Everyone is talking about the impact of collaborative workspaces – here are three ways you can make your work place more collaborative, without moving!
Despite what you may think, collaborative work and/or coworking environments are not that new, though they are, thanks in part to the rise of companies like WeWork, much more visible.
But does a redesign which is tailored to meet your teamworking needs inspire workplace productivity? Studies indicate that it does. Modern workplaces celebrate problem-solving synergy, but when it comes to inspiring more collaboration, one of the main challenges is how to balance “me” vs. “we” space in the office. Although increasing collaboration has become a ubiquitous goal among forward-thinking companies, it is important not to be overly invasive in encouraging it: If a renovated workspace is dominated by too much common space, employees often feel like there’s too much “us time” which can leave people feeling disinterested, less connected, and wondering if they actually contribute anything of worth.
While different organizations use a variety of design solutions to encourage collaboration, the emphasis on increased collaboration reflects a new way of working for all – the shift from a linear mode of production to a more dynamic, digital one.
Three Types of Spaces that Balance “me” and “we” time: Remember you don’t need to relocate to make these changes.
- Collision – These are strategically located communal spaces where people can get food and drinks and socialize when they run into one another. These spaces should create an experience that is distinct from the rest of the workplace.
- Mixed-use – Mixed-use, mixed-scale, and mixed-personality rooms and furniture clusters allow users to approach their work creatively. Spaces with their own personality, such as workshop-like “maker” spaces or home-style living rooms can inspire nontraditional modes of meeting and sharing. These flexible spaces empower users to modify the space to meet their immediate needs.
- Huddle – Although collision spaces are typically the largest drivers of collaboration culture, they do not always provide a distraction free focus space critical for thinking through problems and innovating. Small huddle spaces with a mix of screens, whiteboards and flexible seating options not only support small-group brainstorming sessions, but they also easily adapt to solo “me -time” type of work.
When you approach adapting your workspace to promote teamwork and collaboration, make sure that you take the following steps:
- First define what collaboration means to your company
- Engage a design consultant to make recommendations
- Work with the design to understand the space and identify collision, mixed-use, and huddle zones.
- Provide staff with a choice of work settings
- Ensure the designed space is reflective of your organization
- Remember a good design consultant can recommend changes to your current space to make your office more collaborative, without the expense of an office relocation.