Offices can be stuffy environments. Whether in cubicles or open-plans, it can be difficult to focus. But perhaps their biggest drawback is that they are associated with work itself. Once employees step foot into the office, there are certain ways that they treat each other, ways they behave, and sometimes even certain formalities.
However, outside of the office and down at the bar, a different person emerges. Employees are often more relaxed, open, and honest. This isn’t being deceitful, this is merely how people cope with being employees in a formal office environment.
So if you want to have very honest communication with your employees and get them to open up, sometimes just changing the setting is enough to prompt this. People are often less formal and more likely to let down their guard. As the setting changes, so do the subtle ways that they interact with their peers.
Planning offsite retreats or hosting informal meeting at places like restaurants can get people to open up. They may be more willing to discuss problems, their own weaknesses, risky suggestions, or areas of concern generally. Creating this type of environment can be very beneficial for a business owner who wants to get the honest truth from their employees.