The age of cubicles is pretty much over. It’s time to escape the dreary trappings of 1990s office design and reinvent your workspace! The modern office calls for teamwork and collaboration that can only be achieved with an open environment that encourages communication. Getting rid of unnecessary dividers and implementing more laid back, public areas can boost productivity, worker satisfaction, and teamwork.
Office Design Tips that Encourage Team Work
|Strike a Balance Between Public and Private Spaces||The key to boosting teamwork is a versatile office layout. You’ll want to give your employees a place to speak with one another and collaborate on projects, but you don’t want to neglect distraction-free spaces. This balance between public and private spaces will encourage teamwork throughout the day while still giving workers a place to focus.
Public spaces tend to have open floor plans with plenty of spots where spontaneous conversations and brainstorming sessions can break out. These are cubicle-free areas with long tables, shared seating, and unassigned workstations. Anyone can come in and feel confident that striking up a conversation won’t be distracting others from their work. Of course, an open space isn’t ideal for solo work that involves deep concentration. That’s where private spaces come into play. By designating work areas as distraction-free zones, your employees will always have a place to focus.
|Use an Open Floor Plan to Encourage Collaboration||If you don’t have the room for both public and private spaces, you can still re-design your office to boost collaboration. Consider taking down cubicles and dividers to open up the room. This should make your workers feel a bit more comfortable striking up conversations during the workday, and it can be a great way to encourage brainstorming and team building.
If you want to offer more versatility, you can use short dividers between workstations and give your workers sit-stand desks. This is a trending practice in many businesses since it provides workers with the option to stand when they’re ready to talk or sit when they need to focus. Noise-canceling headphones can also help your workers focus when the room gets loud.
When introducing your workers to their updated office, you can give their teamwork efforts an even bigger boost by hosting a quick team building activity. This is a great strategy to increase employee productivity, satisfaction, and overall team cohesion–and it’s a lot of fun!
|Create a Meet Point||Meet points are an essential new trend in modern business designs. These casual spaces give your employees a place to talk about their ideas, collaborate on projects, take a break from work, and get to know one another. Some businesses even turn hallways into collaborative workspaces while others create coffee corners with cozy seating, bookshelves, charging stations, and plenty of free coffee.
Even if your company doesn’t have the space or resources to add a café to the office, re-purposing an underused room as a meet point can go a long way. You don’t need a complete renovation to make it happen. By simply adding some nice seating, décor, a whiteboard, and a small coffee machine, you can get things going! If you have the funds available, investing in a monitor with accessible ports will give your workers a place to conduct presentations. This new work-hangout spot will become the go-to place for discussions, giving your workers a great space to put their minds together.
|Give Your Office an Inexpensive Facelift||By introducing these new office design elements into the workplace, you’re creating a new company culture. Why not make a few stylistic changes to represent this?
Again, full renovations aren’t necessary. Just applying a vibrant and modern color of paint to some walls around the office can get everyone in a new mindset. You can also update the décor and lighting to make the atmosphere a bit more bright and energizing. To keep everyone inspired, you can even display some of these great quotes about team building. Providing interesting seating options in hang-out spots like beanbags and lounge chairs can also make a big difference.
Office Design Tips FAQ
What Type of Office Layouts Encourage Teamwork?
Open office spaces are great if you want to encourage teamwork, but don’t overdo it. If your new office design is almost entirely a communal space then your workers might feel overwhelmed or unable to focus. This is why we encourage striking a balance between public and private spaces. Meet points and open workstations are great, but make sure everyone has a quiet place they can go to when it’s time to focus.
How Can Meet Points Boost Teamwork?
Maybe giving your workers the ultimate hangout spot sounds like it won’t help productivity, but it will! If you fill an employee meet point with work equipment (like computer monitors, projectors, printers, etc.) and recreational equipment (like fun seating options, snacks, coffee machines, and other luxuries), then you’re making it a fun place to work. Instead of burning out and losing motivation, your workers can hang out and brainstorm in the new meet point–having fun and getting things done.
Can Open Spaces Increase Team Building?
Yes, yes, and yes. Take down the cubicles and dividers. Designate some sections of your office as common areas. Your team will learn to work together because they’ll actually have the chance to speak to one another without going out of their way. Of course, you want to keep some places distraction-free, but open floor plans are clearly the way of the future, and implementing them can really boost your team’s cohesion and productivity.