How to design a collaborative office space

How to design a collaborative office space

Creating a collaborative office space can positively impact your staff in many ways. For example, selecting the right colour scheme and furniture can improve company culture, boost teamwork and help with productivity. Or a friendly and inviting touchdown area, where staff can bounce ideas around freely, is ideal for maximising creativity. 

So, why not design an office space that not only looks amazing, but heightens collaboration as well? It’s a win-win situation.

What makes a good collaborative space?

A good collaborative office space is one that considers yours, as well as your employees’ needs. It should include the right level of technology in order to facilitate collaboration, as well as comfortable seating and even desk space that’s easy for all employees to work with. One of the best ways to make a good collaborative space is simply to get your employees involved – what works (or doesn’t!) work for them? Don’t just assume what they need, as you could be way off the mark.

What to consider when designing a collaborative office space

When designing a collaborative office space, it is important to consider various factors to ensure its effectiveness and alignment with your company’s goals. Here are some things to keep in mind when working with your office design team.

1. Have clear goals

Before giving office interior design a go, it’s important to have some clear objectives for your collaborative office space – based on your budget too. Are you trying to cater to a number of needs clearly define the purpose and objectives of your collaborative office space. Consider the specific needs of your employees and the nature of their work. Are you aiming to promote creativity, teamwork, or a combination of both? Understanding the purpose will guide the design decisions and layout of the space.

2. Look at the space you’ve got to work with

Look at the available space in your office and determine how it can be improved for collaborative working. How many employees can the space (comfortably!) fit? Can you implement features like acoustics and soundproofing to lower noise levels in the office (as to not affect the rest of the space)  It’s a good idea to aim for a balance between open areas for group collaboration and private spaces for focused work. 

Completely stuck on where to begin? Our office planning services can help you every step of the way!

3.  Incorporate different furniture and tech

Things like modular furniture and tech such as video conferencing equipment and interactive whiteboards can really help make a space feel more collaborative. It gives employees the choice to move furniture around as they see fit to accommodate various collaborative meetings, as well as the tech to help those with ideas they wish to communicate digitally.

Plus, a few cosy sofas or armchairs can bring comfort into the workplace, making it feel like home. With relaxation comes a boost in productivity, creativity, and all the things that make your business tick. Larger desks for multiple people will encourage teamwork and social activity, bringing your staff closer together. Whether you add snug desk chairs to your meeting room, or a plush sofa in the break room, your office space will be well on its way to increasing collaboration.

Our work on RWE Renewables’ office space helped to promote home comforts through various collaborative spaces such as sofa booths. Why not check out some of our other projects for inspiration? 

4. Try to divide the space into different zones

Having distinct zones for different purposes can help “break up” your collaborative office design. It also means that employees can choose where they work best – which will really help them feel catered for! Consider zones for deep work, areas with tech to help facilitate meetings and more structured collaboration. Our office design ideas per industry guide can really help you out here – especially if you’re unsure how to make your office feel a bit more on-brand.

5. Make the space comfortable and ergonomic

Ergonomic office design can really help reduce the risk of work-related injuries and improve all-round comfort whilst working. This doesn’t just mean fitting the most comfortable chairs and desks – you’ll need to consider acoustics, lighting and even temperature too. You’ll also need to incorporate accessible design features so that everyone has a comfortable space to work in.

6.  Pick the right colours

When designing an office collaboration space, picking the right colours is essential. Thinking about colour psychology when painting walls or choosing furniture is the best way to ensure your staff get the most out of a collaborative space. With yellow tones promoting creativity, positivity and, in general, great ideas, this is definitely a colour to consider. Or perhaps a calming green or an energy-boosting orange might tickle your fancy. Choose wisely, being mindful of tones of colours and the function of the space you are decorating.

7. Adding touchdown areas

Similar to our point on creating zones, touchdown areas can be a wonderful addition to a collaborative office space. In these areas, staff can relax or communicate with others in private, all whilst taking a well-deserved work break. Create a little corner of zen in your workspace with touchdown areas, and notice the difference in your staff’s creativity and happiness. Having regular short breaks or time to chat with colleagues is known to improve productivity and reduce stress levels. That is why encouraging staff to take time out in a touchdown space can be so helpful for encouraging collaboration. 

8. Bring in some greenery

Everyone loves a few plants in the office; they look good, the air feels cleaner, but what makes them so good for a collaborative design? Biophilic design brings a sense of calm to the workplace, creating the perfect relaxed environment. Positive energy and mental health go hand in hand, and when creating the ideal collaborative office space, plants are a must.

9. Reconsider your lighting

No one wants to work in a dark office, but if you don’t have access to natural light, this can be tricky. Luckily, daylight bulbs can solve all of your problems. Put them in lamps, regular light fixtures or anywhere you like, just as long as your staff can reap the benefits. Great lighting improves morale and alertness, which is perfect for a collaborative office environment. Lack of light can really take its toll on a person’s mental and physical health, and this can lead to lack of participation. So, if you want a perfect office collaboration space, enhance your lighting if needed. 

The benefits of a collaborative workspace

Teamwork is essential for success, and if your workspace promotes connectivity, that’s even better. But what else is so great about a collaborative office space?

1. Encourages proper use of space

Utilising your office space is a key benefit of creating a collaborative design. A well-thought-out office design should maximise all space possible; this means picking the right sized furniture and desks for the area available. 

2. Increases productivity and well-being 

A collaborative office will ensure that productivity levels are even higher than before. Staff members can take time out to talk to each other or to discuss ideas in touchdown areas. Adding plants will raise morale, positivity and well-being, all of which influence how productive your employees can be. 

3. Encourages creativity and innovation

With a good collaborative office design in place, employees can feel more creative, which can stimulate work processes and generate innovative outcomes to problems. Plus, when employees from different departments come together in a collaborative workspace, they’ll each bring their own perspectives and expertise – leading to the generation of fresh ideas and solutions. A good collaborative space that people want to work in can really facilitate this!

4. It can improve workplace morale

Collaborative office spaces can boost company culture and build a sense of community and belonging among employees, so making it a desirable place to work on the outside and the inside is really important. With good collaborative office design, you can help facilitate a positive work culture where employees feel valued, supported, and connected to their colleagues. This sense of camaraderie and shared purpose boosts employee morale and engagement, leading to higher levels of productivity and job satisfaction.

5. May help with employee retention

Employees are more likely to stay with a company that prioritises collaboration and provides a good collaborative workspace that incorporates their needs. Think about how you’d feel in an office where no one speaks – it would feel pretty isolating! But with a collaborative place to work in, employees can feel connected to their colleagues and hence engage in meaningful work. This in turn can help employees feel valued – which is incredibly important when it comes to retaining talent.

Want to design a collaborative office space of your own, but don’t know where to start? Why not get in touch with our team and see how office collaboration spaces can work for you.