How to Create A Collaborative Workspace to Improve Teamwork
Creating a workspace that inspires individuals and encourages them to collaborate and work together is key to strengthen company culture and retain talent. Plus, great ideas are likely to spark out of random conversations and innovation is disruptive when it involves various people.
Because of this, companies are increasingly searching for ways in which to enhance their workspace to improve and drive teamwork. Yet, it takes more than a few shared desks and an open works environment to truly get employees to collaborate work together. Companies need to keep in mind that professionals today are looking for an integral workplace experience, and in order to do this, companies need to figure out ways in which their offices become a sort of destination for their workers.
How can you go about this? There are some simple ways to create a more collaborative workspace and that don’t necessarily require a full renovation and change in workplace design. One way to ensure people interact with one another is to have casual environments where they can strike up a conversation with people outside their departments. One of the best places to do this is the kitchen. Think about ways in which you can make your kitchen more inviting; offer good coffee and a wide selection of teas and healthy snacks.
Another way to encourage collaboration within the workplace is to have casual meeting areas that people don’t need to book in advance but that are used on a first come, first serve basis. That way if two or more employees find themselves talking about a specific issue or problem, they can easily use one of these spaces to continue the conversation, as opposed to having to put a hold on it while they book a room. By that time, the ideas and inertia might be gone.
Events and other social activities are also effective in getting people that wouldn’t normally interact with one another to do so. These events can be a company workout challenge, a happy hour, or a workshop. These types of activities are great at establishing bonds that can later lead to working together and collaborating on company projects.
Last but not least, celebrate accomplishments. Whether it is that the sales team overcame its monthly goal, or that the marketing team hit a new record high of followers it’s important that you celebrate these accomplishments as a company, and not just as a department. You will be surprised at how often someone from the IT team might have a great idea that can be useful for the sales or accounting team. It’s all about fostering conversations between people, regardless of which area or department they work in.
The best ideas often come from people that are specialized in different areas; finding ways to bring these people together is likely to have a positive impact in your organization, especially as these ideas are more likely to be robust, well-developed, and innovative.