October 19, 2018
By Workspace Resource
For many businesses, collaboration is an essential component of effective workflow. In these environments, coming up with creative ideas, and overcoming obstacles requires a high level of teamwork. However, collaboration isn’t something that happens effortlessly, it needs to be facilitated.
Why do so many businesses use office design experts? In short, it’s because encouraging collaboration through furnishings isn’t something that comes naturally to most. They either go full steam ahead towards a completely open concept that lacks any individual privacy, or they go the opposite direction, putting up walls and cutting team members off from one another. There’s a happy middle ground, and a design professional can help you achieve that.
Above all, collaboration requires flexibility. It’s furniture that isn’t mounted to a wall or to the ground. It's workstations that can be easily and quickly moved and rearranged to suit different needs. It’s desks that can be turned into standing desks, chairs that can be height-adjusted, and tables with storage or connectivity outlets. Collaboration is often spontaneous, but the office design has to provide a space for that to happen.
Almost no job requires constant interaction, and for good reason. Each employee should have a workspace that’s afforded some amount of privacy so that after the team meetings and delegations they can get to work without interruption.
Pro Tip: The best office designs skillfully balance the “we” and the “me” for a space that’s functional and flexible.
Open plan office designs have gotten a lot of criticism, stemming from the noise created within them and lack of privacy afforded to employees. This leads to heightened stress levels, more distractions, lower productivity and a less than stellar standard of work being produced. To counter to this, provide individual space with team space. Team space could be a large conference room outfitted with comfortable seating and a sofa near the back of the room for more private conversations. The team space should be at least partially separated from individual workstations to prevent a disruption to those working.
Despite mixed reviews, the open office remains a popular workplace design for good reason. It fosters collaboration, promotes learning, and nurtures a strong culture. It’s a good idea that is often poorly executed. For a positive outcome, partner with a reputable workplace design firm that has the expertise to achieve the end goal.