The future of workplace collaboration

A ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach no longer works for today’s offices. Traditional office spaces were designed around traditional working practices, but with the rise of new technologies and flexible working, businesses are now moving away from endless rows of desks in open plan offices which can prove themselves to be inefficient and a hindrance to productivity.

With increasing competition in the global economy, companies need a competitive edge so customers buy their products or services from them instead of competitors. This is one of the reasons why modern companies are now moving towards multi-purpose, flexible working spaces which are designed to help foster productivity, creativity and collaboration in the workplace.

According to a recent survey, 97% of workers believe that a lack of team alignment directly impacts the outcome of a project, and 86% cite lack of collaboration and poor communication for workplace failures. This tells us that one of the biggest factors that contribute to the success of any business is whether or not its employees are able to perform together a team. That’s one of the appeals of a flexible agile workplace. It’s designed to encourage more collaboration between people who might not normally work together.

Flexible Agile Workspaces

In a traditional office setting, people sit at an assigned desk and near the same people every day. However in a modern, agile workplace people choose their seat each day based on the work they need to do or who they need to work with, which could mean sitting near to somebody new each day. The well-designed agile workspace is an improvement over open plan since it provides the equally important spaces for quiet, focused work, in addition to spaces for collaboration and more casual meeting areas designed for impromptu group work sessions.

One of the biggest consequences of remote working and flexi-time has been to reduce the number of people permanently working in the office at any given time. Email is usually the preferred communication method for information flow in this instance. But you have to select the people that you need to send emails to who might have an interest in that topic and invariably forget one person who then has to be copied and sent everything.

Teams now need to collaborate with fellow employees who may be in any number of places, and it’s therefore important that there are adequate workplaces and meeting zones at their disposal. It’s true that the right agile workplace design may not be enough to drive collaboration on its own. Employees must facilitate the actual collaborative processes, but the company is responsible for creating a culture in which collaboration can happen.

Every business has extroverts who thrive on working in a team environment and can’t wait to do away with formal meeting processes. But they can also be great for quieter and junior employees as agile workspaces enable them to learn from the collective experience and wisdom of their colleagues. These newly-learned skills can then be practiced within their own departments to look at things with a new perspective and make improvements and enhancements.

Creative Collaboration

Collaboration is said to take place when two individuals or a group of people work together towards achieving a common goal by sharing their ideas and skills. As the saying goes, two heads are better than one, so teams work better together as people have different outlooks, abilities and skillsets which can fill any gaps in the group dynamic. Working in teams enables employees to be quicker and more effective in their work, as compared to people who work on projects on their own.

Collaboration is essential to any company as it boosts productivity levels, improves company efficiency and increases employee satisfaction. It allows team members to come together on a common platform and work towards the achievement of a common goal by thinking, brainstorming, and offering various perspectives to provide solutions. Collaboration also helps produce quality ideas, quality work culture, and quality employee satisfaction. The ability to listen to others, share your own ideas, and foster productive dialogue is a skill every employee wants, and that every company should look for in its employees.

Enable Multi-Purpose Worktables

Promote creativity in the workplace with a table system that inspires, such as the new Enable worktable and benches, new to Dams Furniture’s Social Spaces™ portfolio. The Enable table and benches are part of a bold and contemporary collection of furniture designed to make a real impact. The unique, intelligent frame system allows for numerous table sizes with a multitude of shape and layout options to create a dynamic, collaborative area for the modern trend of agile working.

Barriers to cooperation are reduced or eliminated with an inspirational and welcoming work area that has multiple uses throughout the day. Solid oak leg frames complement the natural lacquered steel brackets and underframe, with a table top manufactured from 25mm MDF in a choice of laminate finishes. There’s also a bespoke, solid oak table frame option with shelf storage, which is fully customisable with power and data, lighting and plants. Or if users want a bit of privacy, an adjustable hanging screen enhancement is also available.

Collaboration has never been this easy!

Improve productivity and job satisfaction

It sounds like an easy fix - build an agile workplace, and people will collaborate more, which will in turn inspire your workforce and meet all crucial deadlines efficiently, with mutual benefits for the company as well as the team. However, it’s important for companies to realise that they can’t rely on workspace design alone to do the job of changing a business culture.

Progressive companies are increasingly realising the value of collaboration and looking for ways to foster it within their teams. Collaboration adds value to the way team members perceive their job, and if people are happy in their work, have strong ties with the people they work with, and feel that they’re a part of something important, they’re more likely to continue working for a business for longer. So if you want to see your business prosper and turn your employees into productive super-workers, it’s time you initiated a collaborative spirit among them!