We may be preaching to the choir when we say this, but office design has a tremendous impact on how employees work. According to studies noted in our April design news post, the designed work environment has the power to encourage—or discourage—team members’ creativity, productivity, and collaboration.
Creative collaboration is more than just a business buzzword. It’s a proven business practice, with benefits for the company and for those who do the work.
Granted, developing a collaborative work environment isn’t easy—it requires well-planned communal spaces, the right furniture and tools, good organizational leadership and communication, and a shared commitment to goals.
But it’s fully worth the effort. Let’s look at a few reasons why.
Why collaboration is good for the company
First, collaboration yields better solutions to challenges. When you put two (or four or six) heads together, you often get better answers than you’d get from someone working solo. Approaching a question from multiple perspectives can spark more well-developed solutions.
Second, collaboration enables faster problem resolution. Teams working together can speed their way to solutions by sharing not just ideas but also tasks and accountability. It’s the “many hands make light work” principle, and the result is improved productivity.
Collaboration also produces more knowledgeable employees. By working with colleagues from different departments, employees get a better grasp of how the company runs and where their job fits in. Collaboration and social connection can also help seasoned team members (boomers nearing retirement) transfer their knowledge to millennials.
And effective collaboration improves employee morale. It boosts everyone’s sense of accomplishment and builds trust across teams and time zones—which, in turn, brings further benefits.
Why collaboration is good for workers
For the practitioners of collaboration, the practice creates rich learning opportunities. Workers in collaborative teams encounter diverse views, insights and skills. This keeps employees learning and growing, while also giving them a better understanding of what they’re good at and what they might need help.
Collaboration gives workers better support. The social connection and shared sense of purpose found in a collaborative work environment make it easy for people to receive the answers and project support they need from colleagues. This improves team members’ performance.
Finally, workers in collaborative offices experience greater job satisfaction. Inspiration and ideas flow more freely in a collaborative workplace. Built-in accountability encourages effectiveness. And the freedom to collaborate on some things and work alone on others gives workers a sense of balance. All of this helps employees find fulfillment in their work.
This list of benefits is far from exhaustive, and it doesn’t touch on the good that comes to end customers as a result of creative collaboration. But the point is clear: collaboration works.
To explore collaborative space planning ideas, see our collaborative office space board on Pinterest.
Workers Using Coalesse Products in Collaborative Environments