Rewind to the days of Vanilla Ice and office environments consisted of small cubicles, or staff squished in like sardines. Ironically collaboration wasn’t a priority and employers didn’t see the value of dedicated spaces. Fast forward several decades and collaboration spaces are now becoming an integral part of modern-day workplaces.
Why? Encouraging employees to collaborate can increase creativity, productivity, and often profitability, for a business. Breakout/collaboration spaces can combine as an area for social engagements, lifting team moral and providing an alternate space for individuals to relax and enjoy their downtime.
No longer a brand new invention; collaboration spaces comes in many types, making finding the right one to support your business objectives and employees working style difficult. Most organisations choose to have several types, offering multi-functional spaces within the office environment.
So what are your choices?
Booth: Booths can be built in or loose style furniture, great for lunch areas, working in smaller teams, individual space for work away from the desk.
Lounge area: Great for creating a warm and relaxing environment for teams to collaborate and bounce ideas off each other.
Overlapping breakout zones with the kitchen: having a collaboration zone, as well as an area for staff to gather in the kitchen, creates both a social environment and a team working area. The kitchen offers a warm open environment (more about that here), and a central hub for all team members, allowing for easy cross-collaboration in the office.
This is a hell of a concept, but collaboration/breakout spaces are known to create and support an agile working environment. formulating results faster, more effectively and creatively.
Creating various types of collaboration and breakout spaces in a commercial space, allows the workplace to cater to various behaviours. For example, some employees can’t work optimally in an open plan environment all day long. Having collaboration spaces like quiet pods, small meeting rooms, or booths allows them to work with the team, as well as having the space to focus on their own without any distractions, the definition of an agile workspace.
Additional benefits of collaboration spaces include encouraging staff members to interact and connect, which leads to a higher staff morale, increased motivation and skills, and a decreased sense of isolation. Furthermore, creating spaces that cater to individual employees working styles increases loyalty, productivity and staff retention, which in turn increases profitability for the business.
Conducted and formed, collaboration spaces are all about balance. If spaces are too close to the working office there could be noise and distraction, therefore careful planning at the design phase is required to ensure this does not occur. Overall, the benefits outweigh the potential downfalls of collaboration spaces in a business environment, but make sure you engage the experts and avoid a one hit blunder.