fold. In addition, with my being there I am able to set the mood and pace for the team.   I knew morale had slipped, but it was far worse than I imagined. In 5 weeks, the moral has increased and is probably the highest I have seen with my team.    The impact has been huge! When I have my office back after construction I will not be spending much time in it. I am going to keep that cube with my team and spend 80-90% of my time there. I will use my office only when necessary for confidentiality purposes.  

acao162's picture

I have an office, but the door is closed about 3 hours per year.  In fact, I'm not actually "allowed" to close the door, except under extreme stress or during O3s (ok, so the 3 hours is stress-closed!)  The point is, my ears & eyes have to be able to see the office at all times, to provide the coaching, direction, feedback & general morale boosting.

I agree that it is a great way to be part of the team.  The only thing is, when I do close the door, two things happen:

1. People assume I'm under a massive deadline & leave me alone, thus treading on eggshells & don't tell me anything  OR

2.  People assume I've closed the door because I'm angry & take it personally

#1 is less negative, #2 is awful.  I've attempted to "clear the air" on this by explaining why I'm closing the door & whether or not I want to be disturbed.  It doesn't work as well as I've hoped but it's probably because it's such a strange thing, no one quite knows how to react.

Just something to consider when you do use your office, you might be inadvertently sending mixed messages to your team.  If I was permitted to have my door closed, I'd have it done on a schedule, such as Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings.  That way, people know what to expect.