Question: How can you successfully get work done in the office while promoting an open-door policy?
Wear Noise Canceling Headsets
"A nice pair of in-ear noise canceling headsets allow you to still keep the 'door open' while having your own space to work in. No different than when at the gym, people are less likely to interrupt. Yet in an office environment, they know they could do so if needed. It's a perfect happy balance in my opinion, and it works great for me in my office."
Maintain a Trusting Relationship With Those Around You
"The key is to maintain a trusting relationship between everybody. As leaders, we need to set the appropriate rules and expectations around this policy and promote efficiency versus interruptions that are not oriented to solving problems. We also have an anonymous suggestion box that gets reviewed once a month."
Be Aware of Boundaries
"Remember, an open door policy does not mean you should take a role in resolving minor arguments and petty disputes. Focus more on empowering your employees and make it clear that they have agency to solve things on their own but that you’re available if they cannot. And don’t be afraid to tell someone you need to focus on work and will speak to them later."
Set Scheduled Times for Certain Meetings
"An open door policy means that you are open to suggestions and willing to talk with employees. It does not mean that you need to be receptive all the time. My plan is to simply have a certain time period where I do meet with my employees about their complaints."
Don't Be Afraid to Adapt
"The door doesn't need to be open all the time. Use this rule wisely and to the benefit of your organization. As soon as it begins to impede productivity, it's time to adapt."
Split Up Your Day
"Having an open-door policy doesn't mean your door always has to be open. Blocking off certain times of your day will be more productive and efficient for everyone. Unless it's time-sensitive, it can likely wait – which will help everyone to focus."