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Creating a Successful Collaborative Workspace

Posted by Breanna Sheldon on : October  12,  2017

Collaboration and innovation are the buzzwords in open plan office design. Collaborative workspaces foster the employee relationships that increase productivity. But creating a successful open floor plan workspace takes a more thoughtful approach than simply adding lounge areas. The best collaborative workspace designs encourage casual meetings and provide flexible spaces.

Collaborative Workspaces Need Flexibility

A collaborative workspace needs a spontaneous atmosphere to be successful. Designing without a fixed furniture plan empowers teams to fluidly rearrange a meeting area as needed. Small lightweight tables can combine into a large desk, or soft seating could circle around a low table for brainstorming. Movable screens might display presentation boards or be used for privacy. Fixed walls can also be used as pin boards or whiteboards. To make your walls multi-functional, paint the walls with whiteboard paint so employees can brainstorm wildly, writing wherever they like.

Why Open Office Designs Should Resemble Fun Places

We’ve heard the hype around modern office perks such as games, indoor slides and free lunches. Creating a sense of fun lowers people’s inhibitions, which increases collaboration and creativity. Consider adding an open kitchen area for group lunches to become spontaneous meetings.  Bar seating or a bistro style design will send the subtle signal to relax in this open floor design. Provide charging stations in any collaboration space so people can move freely with their laptops.  If a meeting area isn’t adjoining a kitchen, add a mini bar with healthy snacks nearby to bring people together around food.

Limit Noise in Open Floor Plan Workspace Designs

Open plan workspaces must pay attention to noise levels. Situate privacy pods around the edges of collaborative workspaces to allow phone calls or quiet work near the creative hub. Being adjacent to the “thinking” area keeps people from spending too much time in the pods. The health benefits of different sitting positions also bring people out to lounge areas.

To control noise levels, use an enclosed conference room to divide a noisy area from quiet workspaces. A glass pavilion in an open office plan provides a soundproof room and a sound barrier. It will accommodate large groups and compartmentalize sound within the space.

An Open Plan Office Design Is Like A Village

Think of a collaborative workspace design as a village. Private offices allow for quiet focus. But for creativity to happen, people must leave their pods and interact. AirBnB’s office in London has a “Village Green” where green carpeted benches invite lounging. Both AirBnB and Google have bleacher seating for chance meetings, brainstorming, or large group presentations. Designing the office with an open floor plan encourages creative and fluid interaction, which results in the most productive and collaborative workspaces.

Looking to Redesign Your Office?

Let Benhar Office Interiors’ knowledge and experience assist you in creating or redesigning a one-of-a-kind workspace for your office.

Contact us online or call us at 212-481-6666 for more information on our full-service offerings.

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