Open Door Policy by Robert Finkelstein

open_doorIt’s great to have an “open door policy,” but it might hit you on the way out. As one who has managed teams of 5 to over 500, I highly recommend taking a look at how available you make yourself throughout the day. I used to have a constant flow of people in and out of my office. One person jokingly suggested I install a ticket dispenser at my office to help manage the line that often existed.

It’s one thing to prioritize…it’s another to schedule your day. Take into consideration your “prime time” and what you need to be doing during that time. Make sure you take that into consideration when planning your day. What I’m suggesting is designating times during the day to do all that you’re responsible for. By focusing on one area at a time, and not allowing distractions to interrupt your attention, you will definitely help you complete it much quicker.


Here’s a short list, in no particular order, of some of the things you might want to consider scheduling:
1. Read and respond to emails
2. Open letters
3. Meet with you team
4. Work on projects
5. Make and receive phone calls
6. Conduct meetings in your office
7. Have meetings outside the office
8. Take time for yourself / Breaks

Having an “open door policy” to your work day will severely reduce your productivity. Take into consideration that when you implement structure to your day, your team may not like it at first. If they felt that they always had access to you, they may initially be put off by the change. When it’s that time of your day when you’re available to your team, make sure you are. Trust me, once they see how productive you’ve become, how focused you are, they’ll want to do the same. Work with your team to create a structure that works well for everyone.

Now get back to work. Reading blog time is over.

If you have any questions or comments,
please write them below or email me at


3 Responses to “Open Door Policy by Robert Finkelstein”

  1. I recommend scheduling office hours – just like professors do in College. Let your team know that you are available from 9AM-10AM every M, W and F – or whatever. And when they send you an email or IM or “drop by to ask a quick question” just suggest they come back during your office hours.

    You’re so right, Robert – we train people how to treat us, by what we expect, what we’re willing to put up with, and the boundaries we set (or don’t set).

    If you want other people to change their behavior, you need to own that you taught them how to treat you. So teach them something new!

  2. At times during my College Administration years my small 10 X 8 office transformed into grand central station. Along with my open door policy I had one rule. As soon as the number of people hovering in my office grew to ( 5 ) everyone had to stop and do the twist. It didn’t happen too often but when it did, it was the my highlight of the day.

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