Why Does Collaboration Matter?
The importance of collaboration is not new - it’s a well-worn buzzword in the world of work and has only become even more talked about since we were all forced to work from home for several months.
However, there is a reason collaboration is talked about so much. As the old saying goes, “if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Siloed teams that work separately and without proper communication leave huge amounts of value on the table. Making a true connection and collaboration a top priority is crucial to keep the silo effect from setting in.
There are countless studies detailing the close correlation between collaboration and productivity. Without meaningful collaboration, companies aren’t able to maximize their potential and achieve their vision. Collaboration is not limited to physical proximity, and physical proximity doesn’t guarantee collaboration either. But collaboration is much smoother and easier when team members are in the same space.
Your workspace has a crucial role to play in enabling and increasing collaboration in your company. There are several key elements to increasing collaboration when considering your workspace strategy:
In an age when the office is competing with the kitchen table, it needs to offer something the kitchen table cannot: variety. No longer is one worker doing one task alone, all day, every day. Today’s workforces demand a much higher degree of flexibility and customisability. They are working on a variety of complex tasks with a variety of people, and need a variety of spaces to support them.
Two of the biggest shifts in the 21st century have been around making everything more experiential and more convenient. When everything from films to food is “on-demand” and people value experiences over possessions, the workspace is no different.
There is a huge variety of collaboration furniture available to suit any budget and strategy. By creating a variety of teamwork and semi-private zones within the office footprint for staff to plan, discuss and share ideas, the workplace becomes a hub of creativity and innovation.
Possibly the greatest drawback of the now ubiquitous open-plan workspace is an absence of clearly defined spaces, given the wide variety of requirements that individuals and teams have. While the purpose of the workspace now includes more connection and communication than ever, your people still need some time and space alone.
Zoning is the best way to deliver the space your people need in your office. This design technique uses shelving and open decorative and storage systems to create clearly defined boundaries, without the need for the expense and inflexibility of walls. In an age of uncertainty, they can be reconfigured and adapted to suit the changing needs of your team, helping to future-proof your workspace.
Zoning can revolutionise how you use and occupy your office, helping to break up your space and helping to create areas designated for specific types of work and activities. By splitting your workspace into dedicated spaces for collaboration, semi-collaboration, and focussing, each space can develop its own energy and atmosphere.
Technology is inevitably at the heart of making your workspace more collaborative. In the new age of hybrid working, with people working at different hours in different places and different styles, connectivity- both technical and emotional – is more important than ever. One of the key concerns with hybrid working is that remote workers may be side-lined and lack engagement due to a lack of communication, and technology is the only way to bridge that gap.
The Covid pandemic took its toll on collaboration. From the overused video calls and messaging apps to the hybrid meeting pods, organisations are now compensating for this loss using inventive technology. Whether it’s through immersive mixed reality collaboration environments or innovative video meeting pods, you can increase collaboration and connection in your workspace through technology.
It’s essential to have both formal and informal meeting spaces that are designed for effective collaboration and equipped with digital tools that empower teams to work together no matter where, when, or how they’re located.
Serendipity is the cradle of creativity. The power of collaboration is that it can happen anywhere, anyhow, anytime. Not just meetings- in the breakout area, secluded huddle space or even a corridor or lift. Informal encounters are often the best opportunities to exchange thoughts, share information and communicate.
The modern office needs to be designed to adapt and evolve. Rather than having dedicated spaces for teams and tasks, it’s a more open environment with collaborative areas for teams. It’s an office design that adapts to the needs of staff, rather than forcing them to conform to it.
Simon Sinek updated the famous quote “music happens between the notes” to “work happens between the meetings”. Trust, on which collaboration relies, is built in between meetings, not in meetings. That’s one of the biggest challenges about remote working – “in between the meetings” doesn’t happen.
Faced with the complexity of the digital age, your people need the facilities to do what they need, where they need, seamlessly. Through empowering flexible communication, you can give your teams a great opportunity to collaborate synergistically, creating amazing results for your business.
Collaboration in your Workspace
Collaboration is the fuel that drives any successful organisation, and creating spaces where people can work together has never been more important in the workspace. It has an unrivalled power to achieve incredible things and bring your people closer together. The amount that can be achieved through synergy is almost limitless.
Collaboration brings teams with different backgrounds, expertise, and perspectives together to overcome obstacles and creatively problem-solve to achieve great things for your company, in a way that individuals cannot.
As the element of your workplace that your people interact with more than any other, furniture has an essential role in increasing collaboration. Through skilful use of collaboration and social furniture, we can create an adaptable and flexible modern workspace that fulfils the needs of you and your people.
Explore our collection of workplace collaboration furniture to get some inspiration for your perfect workspace!