In today’s business environment, it’s nearly impossible to have a conversation about evolved practices without discussing collaboration.
More than ever, companies are seeing the potential in working in community, embracing the idea that their employees and teams will work more effectively and be exponentially more innovative if they’re empowered to work together.
But what Is Collaboration, exactly?
By definition, collaboration is simply the act of working with someone else to create something. In business, that definition gets expanded to imply that the product of collaboration creates value that wasn’t there before.
How do we collaborate?
Collaboration is a natural part of the human psyche, we strive for connections in every other aspect of our lives, through social media, sports, night-life, and with even the desire for family, and yet we tell ourselves to switch off these in-built aspirations in the working environment. In order to create an environment where we can collaborate, we must simply make room for it. Knowing your context is important, and two practical examples to show this are within two very different sectors; technology and law/insurance.
A Technology Company;
- Tend to continually work on hot-button items.
- Mobility and flexibility are key to spaces – designers and engineers need to be able to quickly swarm an area.
- Rarely time for a formal meeting
- Flexible spaces with moveable furniture and useable surfaces will boost collaboration.
A Law/Insurance Company;
- Still need areas for focus work and formal/traditional conference rooms for meetings.
- Must maintain a professional aesthetic to attract and keep high-value clients.
- Employees should be encouraged to break out of their office regularly to socialize and refresh their batteries.
A recent survey found that 46 percent of people said that burnout plays a role in decreased productivity, encouraging them to step away from their desks for brief periods of time can help combat this. In fact, 71 percent of respondents felt that taking a break helped them improve productivity
Time to think.
In recent years, the working environment has removed people from individual offices or cubicles and placed them in to large open plan areas. Today’s workers have now lost their ability and time to think while in the office. As employees disengage, businesses suffer as well. In truth, regardless of the job, or industry, everyone needs time to process information, research and investigate. Creating spaces and a culture that encourages flexible working – that is, working in different ways, in different areas – can help to increase staff morale, loyalty to the company and their desire to work harder.