how to encourage
Why is Collaboration in the office Important?
Within the workplace, it’s important for team members and departments to communicate and collaborate together to make the most of every project, ensuring the best ideas and practices are heard and adhered to. Teamwork helps to encourage creativity, engagement in addition to improving the morale and overall well-being of your staff, yet it remains one of the most underutilised tools within the workplace today.
75% of employers believe collaborating is “very important” to creating a successful workplace, so how do you encourage collaboration in the office? One of the simplest ways to increase communication is to create an agile working environment with informal meeting areas, breakout spaces, project areas, flexible spaces for large groups, and semi-private or private meeting areas for smaller groups. These agile
workspaces are flexible enough for just 2 persons through to large groups of 10 or more, Agile workspace encourages staff away from communicating only by email, facilitating group discussion. Theoretically, staff workspaces can change every day to their task, as can their office neighbours – encouraging more interdepartmental collaboration, generating more diverse ideas and productive working practices.
The type and function of the office furniture within these workspaces will have an impact upon their effectiveness, with acoustics, power and data and style of furniture being key to its success. Sound has a great impact on staff, particularly affecting the quieter members of the group. Acoustic baffles, high back sofas and upholstered office pods will help to provide a safe environment to voice ideas.
Equally, reconfigurable flip-top tables and inclusive shapes ensure each member of the team is seen and not stuck out of the way. Simply ensure all the furniture selected has the necessary power and data to support laptops and facilitate presentations.
Furniture and the design of an office will always have a great impact on the success of a business, with 65% of workers claiming they would consciously improve their performance if the office was stylish and comfortable. However, while this may impact staff individually, it’s key to also encourage socialising inside and outside the office to create genuine friendships, as we are more likely to voice opinions among people we are comfortable with. Of course, after the huge successes of the teams project, there should be awards and recognition of staffs achievement to encourage the continuing collaboration!
“Flexiform have always encouraged collaborative working, particularly in the Sales, Design and Marketing departments. With no set desks for our teams, every day we get to sit by somebody new, somebody with different ideas and viewpoints. This approach has given us a whole new approach to working and sharing ideas”. Lucie Carr – Interior Designer
recognise, reward and celebrate staff and team achievements. In turn, this will encourage staff to collaborate on future projects.
establish team goals to give everyone an aim. by staff knowing their role within the team it can make them more efficient, confident and encourage communication.
encourage staff to socialise in and out of work. breakout areas and canteens encourages team bonding, making it easier to communicate on projects.
IT equipment allows free movement in the office; laptops, mobile phones and monitors are key to movement around the office.
ensure everyone is seen and heard in group meetings with multiple collaborative work areas to choose from depending on the size of the group.
provide a semi-private collaborative work area using high back furniture and acoustic baffles to encourage quieter members of staff to voice their opinions.