Businesses are made up of individuals who work together to achieve their goals. Even when sitting alone at a desk, each member of the team should be contributing toward a wider project. Offices were once focused on metering out space for individual workers. But now many companies are trying to shift the focus towards more collaborative spaces. Working together and sharing ideas, skills and opinions are at the heart of a creative and forward-thinking business. There are many different ways that a company can create appropriate spaces for their staff to collaborate, ranging from meeting rooms to areas for relaxation.
Meeting rooms have long been a mainstay of the office environment, but today they don’t have to be as formal an arrangement as they might have been in the past. Though you might have rooms that teams need to book to use, you can also have spaces that can be used at any opportunity. If people can pop into a spare room whenever they need a private space to work, it provides privacy away from the main work area, where everyone might be milling around together. Also, unlike some other collaborative spaces, you can ensure that they are kitted out with all the necessary tools to hold a meeting or conference.
Incidental Meeting Spaces
Sometimes people start having discussions away from their desks, when they’re doing something unrelated. They could bump into someone in the hallway, they might be waiting for something to print, or they could be making coffee. These conversations can be some of the most organic and help people to share ideas more casually. One way to create these water cooler moments is to have an actual water cooler, which you can buy or rent from Blue Mountain Water and similar companies. You can also take the places where people already stop and talk and turn them into more official places to meet. For example, at Google’s office in Zurich, their IT support station has a coffee machine, making it perfect for impromptu conversations while you wait.
Social Areas Near Individual Workspace
Most offices still have the majority of their staff working at their individual workspaces. But sometimes they need to speak in person, rather than online or over the phone. A necessary discussion can sometimes end up taking place in limbo, standing around one of the people’s desks. You can prevent this from happening by providing more collaborative spaces nearby, so it’s easy to move over to a table or seating area to share ideas. For example, there might be a table and chairs at the end of a row of desks, private pods to slip into or sofas at one end of the room.
Opportunities for Relaxation and Play
You can also focus on the places in the office where staff can relax and enjoy themselves. Even when they’re not working, you can motivate them and encourage them to collaborate. Fun places allow for your team to bond and learn to work better together.