How Collaborative is Your Work Space?

September 26, 2019

Collaborative Office Space Tips

Collaborative Office Space Tips

Many modern offices are becoming more collaborative every day. While offices over the decades had tons of cubicles with blank walls that made face-to-face interaction difficult, office design solutions have caught up with the times and the modern worker. Open, team-oriented offices are easy to create, make working more fun, and help employees feel happier. Solar Art’s offices are very collaborative and we love it, so read on to learn more about the fun ways we get work done!

Is a collaborative office right for your brand?

When it comes to a collaborative work space, the first step is to ultimately decide if switching your office to an open office is right for your company.  While people typically tend to think of offices as dull, boring, and predictable, that image is changing. If you want your company to encourage creative problem solving, generate new ideas, and help everyone feel heard, then an open office might be right for you.

Communal desks make collaboration easier

Communal desks make collaboration easier

Open offices make heavy use of communal work spaces and breezy floor plans. Instead of being chained to a cubicle for 40 hours a week, employees in collaborative offices have no fixed seating. They can choose where in the office they work, and when. If a team member is on a tight deadline and has to focus, they can move their work space to a quiet place to finish up that project.

Open seating is easier when employees have access to communal desktop computers, but laptops make collaborative spaces even easier! Many of Solar Art’s employees use laptops instead of desktops, which make us easily mobile and more flexible about where and when we work. In our office, collaboration has never been easier! we can easily bring laptops to a teammate’s desk or take notes during a meeting without missing a beat.

Stand up meetings encourage communication

Open communication is key for completing projects on time and building rapport with your team. With that being said, Solar Art does regular stand up meetings which helps everyone communicate with each other and keep on track. In stand up meetings, the whole team is standing up the entire time and recaps what they did the previous week, what they’re working on the current week, and any issues or roadblocks they are having. We hold these meetings weekly, and anyone who misses the meeting just posts their weekly check in on Slack (the platform our company uses to talk internally) for everyone to see.

Keep these meetings casual and relaxed so everyone feels like sharing. Our stand up meetings at Solar Art are quick, and everybody stands up so no one feels put on the spot. Most of all, they are great opportunities to get help and feedback so everyone is more productive.

Use multi-purpose rooms and dedicated writing spaces

Multi-purpose rooms in an open office are handy for private meetings, quick storage rooms, or just extra work space. With mobile desks that can be moved around, flexible floor plan layouts let you designate work spaces as they are needed instead of letting a lot of empty space go unused. If your floor plan doesn’t have many rooms but you need to host meetings, talk to office design services that offer pop-up, mobile meeting rooms. 

While collaborative offices are great for teamwork and communication, sometimes you need a special space to get your ideas down on paper. Encourage your creative team to all work together in designated social spaces where they can brainstorm as a group.

Additionally, designated writing rooms in an open-floor plan are really useful, as collaborative offices with flexible work spaces can get really loud and distracting. Providing your employees with special rooms for focus and privacy lets them work more comfortably, be more productive, and feel more creative on the whole.

Collaborative offices promote team socializing

Collaborative offices promote team socializing

Open, collaborative offices promote socializing, conversation, and learning. The younger members on the team can learn success tactics from their teammates, while the senior employees get to hear fresh ideas from the junior members. Even better, open offices put people in different departments together in the same room that ordinarily wouldn’t know each other, so that they can talk and share ideas. This fosters a greater sense of community and belonging to a team than if employees were stuck in walled-off cubicles. At Solar Art, anyone can jump into a conversation about marketing, SEO, or some other conversation and add their insights. 

Use dry erase film for walls and windows

At Solar Art, dry erase film lets us brainstorm and write down ideas anywhere by turning windows and walls into canvases. Choose either a white dry erase film or chalkboard black dry erase film for your walls. If you want to write on your windows, choose dry erase films for windows like white film, frosted film, or clear film. You can write on the film with a dry erase marker and erase it when you’re done! Instead of storing clunky whiteboards that roll around and take up space when not in use, your windows become brainstorm canvases that don’t take up any extra room. When you’re done, you get your windows back with just a quick swipe.

If you want to make your office more collaborative and open, install dry erase film for your employees.

Security checkpoints make your open offices safer

With open offices lacking many doors or designated rooms, you might worry about who is entering your office space. Leaving sensitive company information or high-tech computers out in the open can be a scary thought. Cutting-edge security technology make sure that not just anyone can enter your office with doors that lock through a phone or with a key. If you have a room for storing your private information, put a high-tech lock on it. Never worry about intruders gaining access to your open space office again.

Since hiding expensive equipment is harder in open offices, put security film on your windows to strengthen your glass against breakage. Tinted security film or privacy film also protect your office from intruders by preventing them from seeing inside while you can still see out.

Collaborative offices are more than just the physical space

Collaborative offices allow for teamwork

Who says that collaborative offices are limited to just the office itself? Instant messaging encourages your team to talk to each other wherever they are, or take the time for more in-depth answers with links to resources. Or, your team can exchange funny GIFs or make notes to each other while brainstorming for future reference. Interruptions are a thing of the past with services like Slack, Google Chat, and Skype to make collaboration easier--even when everyone is in the office.

Cloud services like Google Drive and Dropbox also make your office more collaborative by allowing live document updating for total collaboration and teamwork. Multiple people can work on the same document at the same time, or leave comments for revisions. Say goodbye to clunky software with collaborative cloud services.

Collaboration is also about attitude and philosophy. Reminding your teams to work together can start with installing custom wall graphics that communicate optimistic, open-minded, and collaborative messages through images. Custom vinyl can feature any phrases you want to help your employees feel more inspired to work together, ask questions, and find solutions as a group.

Collaborative offices are easy to implement

If an open, collaborative office is right for your brand, then you’re in luck: some or all the features of collaborative offices are easy to add. Even if you can’t tear down your cubicle walls, start encouraging more teamwork among your employees, opt for instant messaging and cloud software, and employ flexible work spaces.

Talk to Solar Art about how we use collaborative office spaces and how you can make your office more open today.

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