How Does Office Design Improve Collaboration in the Office

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In a large office different departments can often feel like they are working in isolation, unable to fully integrate with the rest of a business.

Office design specialists Penketh’s explain how the right office design can have a huge impact on collaboration within a business.

Dedicated Space
Providing a dedicated space for collaboration in an office can provide a creative hub for staff to interact and work together on projects. In areas where space can be at a premium a meeting room can be designed to have a dual purpose, functioning as corporate meeting space but also being able to transition to a collaborative space for ideas to flow freely.

This could be achieved through an adaptable seating arrangement, allowing for a simple change to the layout of a room to transform its function. The key to a collaborative area, especially in an open plan office, is that it should be separate from the main working area to ease distractions, but be easily accessible by every department to encourage interaction between teams.

The Right Equipment
The space needs to be set up to enable collaboration and the sharing of ideas. Access to screens and electricity will allow staff to use laptops and share ideas with a group. Providing ways to collectively work on pitches, presentations and projects without needing to constantly send email amends to one another in an office.

A round table can make for a less formal setting, encouraging people to speak more freely, outside of a traditional boardroom setup. In an office were different teams work separately there might be little interaction between staff members. When it comes to collaborating being able to make sure staff is comfortable and relaxed can help break down any awkward barriers and promote more effective working.

Comfy relaxed seating such as couches or beanbags will also help with comfort and helping people to concentrate in a more relaxed setting, this can help staff to communicate more effectively by removing the more traditionally stoic boardroom setting.

You could also consider providing means for staff to hash out ideas together, flipcharts, electronic smart boards or even a whiteboard wall would allow people to define and refine a project together.

Benefit of Better Collaboration
Providing the means for staff to properly and effectively collaborate can have a number of positive impacts on a business. From the creation of higher quality and more effective work, to the sharing of ideas and improving of skills. To an improvement in staff moral and the development of a more open and fluid workplace culture which avoids teams working in a silo.

Creating an environment specifically for collaboration, in the right area of the office and equipped with everything needed to help break down interdepartmental barriers and encourage effective communication between staff can be a huge benefit to a business, its staff and the work it produces.

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