11 June 2019

How to work collaboratively in the office

The benefits of collaboration in the work place have been proven time and time again. Yet a recent survey by ClearCompany showed that almost 40% of employees believe that people in their own organisation don’t collaborate enough. Luckily there are some simple changes that your team can make to increase effective collaboration in the office.

A great place to start is with your office space itself. Subtle alterations to your office interiors can foster ideation and collaboration. Informal break out areas like those at Proper Office are a great way to do exactly this as they provide a more relaxed and stimulating environment for ideas to flow. If your team are struggling with collaborative working, try making use of the spaces normally reserved for eating and drinking and see if a change in atmosphere (and a few cups of coffee!) is what is needed.

Whilst a bit of competition between staff is healthy and can boost productivity, is there a chance that competition is preventing effective collaboration in your office? Too much competition might lead to tension rather than a productive brainstorming session. Diversity is always a benefit, so play to each staff members’ individual strengths to limit unhealthy competition. During collaborative sessions, make sure everyone knows what their role is in that conversation and watch the teamwork flourish.

Collaboration comes much more naturally when your team are already friends. Regular team bonding trips and activities are not only important for morale but will also have benefits back in the board room. Feeling comfortable will allow for a much more free and open discussion and therefore more effective collaboration. Escape room anyone?

Our final top tip is not to let remote working decrease your team’s collaboration. A report by OddsMonkey estimated that half of the UK workforce will be working remotely by 2020.2 From digital whiteboards to the latest workflow tools, there is no end to technology designed to combat the potential pitfalls of this and restore cohesion to a widely spread team. There really is no excuse to let collaboration suffer!

A bit of experimentation never hurt anyone and there’s no one way to collaborate. Finding out what works for you may be the best way to achieve effective collaboration rather than forcing it. Either way, the result is a happier, healthier and more engaged team so there’s really no reason not to try. Our breakout areas at Proper Office are ideal for companies that are looking for an office that fosters collaboration. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if this sounds like you.



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