Creative Ways in which a Whiteboard Can Be Used
Whiteboards come in different sizes and shapes with different functionalities. Also called dry-erase boards or presentation boards, they are common tools usually found in schools, offices, restaurants, etc.
When it comes to offices, using whiteboards in the right way can bring about a sea change in how information is shared, presented or displayed. In many ways, whiteboards are the unsung heroes of productive workspaces, with demonstrations and instructions being better conveyed with their use. Organisations would benefit in numerous ways from using whiteboards appropriately. For example, such tools have a huge positive effect on the level of involvement of all employees taking part in presentations or demos (Donoghue, 2013 ¹). Employees who are more involved contribute better to discussions, as well as taking more from them. This would increase their efficiency, which benefits companies.
There is an increasing relation between personal interactions and workplace performance (Waber, Magnolfi, and Lindsay, 2014²). For this purpose, companies can implement creative uses of office tools such as whiteboards in order to increase chances of interactions and collaborations among employees. This can go a long way towards leading to better ideas and teamwork. The following are a few ways in which whiteboards could be creatively used to facilitate better personal interaction among employees:
Tabletop Writing Boards
Clear glass boards covering the surfaces of desks or conference tables could be used for quick notes, doodles, personal reminders or funny quotes. With plain white, cream or any other light-colored background material behind the glass, employees can scribble items as and when they feel like it. In schools, this would prevent students from jotting down notes on tabletops with a pencil or a pen, which might be messier and more difficult to clean.
Each employee can be given a mini white board that they could prop up on their desk, or hang on the wall. Instead of using digital modes of communication, for non-urgent messages, an employee could write the message down on another’s mini board. Moving from their own desk to a colleague’s to leave such notes is a good way to get employees to move around more within workspaces, and thus interact more with their peers.
Magnetic Writing Boards
Magnetic surfaces can be used very creatively for putting up posters and notices or displaying badges. If employees take turns to carry out specific tasks, companies could get magnetic pins or badges that designate these responsibilities in a lighthearted manner. A magnetic writing board could be put up in cubicles or work areas and these badges could be passed between employees in rotation. This system could be a fun way to get employees to collaborate as well as keep track of tasks.
Semi-formal systems of working such as these could be made a part of company culture. When investing in hardware, furniture and tools for offices, companies could keep in mind the various creative ways in which these items could be integrated into the workplace. One company that provides solutions such as office furniture, mobile white board solutions, cabinets, etc. is AJ Products.
- Donoghue, M. (2013) "Bored or Board: The Importance of Whiteboard Presentations" Project Management.Com [Online] available from: http://www.projectmanagement.com/articles/281491/Bored-or-Board--The-Importance-of-Whiteboard-Presentations/ [accessed July 2016]
- Waber, B., Magnolfi, J., Lindsay, G. (2014) "Workspaces That Move People" Harvard Business Review [Online] available from: https://hbr.org/2014/10/workspaces-that-move-people [accessed July 2016]