Collaboration in the workplace doesn’t just mean annual conferences and full-team meetings every other week. When you create and allow your team members to engage in collaborative workspaces, you nurture an environment in which ideas can be shared and developed, different teams can work together, and problems can be ironed out quickly with enhanced communication.
And that’s not the only benefit of collaborative working. By creating different areas for your employees to work in, you allow for enhanced productivity by making both collaborative and quiet working more accessible – not to mention you boost employee motivation and retention and present your business as one which is flexible and versatile to all working styles.
With all that said, and the benefits of collaborative working spaces abundantly clear, what does it take to engage in the kind of office design which promotes such creativity and collaboration?
Here are just some of our top ideas for bringing to life a vibrant, inspiring space.
It can be tempting to flood every corner of your office space with branding colours, however depending on what these are you may be doing more harm than good. While colours like red can overpower a space and create an environment of stress, opting for yellow and green colour palettes can help to promote creativity and nurture energy-boosting collaboration.
If you are looking to create an inspiring space for collaborative work, then you need to do more than just add a door and some soundproofing. In order for your new space to be somewhere that inspires your team, take the time to design it in a way which is different to the main body of the office.
This could be achieved in the furnishings (for example, sofas and bean bags rather than solid desks), the addition of whiteboard surfaces for jotting ideas down, and the inclusion of speakers or screens for presentation run throughs.
More often than not, office lighting is the last part of the office design process that businesses actually think about – leaning more towards energy saving solutions and not really considering the impact that lighting has on energy levels and creativity.
Where possible, design and create your collaborative office space in a room or area that benefits from natural light and install both surface and ceiling lights to allow for the environment to be adjusted and brightened when required.
From company quotes on the wall to indoor plants on the surfaces and tables, the way you decorate your collaborative working space will play a part in the creative process of your team – reminding them of the company vision and adding a sense of positive calm into the space.
The more you can do to set this collaborative working space apart as an area of calm, creative, and productive energy, the better and the more effective you will find it to be.
If you have the floorplan and capacity, why stick with just one collaborative space? Consider integrating a large open plan collaborative working area into your office, as well as one or two smaller huddle rooms where two or three employees can get together to go through ideas.
If the idea takes off and you find that more of your team want to use the space, consider creating a booking system whereby different teams and employees can reserve and arrange meetings within these areas.
A big part of any modern office design project focuses on wellness and the importance of a balance between work and downtime. Factoring wellness into a collaborative office is a broad topic, with a multitude of different options available to workplaces of all sizes.
However, some of the best and easiest ways to work wellness into your office design include more break areas, encouraging employees to move away from their desks to enjoy lunch and tea breaks, and providing different work chairs and desk options for different moods. Standing desks, for example, are becoming increasingly popular – while two colleagues looking to enjoy a quick one-to-one might find that armchairs offer a better and more relaxing environment.
Creating a collaborative space within your office doesn’t just mean simply closing the door and letting different teams discuss and share ideas. It means designing a space which inspires, and which unites the branding and vision of your company with the freedom for employees to explore and discuss innovative concepts and ideas.
From colours to décor, furnishings, and more, we hope that this blog post has inspired you with some ideas for your perfect office space. And if you need help in bringing any of this to life, our team are here to help and advise!