Collaborative Office Space Changes You Need to Make
Posted on January 20, 2017 by Franco Alvarez
Change does not need to be huge to be effective. Even increments of change can make a difference. As we ring in the first month of 2017, consider making tweaks or changes in the way you run your office space. A great space for working can improve employee performance by enhancing company culture and inspiring creative thinking in the workplace, not to mention increase job satisfaction.
The way you manage a workplace must enforce the purpose of that space. Just like how a library needs to be a place conducive for studying and research, so does an office space to be a place where business can run smoothly.
Below are the changes you can implement to make a collaborative office space.
Get rid of assigned desks
Do away with the tyranny of the assigned desk to encourage people from different teams to interact. This makes people talk with other teams, as well as discourage a broader, “us” mentality when employees can share ideas and are aware of the work that other people in the company do.
Encourage team collaboration further by placing information walls near areas of work. It’s a way of anchoring projects and opening teams to suggestions from outside their unit. The same goes for where you hold meetings and project spaces. If it is near where people work, it must ideally be near the area of work itself.
Supply the right tools
The modern workspace can no longer do without the need for technology, more so a collaborative one. A place for collaboration would be beneficial with the availability tools and technology such as large screens for presentations and brainstorming sessions.
These tools aid in making projects seem less daunting by presenting huge amounts of information in an organized way that can be seen on a wall or screen. Information placed on such also allows employees understand topics easier.
Assign a dining area
A well-sized dining table is also some of the best areas where teams can collaborate on ideas and solutions. Push employees to interact with each other casually by having assigned places where food and drink can be enjoyed as a group. The social excuse of eating can be a way for employees shy of introducing themselves to others, as well as to get to know each other and their projects. Dining areas for networking foster camaraderie among the teams.
Dedicate spaces for specific tasks and ideas
Another suggestion for a collaborative workspace is to include pockets of areas such as padded cubicles or corners for teleconferences where employees can concentrate.
Also, since the best ideas come when the mind is relaxed or when the person is on a break doing something else, you may include spaces where they can take a quick break. These spaces can be meditation areas, a foosball machine, or even something as simple as a small mini-golf area to give their minds a breather.
Encourage a culture of collaboration
Are you encouraging your teams to work together? How open is the company to new ideas?
Collaborative spaces are important for a company so that employees can work together on projects, as opposed to being isolated and only focused on their own teams. The synergy of a group is greater than the fruits of individual labor.
In addition, collaborative spaces only work if the nature of the company itself is collaborative. The collaborative culture is not limited to office space relations, as a company can be as collaborative online as it is in the workplace.
Maximize the power of collisions
Spaces should be harnessed for maximum collaborative “collisions.” This means that instead of encouraging isolation for employees, spaces should be shared.
Create situations where interaction is unavoidable. This helps with the flow of ideas and solutions. For example, use only one door for entry and exit to allow employees to bump into each other naturally. Another option for collaboration spaces that move people are public spaces like hallways, pocket gardens, cafeterias, or even the presence of a coffee machine.
In the end, collaborative office spaces are places that encourage change to happen by promoting action and idea generation. A team that works together like a well-oiled machine is a team that can leverage on opportunities when they arise. These are the qualities a company needs to survive the cutthroat world of business.
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Franco has always had a passion for entrepreneurship. Even at a very young age, he would constantly find an opportunity to make a little cash on the side. May it be selling women’s bracelets made out of safety pins and cheap stones or writing research papers for his rich classmates who didn’t want to study, he took advantage of each chance he got. Now, as a father of three and a full-time entrepreneur, he believes that there is always an opportunity to be of service to your fellow businessman. All you need to have is the right intention, and the proper skill set to be of help to others. In his downtime, he and his wife find new things to distract their kids with.