Workplace Banter

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Danbone
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I believe it is essential for moral of the project team.

We have two project teams in one building and the team over from us have a very friendly atmosphere and theres alot of banter (not sure on work productivity though).

Now my team we sit and work the only sound is the keyboard keys!

I think I am on the wrong team! How can I create a more relaxed and friendly atmosphere allowing for some banter without crossing the line and sacrificing on work?

Thanks
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dhaughey
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Danbone,

Team members tend to take their lead from the people around them, so if their manager works quietly and doesn't engage in banter that's what they're going to do. Try engaging in some banter with the team and I'm sure they'll soon join in.

Thanks
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kwalford
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Personally, I would much prefer to work in a quiet environment.

Banter is good at times (Friday afternoon for instance) but I think it is reasonable to say it lowers work productivity. I find it to be a bit of a snowball effect too; it drags in more and more people in the office as it escalates.
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begeland
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There's a fine line on the workplace banter....I completely agree. Some is good, a lot is very damaging to productivity. What are your team meetings like? If there is some minimal banter during those or if they end (or begin) with some discussion centering on what's going on in everyone's life outside of work (briefly) that might encourage some minimal workplace banter as you start to feel more comfortable and casual with each other and get to know each other on a more personal level. Allowing too much banter during project team meetings can lead to too much casual banter in the workplace as well.

I guess I'm in the mode of - no banter is definitely better than too much banter so I'd I definitely wouldn't mind the quite, productive workplace. That's 90% of why I'm such a fan of virtual teams and remote project management as my experience with co-located project teams and my own experience as a department manager was that it becomes too easy for people to stop by to talk about anything (most of it non-work related) and then I can't get my work done. I probably sound pretty unsocial...which I don't think is true by my wife sometimes disagrees. My 2 cents worth....
Brad
Danbone
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I agree in that its a fine line between and can easily go too far, but also that if morale is increased then it can serve to be a benefiting tool within the workplace. A team high on morale work better than a team in silence with no morale!
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