Making A Place to Collaborate

When's the last time you left your desk to have a team huddle or brainstorming session? Chances are, it's been a while, and when it did happen, you were in a far-too-formal location where the space didn't fit the need – like a conference room for an informal meeting between three coworkers.

Providing employees with better collaborative space is becoming a stronger focus for businesses. These are places where two or more people can work together, share information, and exchange ideas without being quarantined to a conference room.

The challenge is to find innovative solutions to implement collaboration space without increasing square footage.

Why Collaborate

Every company solves a specific problem – it's what makes their business unique – and their problem-solving environment needs to be just as unique. Too many people misuse break areas as a place to get away from creativity, when in reality our minds are getting tired because we're having trouble being creative enough. True creativity isn't tiring...it's exhilarating!

We worked with an accounting firm to add "work cafés" that allow the company's most significant investment – the minds of its employees – to continue working even away from their desks. One year later, the space has surpassed all expectations. Small team meetings are continually moving and adapting the area to suit their needs.

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How to Collaborate

Recognizing how collaboration space benefits productivity is just the first step. The daunting task is implementing a useful solution without increasing overhead. Some methods we've seen work include rearranging workstations for small meeting areas, using corridors with dry erase walls, or even using file cabinets as tables and chairs. By providing each of the three collaborative environments (community collaboration; group collaboration; and individual collaboration), companies can deliver adaptive environments that suit a variety of projects and situations.

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How We're Collaborating

In today's team-focused work environments, businesses must be prepared to adapt if they want to retain talent and keep productivity at competitive levels. That's why we're practicing what we preach, redefining our own office standards to incorporate collaborative environments.

We're developing plans for our new and renovated offices only after identifying the needs of the different business unit, allowing us to develop tested blueprints of success that we can incorporate in projects further down the road.

WATCH "APRIL DIAZ ON DESIGNING COLLABORATIVE WORKPLACE ENVIRONMENTS"
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  • Tracy Herrmann
    Tracy Herrmann
  • April Vacca
    April Vacca
 
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