The benefits of collaboration at work should be self-evident. It encourages information-sharing, helps with making informed decisions, and builds powerful, dynamic ways of working. However, while it seems simple to encourage people to work towards common objectives, the reality can be quite challenging.
Along with adapting to changes such as horizontal decision-making, should businesses also look at their physical environment, and specifically the creation of breakout areas?
“Collaboration makes your workforce better informed, more creative and competitive,” states Ajaz Haq of Form Interior Contracts. Ajaz specialises in office design and furniture, and observes how the physical environment can have a profound effect on how people work.
“Employees are far more likely to be happy and motivated, and open to better working practices, if the actual environment they’re in encourages these things”
Research by the University of Warwick suggests that happy employees are 12% more productive. Improving the physical work environment is one way of making employees happier and more satisfied at work.
Ajaz points out, “If you combine comfortable amenities with practical facilities, then you are creating an overall environment that encourages collaboration.”
The Multi-Functional Breakout Area
Just as leadership, that encourages collaboration, involves unified thinking and creating a common sense of purpose, so a breakout area works as a multi-functional asset.
“A well-designed breakout area offers opportunities for many different things,” Ajaz explains. “People may use it for eating their lunch in, or for where they can greet visitors. Crucially, it can also be a neutral space for informal meetings and catch-ups.”
This sort of meeting space is the bedrock of collaborative working, because it frees employees from an overly-formal meeting structure and helps spark creativity.
“Creating a breakout area is a sound business decision because it is an efficient way of using space in different ways, and it can bring about positive outcomes when it comes to how employees work together, and how they fit into the work culture”
“There are also health benefits,” Ajaz concludes. A breakout area encourages people to take a break from their workspace and stretch their legs. It can also help relieve feelings of stress to be able to get away from your workspace and relax in a comfortable setting,” Ajaz concludes.
If you are looking to encourage your staff to be more collaborative, and to foster a trusting culture they feel valued in, please contact Form Interior Contracts:
- call 0161 410 0010
- visit form-furniture.co.uk to see their range of solutions