1. Operate a clean desk policy: Create a protocol where, either at the end of every day or before a business trip,  everyone must make their workspace ready for someone else to use it while they are away. Additionally, have a monthly cleanup to reduce office clutter and help individuals adopt sustainable work practices. This could coincide with social events that help to reinforce a sense of community.
  2. Log your schedules: Whether it is on Outlook, EMS, Agilequest or simply a whiteboard in the office, make sure everyone notifies their team of their whereabouts, when they are traveling, working from home or at a client’s site.
  3. Go wireless: Build an infrastructure that allows server and email access wherever an individual may be in the office.
  4. Share cell phone numbers: Create a system for people to notify team mates of their personal cell phone connections (if they desire) so they may be contacted wherever they are.
  5. Promote sharing: Implement programs that teach people how to effectively use software that encourages remote sharing: sharepoint, skype, webex, livemeeting, or gotomeeting.
  6. Establish clear meeting protocols: Communicate clearly how to reserve meeting spaces, what types of meetings are essential, important or convenient, and what to do if a meeting is cancelled or late. Also, designate some small meeting rooms that can’t be pre-booked and are available for teams or individuals to use on demand.
  7. Agree on indicators for quiet time: Agree, as a team or organization, how to signal to others that you’re not available, either by using software or physical indicators. For example, a closed door, a chair in the workstation opening, headphones or a posted banner could all show that you’re not to be disturbed for at least 15 minutes. It’s important to develop protocols for team workspaces that everyone understands. I.e. is the open workspace quiet and people withdraw to do noisy work, or is the workplace noisy and people withdraw to do quiet work.
  8. Set up electronic filing standards: Establish a consistent, universal: Method of filing information on projects or clients to reduce the need for physical filing. If employees have confidence in finding electronic files, they’re less likely to create duplicate stashes of information. Also, centralize printing facilities in carefully-chosen locations to prevent excessive printing, minimize noise in open workspaces and foster communal gathering.
  9. Let daylight in! Encourage those who control access to daylight and views in your building to let the sun in as much as possible. Make sure blinds and doors obscuring the beauty of your surroundings are only closed when it’s essential.
  10. Encourage community: Set up events that enable people to share their personal experiences or skills and instigate weekly meetings where the agenda is personal, not business focused. These could include happy hours, breakfasts, lunch and learns or show and tells. Rotate responsibilities for providing refreshments and make it fun to be a member of your team or organization.
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