The new Google business center is designed to increase the chances of accidental meetings of office workers. Yahoo has canceled the right of employees to work remotely. According to Marissa Mayer, its CEO, “people are more collaborative and innovative when they’re together.”
In our new global society working methods are rapidly changing. Developing technologies and world competition make the business more complex, interdependent and dynamic. All this directly affects employees and their work space.
In this regard, the office design for team collaboration becomes a strategic tool of business development. If you want your company to keep up with the times, this article is for you.
Why every office needs a collaboration zone?
Apart from following the right team collaboration strategy, choosing the right team collaboration tools and listening to your colleagues’ needs, it’s equally important to create an office space that encourages employees to work together.
Office is a wonderful place for new business ideas, work, team communication – for everything that takes a huge part of business life. The great attention is paid to the office collaboration design, because it forms the image of the company, supports the corporate culture, stimulates the development of the creative potential of employees, and therefore, works for the company’s success.
What should be taken into account when planning an office collaboration space?
- The largest number of creative ideas are born in groups of experts from different departments.
- Up to 80% of all work is done in small groups.
- The workspace is one of the main tools for increasing interaction between office workers and administration.
- Effective teamwork rarely takes place in traditional meeting rooms. Today cooperation is permanent, spontaneous and occurs in any part of the office space throughout the working day.
People prefer the workplace where the following components are the most accessible: interaction with colleagues, collaboration spots in an office, access to technology, special space to support four forms of work:
- individual work;
- social relations in a team;
- training and exchange of knowledge and experience.
It is not enough to move furniture and expect that it’ll be the best office for collaboration and people will begin to cooperate better with each other – it requires planning, changes in the company’s policy and a little bit of luck. What requirements should the office space meet to ensure the best internal cooperation of the employees?
Office collaboration ideas
- Best office layout for collaboration
The open office layout where partitions and doors don’t prevent employees from communication has become popular by now. Indeed, about 70% of business centers are designed as an open-plan office. Such layout is rather cheap and allows companies to accommodate more workers into a limited space.
The considerable advantage of these collaboration office spaces is the ease of communication between employees, because they are generally familiar with each other. Working side by side, people begin to feel each other better, to quickly understand the thoughts of colleagues and to achieve collective results.
In addition, it becomes easier to maintain discipline in the company when everybody sticks to the same rules. The common working area is also a good opportunity to conduct an impromptu brainstorming session or to solve difficult issues. Moreover, less experienced employees can learn a lot and gain experience by watching their colleagues.
Meanwhile, the lack of communication is one of the biggest obstacles to creating a friendly team. When one department doesn’t really know what the other is doing now and how many employees are loaded with work, conflicts are inevitable.
- Collaboration office furniture
It’s not a secret that the office furniture reflects the company’s success. Each visitor, partner, customer first of all pays attention to how the working space is furnished. Comfortable, functional furniture gives employees confidence in the strong position of their company and promotes a respectful attitude towards the company management.
If the furniture is uncomfortable – work becomes a living inferno. A table or an armchair should be as comfortable as possible so that the person doesn’t have eyes/neck/back pain. That is why it is necessary to pay attention not only to the appearance, but also to the size of the furniture. The comfortable work that brings pleasure, increases the success and, eventually, the results of work.
Office collaboration furniture improves working spirit, gathers all workers together in relaxed environment and helps exchange ideas and hold a collaborative or private meeting in a constructive, but friendly atmosphere.
- Lounge office space for collaboration
Various office sounds have a significant impact on employees’ concentration and productivity. Workers need a quiet, convenient place where nothing will interfere, that’s why the collaboration office design is impossible without a relaxation room.
It is better to organize a rest area in a separate room. Any part of a working space, separated by partitions or cabinets, will also be fine. A well-equipped recreation area helps to take the edge off, to deal with the stress, disposes to communication and interaction.
The style of the lounge area should be the same as in the entire office or combined with the rest of the space. When choosing style for the collaboration office space, it is important to create a comfort and cosy atmosphere where tranquility, informal communication and full relaxation flourishes.
For example, decorate the windows with soft curtains, plants, install lamps with a soft, cozy light. Aquariums, small room fountains, pictures will also create homely atmosphere.
Some companies provide lounge areas with racetracks, exercise bikes, steppers, shower stalls. It’s no secret that regular physical activity makes our brain work better. Of course, this type of lounge area is the most effective, it helps employees to recover more quickly, but it requires serious investments and lots of free space.
Do your employees want to leave their workplaces as soon as possible? It goes without saying that effectiveness of such work will be minimal. Only comprehensive and integrated approach to doing business will help any company to develop effectively and successfully. The ideal office is not just a place where people come to sit for 8 hours, mechanically performing certain tasks on a daily basis.
When the office design is well-planned encouraging communication and collaboration, both office workers and company administration win.
Important aspects, such as layout, furniture or lounge area, are essential to ensure the best working conditions in your company. If you take all previous information into account, you will be one step closer to improving all areas of your business.
Also published on Medium.