Swedish Startup Space

Quiet Time is for 5 Year Olds

Written by on April 22, 2013

Ever feel like Simon and Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence is playing in everyone’s head at the office? “Silence is like a cancer, my words like silent falling raindrops echoing in the wells of silence.” The sound of silence can be deafening when working in an office. It can also mean lack of communication.

If your startup is just nearing above 10 people and even ranging above 50, you are going to be hearing more email pings through your computer headphones than voices knocking at your eardrums. It is widely known that people feel more comfortable sending an email to a person sitting two meters away.

This isn’t okay on any level. Here are six steps on how to approach someone in the office for a question.

  1. Take your headphones out of your ears.
  2. Determine if the person in question is busy by looking at them.
  3. If everything looks clear, get out of your seat (we all need this exercise anyway in an office…)
  4. Approach them and ask “Do you have a minute?”
  5. Hopefully, they will respond yes. If no, go back to step 1.
  6. If yes, proceed with your question.

By provoking more physical conversation in the office, the better relationships workers can develop with each other. This makes for a team of people who will become more assertive of their surroundings, able to manage better in a group setting, encourage ideas, and create a more healthy work environment all together.

HR can create some fun activities to encourage employee relations. Check out this blog post with some helpful ideas: www.nisharaghavan.com/monthly-fun-activities-at-office

Employees must see each other 40+ hours a week. Save yourself from listening to Simon and Garfunkel sounds of silence for those hours, and have some office interaction!

Negatively yours,


Picture: Lifehacker

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