Staff Visibility

The following discusses why and how we maximize staff visibility.


If someone goes to the effort of visiting in person, their reason is likely significant, regardless of any protestation to the contrary.

Given the "Point of Contact" model that is fundamental to our service model, it is important that clients can predict the availability of their contact(s) should they choose to visit in person.

One of the reasons for CSCF offices being together, rather than spread out across CS (as some have proposed), is to facilitate collaboration and general interaction among staff, in the belief that that produces better results. That of course won't work unless it's obvious when people are available.

There are many reasons to close the door of an occupied office. For example, private meetings, keeping "noise" from meetings interfering with others, focusing on a work problem, avoiding noise from elsewhere (e.g. loud hallway conversations). However we do want to send the message that we're here, and welcome interaction.


As a result of the above, it is expected that we will provide information on our office doors that others can use to predict our presence and absence. It must be obvious when we are present, when we are absent, and when we may be expected to return. A a simple "Rule of Thumb" at least provide a "Back At" and provide a time (and date, if a future date). Avoid vague statements such as "back in 5 minutes", or "gone for the day".

When it's practical to describe where we may be reached, that should be given as well for the case of perceived urgency. That can be as simple as "in DC3558".

Use your door boards to update your availability. See DoorSigns for some document samples to make it easy to select the appropriate message, rather than having to write it each time.

An implication of the above is that doors should, to the extent possible, be readily visible to our clients. That implies that the corridor doors should be open during regular business hours and when anyone in a corridor is working.

When it's not necessary to close one's office door (see above), it is recommended that doors be kept open, or at least ajar. A practical corollary to that is that loud conversations (especially in the halls) should be avoided.

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Topic revision: r3 - 2018-08-27 - LawrenceFolland
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