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September 13, 2016

Creating office design for collaboration

In today’s working world, both organisations and its employees have demonstrated a need for collaborative working.

Collaborative working is beneficial for an organisation’s success. Employees yearn for social interaction and engagement which in turn contributes to their collaborative experience – crucial for innovation. And it’s through such originality that businesses grow, flourish and succeed.

However, while organisations are aware of this increasing focus towards collective working, many workplace designs struggle to offer collaborate spaces.

In this blog we will look at ways in which office design can facilitate collaboration.

The benefits

Creative, social and informal interactions provide the foundations of collaborative group decision-making. And it’s no secret that within a workplace that encourages group work, interaction and brainstorming that productivity can increase by at least 15%.

In an open-planned workspace, colleagues can simply turn to chat to one another about a work-related matter without having to formally schedule a meeting or create a diary invite. This improves general efficiency throughout the working day and will help get tasks done instantaneously.

In addition to this, a collaborative workplace can also improve the general social atmosphere. Being able to speak freely with your colleagues sparking and developing work ideas, or even non-related conversations, can improve overall happiness. Providing an organisation with a pleasant working environment will not only benefit and retain present staff, but will also attract new team members and make them feel welcomed and integrated into a new working environment.

Take a look at our blog about the benefits of an open plan office to find about other advantages.

Casual Collision

Following the footsteps of hugely successful companies such as Pixar and Google, many organisations are adopting the benefits of collaborative workplace design to infiltrate office culture.

Steve Jobs famously said that the best, most unique and innovative ideas happen in the corridor between colleagues who may not ordinarily work with one another. Collaboration will ultimately come more naturally where there are no restrictions. Please see our blog about what we can learn about Google’s office designs and decide whether you think there is method behind this way of thinking.

So how can office design accelerate this?

Collaborative workspace design doesn’t necessarily include a rolling armchair, ten whiteboards dotted across the workspace for spontaneous brainstorming, a ping-pong table or a state of the art coffee machine.

It’s important to acknowledge that whatever industry you work in, your office design and albeit culture will differ to that of another. At Workspace Design and Build we listen and we understand what your organisational goals and values are and aim to incorporate that into your office design.

Here are a few ways to boost office collaboration:

• Embrace and support technology: In an era where technologies are constantly advancing and generations are striving for the latest pieces of equipment and software – embrace it. Our workplaces are shifting alongside such changes and it’s important to create an office design that supports this. We recommend that office design includes smaller, breakout rooms so that employees who require use of laptops can work privately but still have the freedom to engage and interact with one another. These rooms should have necessary projection equipment which can help fuel effective brainstorming sessions.

• Flexible furniture: Rolling keyboards, chairs and even high-top tables will allow those who want to collaborate in a different area to do so more easily.

• Open plan: This method of office design is of course the most natural in instigating collaboration. As mentioned earlier, not only will it help boost innovation, but can also help cut costs and generate overall workplace wellbeing.

And you?
Do you think that collaborative working is the way forward to drive a business’s success? Let us know in the comments below or get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter – we’d love to hear from you!