The transition into creating more collaborative workspace furniture is in full swing and the advantages of incorporating them into your offices are too great to be ignored. One of the many things major corporations have in common is the significant investments made into research and development to improve all areas of operations. This is especially true for increasing productivity with office furniture.
Collaborative Workspace Furniture is a Growing Trend
In case you are not very familiar with collaborative workspaces and why they are ever-increasing in popularity, they are essentially office spaces with open layouts that increase creativity and innovation in the workplace. If you’ve seen pictures of the offices of innovative companies such as Microsoft, Google and Skype, then you are already well aware of the “cool factor” these workspaces provide. More than just trendy designs, however, there are a number of tangible perks of having a more and open collaborative workspace. Some of which include:
- A stronger sense of urgency to work at a higher level. This is due to being in the presence of others so there is a subtle pressure to be viewed as a strong member of the team.
- Improved working relationships between employees as the open spaces almost force collaboration and requires coworkers to develop chemistry with one another.
- Strengthened connections between employees and the product as well as the company mission.
- Worker satisfaction is increased because of the human interaction throughout the workday that allows for the development of beneficial working relationships
- Greater problem solving capabilities because of multiple skill sets being brought to the table, which allows for moving through tasks more quickly and enhanced efficiency.
Ways to Incorporate Collaborative Workspaces into Your Office
While collaborative workpsaces can be hubs of innovative designs, there are a few principles that should be adhered to in order to maximize the results.
Cubicles are very effective work stations for completing focused, individual tasks. However, they are very ineffective in supporting group activities and stifle the flow of ideas across the office. Open seating in the office creates a space where coworkers can comfortably gather to discuss current projects with one another and receive ideas they may not have come up with on their own.
Clear Walls and Partitions
For the same reason that cubicles are not ideal for collaboration, offices filled with closed spaces and walled partitions encourage working alone and closed communication. Recognizing there are needs for spaces where meetings need to be held in silence, however, introducing glass walls and partitions that are clear open up the entire office space. Other partition options that work well include workstations assembled like cubicles, but only have a 6-8 inch partition surrounding it so that coworkers can easily see and communicate with others around them.
Different offices have different needs which require varying setups for maximum efficiency. To get the most out of an office layout, create task-specific areas. For example, areas with ample comfortable seating are ideal for briefly resting and recharging. Areas with walls covered in chalkboard paint and conference-style seating make for great brainstorming sessions.
More Common Areas
Studies show that more interactions between coworkers, whether purposeful or accidental, results in open communication. Types of common areas that work well for this include cafeterias, kitchens and open places for reading that allows for casual conversations.
Furniture Brands Creating Collaborative Workspaces
While many of the Fortune 500 companies who are responsible for sparking the collaborative workspace trend have hired the services of top architects and interior designers to create custom office solutions, there are a many furniture manufacturers that are creating affordable furniture for open office layouts. Here are a few worth highlighting:
The Harbor Work Lounge by Haworth introduces sleek contemporary designs into the office space while combining elements of lounge chairs and task seating. Armed with an ottoman and a side table, this work lounge can stand alone as its own workstation or can be arranged with others to create a workspace that makes collaborating and brainstorming a comfortable and productive activity.
Turnstone by Steelcase
The Turnstone suite of office furniture by Steelcase is a case study on modern furniture that combines comforting elements of traditional designs with the clean and angular elements of contemporary The bivi workstations are a benching system that fosters a collaborative company culture by providing clear and open workstations that will not discourage workers by herding them into soul-crushing The Post and Beam collection is an architectural framework that allows you to build structured areas of an office that have clear glass enclosures that will offer the privacy of a walled-in room for conferences along with the openness of modern office spaces.
Making the Transition to Collaborative Workspaces
Before embarking on the conversion to creating collaborative workspaces, it’s important to plan ahead for how you will complete the transition. Look for full solutions from retailers like Tri-State Furniture who can deliver new furniture for your collaborative workspace while buying your current office Complete solutions like these make it possible for your business to focus on what it does best and relieves you from worry over what to do with your old office furniture as well as helping to alleviate the cost of the new furniture.
Tri-State Office Furniture recognizes that overhauling your current office space can seem overwhelming at first, but armed with the right information and resources, making the transition will result in an improved workflow and productivity for your business.