Picture the scene – it’s a familiar one in hundreds of workplaces across the UK, if not the world. The boss comes in, says morning and has a quick chat with everyone. Maybe they stop and make a cuppa or a coffee for a few of the early starters. What a brilliant boss.

Then they go into their office and shut the door.

A few hours later the door opens and they emerge. Off they go to a meeting, or they’re on their mobile engrossed in what sounds like a really important phone call.

Then they go into their office and shut the door.

This pattern repeats throughout the day. And the week. Then comes the floor meeting when the boss takes half, or maybe, even a whole hour to give everyone an update, listen to whatever concerns people have and answer a few questions. They conclude the meeting with: ‘You know where I am. You can come and talk to me any time. My door’s always open.’

Then they go into their office and shut the door. (Guess they didn’t mean it literally.)

You get the picture. In a lot of organisations, some managers see having an office as a perk. They get to make it how they want and can work in peace. It’s a symbol of power and they think they’ve made it now they have an office. But the trouble is, an office can be really intimidating for anyone else in the organisation. Especially if the door’s shut.

It’s about being visible and accessible, which are both really important. The boss in this instance has got a certain amount of visibility. They take a bit of time to interact with people, and even get the kettle on occasionally. They also give people an opportunity to find out what’s going on and talk about things. All good.

However, they’re not really accessible. It’s pretty obvious people wouldn’t feel all that confident going to knock on the door and ask the boss a question, or for reassurance about their job in times of uncertainty. They’d probably do anything except approach the boss’s office.

To be really accessible, you need to tear down the barriers that suggest an ‘us and them’ culture. Start with the office door being open so people really can come in. You can close it when you’ve got important calls and meetings obviously, but otherwise leave it open.

Or why not go even further and ditch the office (at least for a bit)? Could you work on the shop floor with everyone else so you’re involved in the day-to-day hustle and bustle for a couple of days a week? You don’t have to be everyone’s mate like David Brent tries to be, but being part of the team can help you be more accessible.

If this seems a step too far, at least make a point of wandering around regularly so people can see you. This is especially important if your organisation has several floors – go and visit them all! And be prepared to stay and listen if someone wants to chat.

Instead of the weekly team meeting, you could try having an informal team breakfast or lunch once a week. If your organisation has a restaurant onsite, get everyone together for food or pop out locally once in a while if you can’t manage this.

It also helps if you know the names of people you work with. Make a point of using their names when you talk to them – if you don’t know someone’s name, ask them for it and remember it next time. They’ll really appreciate it.

It’s about doing something positive while you’re out of the office and being more accessible. If you can’t manage that at least keep your door open, and start learning some names.