According to a 2019 Capital One survey, 77% of office workers believe they would be more productive if their workplace had well-designed spaces for collaboration.
In the same survey, 88% of the respondents said they would perform better if they had designated spaces to get their heads down and work undisturbed.
Employers need to strike a balance between social, collaborative spaces and quiet spaces that induce deep focus to get the best out of their employees.
5 best collaborative office space design ideas
Designers and architects, too, have a part to play in this. Here are five ideas to build a collaborative workspace for fostering creativity and productivity.
#1. Open Workspace Design
Breaking down the physical barriers between team members has been a proven productivity booster.
Cubicles fell out of trend right at the beginning of this millennium. However, there are still some invisible barriers that create hesitation among workers in terms of engaging in collaboration. We’ll tackle that later.
An open workspace design is a good starting point. It encourages spontaneous interactions and makes it easier for employees to approach each other.
#2. Collaboration Zones
You cannot overstate the importance of a designated area for collaboration. It can be a room, a hall, or a demarcated part of the open work floor.
One of the key components of a collaboration zone is a whiteboard. It allows visual cues during meetings, makes it easy to jot down strategic inputs, and works as a centre for idea sharing.
You can make things more interesting by creating a writable wall instead of a wall-mounted whiteboard.
It gives you more space to express ideas, keep notes, and, when the occasion is right, play a round of spirited Pictionary.
Smart whiteboard paint by Smarter Surfaces is the perfect product for creating high-performance writable walls for office spaces.
#3. Technology Integration
It’s a good idea to invest in collaborative technology tools that enable seamless communication and information sharing.
These tools should cover both physical and virtual aspects of collaboration. For instance, your employees should have top-notch video conferencing, project management software, and document-sharing and editing platforms at their disposal.
At the same time, the office space should be equipped with a projector and projection screens to make the most of physical meetings.
The three-in-one magnetic projection whiteboard wallpaper by Smarter Surfaces allows you to create a writable wall that doubles as a projection screen and magnetic board.
#4. Flexible Furniture
Modular and flexible furniture arrangements that can be easily reconfigured based on the needs of different projects or teams can open the minds of employees to interesting collaborative possibilities.
The list of flexible furniture may include adjustable desks, movable partitions, and collaborative seating options.
This approach promotes adaptability and provides employees with a sense of choice in terms of organizing their workspace.
Informal social spaces within the office are also conducive to employee morale.
There should be a space where workers can gather for breaks, meals, or casual conversations. A well-designed kitchen area, lounge space, or outdoor seating area can do the trick.
These spaces contribute to the fostering of camaraderie among the employees as they make meaningful connections within the teams. This bond is reflected in their collaborative efforts.
It’s important to make employees a part of the process
Budding companies with new offices where the design and decor are still under construction have one great advantage.
They can include the employees in key design decisions. Whether it’s setting up a table tennis board or creating a silent zone for focused work, if employees get a chance to make themselves heard, it boosts their morale and fosters a sense of belonging in them.
You can simply open access to your whiteboard wall, where employees can anonymously write down their suggestions.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to giving the employees a happy, peaceful, and comfortable workspace. A good work environment brings the best out of every worker.
Hence, it is something employers as well as architects should bear in mind while designing workspaces.