Create Natural Spaces for Collaboration
If you want your employees to think creatively, your workplace should give them as many opportunities as possible to do so. One of the best ways to kill a creative environment is when employees feel that they are chained to their desks with little encouragement to interact with others. You don’t need an open office layout to achieve this, but you should provide ample settings within your office to encourage communication and collaboration.
– Versatile work areas to be used in a number of productive ways
– More collaboration and teamwork
– Improved employee moods and attitudes
– Increased feeling of company closeness
– Different departments develop a better understanding of how their coworkers work
One of the most direct ways to do this is to make company information visual to all employees. Whether it be a white board, chalk board, digital display, or whatever, having company news and goals seen by your employees regularly, keeps them on top of mind and makes them priority for group discussions whenever and wherever they materialize. Position these displays closer to communal areas like break rooms, water coolers and other ares where employees are likely to stop and chat. Sometimes the best ideas come when we least expect it, so give employees the best chance possible to share their thoughts with others frequently
Speaking of break rooms and water coolers… what areas in your office give your employees the chance to meet and chat on a regular basis? Spaces like these are so important in order to make people feel comfortable (and encouraged!) to leave their desks to work with others. Not only do spaces like these help with developing new ideas, but fostering team camaraderie.
Adaptability is important. The more flexible your environment, the more individualized meetings and collaboration can be. Mobile furniture, WiFi, laptops/iPads, etc. can help make any space a meeting area or collaboration room that nurture brainstorming and discussion.
At the same time, try to give these spaces a sense of seclusion or remoteness that allows employees to feel content conversing over more important topics too. While water coolers, coffee makers and cafe areas are great for spontaneous conversation to develop, it’s not as productive to have a brainstorming session or conference call when people are constantly walking in and out, and running the microwave. Create a variety of nooks for quick breaks, impromptu meetings, casual conversation, etc. Whether it’s a sofa and lounge chair in the corner of the workspace or a small huddle room with a TV and phone hook up, the more opportunities you provide for employees to work together when it suits their schedule and work style, the more the creativity will be flowing!
For help creating some of these unique collaboration/break areas, contact us. We have plenty of new and pre-owned solutions to help you achieve the right environment for your employees!
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