Penketh Group state that 80% of companies want staff to collaborate more, while top performing companies reportedly spend 23% more time collaborating than their competitors.
So what should you have in place to ensure your collaborative efforts are as effective as they can be?
The right space
Collaboration, especially in an open plan office can be disruptive for other members of your team. This is why it is crucial to provide a dedicated space for collaboration that avoids you running the risk of distracting other people working within your business.
The perfect collaborative space will be a creative hub, allowing your team members to work without distraction and easily communicate and share ideas.
A dedicated breakout room is a great option for doing this. It isn’t as formal as a traditional meeting room, allowing ideas and conversation to flow freely. These sorts of spaces should be relaxed and comfortable to help people think and develop ideas.
In an office where different teams work separately there might be less interaction between staff. When it comes to collaborating being able to make sure staff are comfortable and relaxed can help break down any communication barriers and promote more effective working.
That said they also need to be places where staff can still work. Smaller desks or a round table work perfectly they encourage discussion and moving around, as opposed to a longer table commonly found within board rooms which can often feel a bit stoic and uninviting when trying to come up with a creative solution or work together on a project.
In smaller offices with less space this might mean creating a meeting room with a dual purpose, functioning as a client facing and corporate space but also being able to transition into a place for collaboration.
This could be achieved through an adaptable seating arrangement, allowing you to reposition or rearrange furniture to completely change the look, feel and function of a space.
The right technology
It isn’t just the space that impact how well a team collaborates, you also need the right access to technology.
In a collaborative space it is important to have means to present ideas. Screens and interactive white boards and smartboards are great for working on ideas collectively. Enabling groups to collectively work on projects without relying on communication via email and large chains of tracked changes and amends.
Helping to foster effective collaboration can have a positive impact on a business.
Working together more closely can improve the quality of the work produced. It can also massively benefit morale and office culture, creating a more fluid environment with more open communication.
Creating an environment suited to collaboration, with the right layout and technology can help break down barriers within a business and encourage effective communication between staff. Becoming a stronger foundation for future collaboration benefitting a business, it’s culture, its staff and the work it produces.
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