By Jeff Revoy
Chief Operations Officer
SpaceIQ

New technologies and staffing strategies are changing the way businesses understand space utilization. It’s no longer about how much space a business has, but how it uses it. As a result, collaborative workspace trends are influencing office design strategies. Collaborative workspaces allow companies to do more with less, while enabling employee productivity.

Flexible workspace trends show how to help employees work effectively with others in an environment conducive to everyone’s needs. As a result, businesses enjoy improved workflows despite headwinds in commercial real estate, diverse employee needs, and constricted budgets.

Make change available to everyone

Look objectively at the physical office and the needs of all employees when designing the optimal collaborative work environment. Specifically, don’t limit collaboration to the departments where it’s traditionally prized. The future of collaborative workspace design goes beyond creative teams. Sales, programmers, and cross-department teams all benefit from environments that encourage workers to brainstorm new ideas and solve problems together.

Stay connected in the workplace

Collaborative office workspace trends affect how we work as much as where we work. The ways employees form lasting partnerships and share ideas have to shift alongside other changes. As we grow more efficient, connections between coworkers become even more important.

As integrated facility management platforms streamline work, we miss out on the interpersonal interactions formed while performing traditional tasks. It’s important to find substitute channels for staff to form these connections, keeping them invested in the company and its culture. Giving them space and reason to collaborate solves this new problem.

Open up for accommodation

Teams perform better when businesses break down walls. This also goes for intangible walls, like those between in-house employees and remote workers. Collaboration is just as important for workers sharing a cloud workspace as those congregating in a breakroom. Collaborative spaces accommodate everything from a visit to the office by traditionally remote workers to live-streaming video collaborations.

Reworking a floor plan to include open collaborative spaces gives businesses the opportunity to redefine space for everyone. Moving managers from behind closed doors puts them closer to the action and fosters transparency. Even though there’s hierarchy, everyone is on level footing.

Real-time seating

Collaborative workspaces accommodate the constant ebb and flow of people within the office. Desking is no longer a 1:1 ratio. Collaborative spaces grow to accommodate as few or as many people who need them at any given time, without the impact of vacancies or overcrowding that affect utilization. This adaptability ensures anyone can find a seat and get to work.

Activity-based workstations

Employees feel more engaged and productive when they have control over their space. Collaborative spaces are inherently agile and flexible. They conform to the needs of employees and change on-demand. It’s easy for people to do their best work when they’re always in control of their environment. Today, it’s a space for a three-person team meeting. Tomorrow, it’s a departmental brainstorming area. Next week, it’ll play host to a client kickoff meeting. Collaborative space is what it needs to be for all people using it.

Mood-inspiring surroundings

Collaborative environments inspire workers to generate and share ideas. To do this, the space needs to evoke feelings of creativity and inspire participation. Businesses should curate a beautiful space in lieu of a sterile office environment.

Think about the vibe you feel inside a hip café filled with creative thinkers hard at work. Apply these design principles to collaborative space. You can trade in cubicles for seating at circular tables or sofa nooks, bring in bean bag chairs, or hang art on the walls. The best collaborative spaces trade the drab cubicle farm look for design elements that make people feel relaxed. Consider:

  • Organic shapes, like curves reflected in furniture, desks, or even walls
  • Interesting lighting fixtures and cool ambiance
  • Natural textures like hardwood, stone, and fabrics
  • Comfortable, relaxing furnishing styles and concepts
  • Framed art, photographs, sculptures, and striking décor

Collaboration shapes tomorrow’s workspaces

These flexible workspace strategies support traditional cooperation among coworkers in new, accommodating environments. They’re driving the greater trend of inviting, intriguing, flexible workspaces that are conducive to both worker demands and business challenges.

Collaborative workspace predictions show a future where employees are more productive and businesses reap more value from investments. They’re changing how we work together for the better so businesses can continue fostering productivity in the best possible way.

Keep reading: Collaboration Software: A Must-Have for Modern Workers.