I work in an open office environment where there are literally no walls. The directors sit along side everyone else and the board meetings take place on a table in the middle of the office.

My issue is giving feed back without everyone being in ear shot. My desk is in with the team. Taking them to a meeting room, which is not close by, just to deliver a quick 1 minute feed back is over kill and often intimidating when I ask a direct to follow me to a room.

Any advice on this?

timrutter's picture

Not knowing your office layout Steve, I'll throw some ideas out there for you. Pick and choose at your leisure!

Walk and talk - you don't have to be i private, just not in public (MH's wisdom, not mine)

At you weekly O3's - not ideal, but better than not doing it

Making coffee - just you and them at the kettle

There's no way around you having to be creative about this, but there's probably more opportunity than you might at first think.




stevewilson76's picture

Thanks Tim, some great ideas.  It's just difficult because you want to jump on feedback, not dwell on it (I often spend too long planning and worrying about that difficult conversation I have to have), but the lack of privacy makes things hard.  I'm sure there's always chances to catch people.

ErickaDW's picture


I work in a similar environment. I've found that the easiest way to converse with my remote staff is via cell phone, versus desk phone. My cell phone allows me to get up and take a walk whenever I need to talk about sensitive subjects. To speak with folks who are physically located in the office, I use a meeting or small conference room. Your small, 2-person meeting can be just as important as a 10-person meeting. Don't be afraid to reserve/request a small conference room for a weekly scheduled meeting with each staff member. It shows your employees that they are important and that you take them and their issues seriously.

As far as immediate feedback, I've ducked into a conference room for a quick chat. I've also done the "Let's grab a coffee" tactic. Good luck!