When creating future-focused offices what is the first thing that comes to mind? For many, their initial thoughts go to which technology to implement and recent design trends? But what are your employees really craving from their workspace and work culture?
With so much experience in office fit outs, we’ve found that the key to developing a great collaborative working space for your business starts with developing a solid understanding of how your employees work best and reflecting on what they need and want in the future.
Following the increase in working-from-home behaviours, one of the many appealing factors of working in the office continues to be the opportunity to connect, collaborate and communicate with colleagues in person.
Despite this, some businesses are still not thinking about collaboration or their teams needs when it comes to designing new or existing office spaces. So how can you create an office space that more effectively promotes collaboration?
When collaboration is the goal, it goes without saying that you need to create designated spaces for your workers to collaborate whilst in the office such as meeting rooms and bookable workspaces.
Recently, we worked with Glide on their head office project, where our team created a new boardroom that provided a private and welcoming space for employees to collaborate. Within this office they specified smaller pod-like meeting spaces where pairs or smaller groups could gather and share ideas more privately.
These spaces are designed for the main purpose of providing designated areas where collaborative work can take place without causing distractions to other workers or being distracted themselves by external sounds.
The importance of socialising in the workplace should not be overlooked, virtual solutions simply cannot replace the spontaneous and informal collaboration that happens when you bump into someone in the staff kitchen or communicate with neighbouring colleagues at your desk.
To ensure that your workspace is working to naturally enhance the work of your team, more consideration needs to be made into how to make these spontaneous moments of collaboration possible.
Throughout your office fit out or refurbishment, look to create more breakout areas such as clusters of seating areas comprised of soft chairs or sofas, or even implementing more communal spaces within the existing staff rooms or kitchen. Where possible these areas and furnishing should be adaptable so that they can flex to accommodate the user or the purpose for which they are being used.
During our McColls office fit out project, we created a range of informal spaces where employees could collaborate on projects or simply socialise and form those crucial bonds with each other.
To facilitate collaboration and socialising in the main workspace, you may also want to think about how you set up desks and workbenches – try not to block off eye-contact from others since this can leave employees feeling isolated and alone.
We outlined at the start that for your office space to work, you need to understand what employees want from the space. This means ensuring that you know what everyone needs – not just one department or seniority level. While your board members and management teams may need large meeting tables for everyone to sit and discuss at, the wider team may prefer smaller environments which are more welcoming and designed around spontaneity.
Successful office fit outs or refurbishments should deliver a range of flexible collaborative working spaces that can meet the needs of everyone in your business. You can either achieve this by creating multiple types of collaborative working spaces – or you can provide spaces that can be easily adapted depending on the needs of those occupying them at the time.
With all the varying needs of the Department for Work & Pensions, we created a range of collaborative spaces including smaller meeting tables, private offices and large boardrooms during the fit out for their Job Centre in Yate.
You should also think about how you can maintain the collaborative atmosphere with employees working remotely – are your meeting rooms set up to accommodate remote and in-person workers with the right tech set-up?
Collaborative working isn’t just restricted to your core team of employees and management. In fact, there are a whole range of other uses for these spaces with enhance and promote collaborative working with your wider business network.
By creating spaces that can host important guests or customers to your business, you’re also creating an opportunity to further bring your brand to life and making good a lasting impression.
Other uses for collaborative working spaces include:
The ability to collaborate in person will remain one of the core reasons why the majority of employees and businesses will not be looking to do away with their office network.
Instead, businesses who ensure that their workspaces are set up to accommodate this way of working, will gain more from their property investment whilst helping to drive team productivity.
The global working culture has evolved substantially over the past few years, with behaviours and attitudes to work shifting and workers demanding more flexibility in their work environments. This ever-shifting landscape will stand still for no one, therefore our workspaces need to keep up with the rising change in pace, so that we can continue get the most out of them.
At Resolution Interiors, we specialise in bringing your vision to life through interior fit-outs and refurbishments of new and existing sites, as well as relocations. We work with you to create a bespoke environment that delivers for customers, employees and shareholders alike.
Alternatively, why not give us a ring on +44 (0)1935 422 700. We look forward to hearing from you.