Why Collaborative Areas are Essential in Workplaces
“In collaborative workspaces, employees can cultivate authentic relationships, both with themselves and the company.” – Brandon Monaghan, the cofounder of Miracle Brand.
Few elements of employment are solely individual activities. It takes a team to bring an idea to life, and it requires the combined efforts of many people to succeed. So it is no surprise that modern office design favours collaboration and bringing workers together.
Collaborative workspace designs are not just about understanding the needs of the larger group. But are also about bringing the collective together, in a space where each person can contribute to a greater common goal.
Have a look at some of A1 Office’s collaborative areas from the past few years here!
What is a Collaborative Space?
To be truly collaborative a workspace needs the proper foundations to bring people together. For example:
Give employees enough room to spread out while still in proximity to the team is the simplest way to foster collaboration. Cramming too many people in a space that’s too small is a one way street to friction.
Cloud software and collaborative platforms, such as Slack and Zoom, helps to keep teams engaged and allows every member to contribute in their own time.
Lighting, sound, furniture and layouts all create the atmosphere of a collaborative space. Being able to work, while comfortable, especially in a constantly busy environment, is crucial for productivity.
Creating a space with an array of furniture, seating options and resources to cater to the various backgrounds and personalities you’re bringing together. The goal of a collaborative space is to bring individuals together. So cultivating a space that fosters individuality within a group dynamic is essential.
Benefits of Collaborative Spaces
Some of the benefits to a collaborative space within an office include:
Employee-Centric Office Design
The workplace has become much more human-centric as of late. The expectation that employees would come into an office and spend up to eight hours in a cubicle has been pushed to the side to make way for an environment better suited to their needs. This is why so many collaborative spaces are designed to allow for activity-based work, while still including private areas for employees to pop into to make calls or handle focus based projects. But also, including more informal communal spaces with cafe-style tables, or for those who prefer a more casual space, there are couches or other soft seat options. Allowing employees to choose when and how they work can result in improved work quality and higher productivity.
Reflection of Company Values
Depending on the size of the office, there are various ways to create a space that reflects your company’s culture and values. Bringing life through artwork and statement pieces (such as rugs and lamps). Collaborative workspaces have been intentionally designed so employees can do their best work, meaning you can make it your own. Having a private floor or building means you can incorporate your branding, logo and colours so the space feels unique to your company.
Creating a space that is reflective of your company culture is one way to invite new employees and increase the productivity and happiness of your current workers.
A study done by a team of researchers at the University of Michigan found that employees identified significantly more with their company’s culture when working in a collaborative space. This study also found that working in this kind of environment has improved employees’ perception of the company as well.
These are just a few of the benefits of working in a collaborative space. And because of these benefits, many companies are building flexible workspaces and using them to improve their business.
Office buildings may include private offices or floors in collaborative workspaces, but employees can still access a building’s common areas to network with other companies. This includes entrepreneurs, freelancers and remote workers. This collective bank of knowledge and creativity across multiple disciplines can be a major benefit to businesses.
If designed right, collaborative spaces offer a business various benefits. The most obvious being the ability for teams to work alongside each other, in an environment designed to promote productivity, efficiency and communication. Moving employees from isolation and putting them together complements the work they’re already doing by allowing collaboration and feedback as they work.
Collaborative spaces take the water cooler talk out of play, which encourages employees to socialize within their groups while they work. Instead of the alternative, taking time out of their work – this interaction becomes a part of the work itself. Creating a positive and inviting company culture, as well as camaraderie amongst co-workers is another result of a collaborative workspace. Being able to communicate as they work to create everything from inside jokes to friendships outside of the workplace. At A1 Office, we believe collaboration is essential to keeping your business ahead of the industry. If you’re looking for ideas on how to create a collaborative workplace for your business, get in touch with one of our consultants!