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All of us want to be a part of an ideal work environment. Wonder why people are so keen to join and be part of big companies? Renowned industry giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter believe in the value of collaboration and an unrestricted working environment. They create a spacious environment for work and construct entertainment facilities for staff. They promote this type of work environment to ensure that their people will have outstanding work experience and high-quality work results. Working doesn't have to be as boring as you think. Imagine working in these companies: playing ping pong during working hours or having a meeting while everyone is laying down on sofa chairs. The open environment gives everyone enough space to build ideas with your colleagues. When workers feel comfortable, they perform better, are more willing to collaborate and achieve common goals. It's WIN-WIN for everybody!
Of course, employers understand the benefits of creating a spacious environment. You know that talent prefers to work in an open office. You know it promotes team-building. The only constraint is often: THE BUDGET. You would probably faint if you received the bill for the facilities provided by the big tech giants (not going to happen in a million years :< ).
However, there are a few things you can do RIGHT AWAY to emulate some of the open and collaborative environments of these big companies. One of the simplest things being done by the above tech companies is providing standing desks. Workers can interface and move between sitting to standing while they actively participate and share ideas in the process. These desks serve the same goal as all other entertainment services. They help to create a workplace that supports and promotes the opportunity for people to socialize, exchange information, share and discuss ideas. Here are some quick ideas on the benefits of open office design and how it can foster collaboration.
1) Generating Ideas
Obviously, open space encourages the free flow of ideas (not just chit-chatting!) It is easier to bring out fresh and new ideas from the craziest thoughts. Colleagues will feel relaxed and cultivated when working in an accommodating venue. And this is where GREAT ideas are born.
2) Open Communication Lines
Yes, I know having walls and enclosed rooms can let you guys share secrets (we mean sensitive business information, of course). Somehow you know it is best to have an open environment when the company is dealing with difficulty though. An inviting atmosphere promotes information equality, which means treating everyone’s opinion the same. The negatives of secrets ALWAYS end up outweighing the positives in a company environment. Open information is where all innovative businesses are heading though, and it makes workers feel at ease and able to speak out bravely.
3) Productivity UPPPPPPPP !
You don’t want to get down on others when people are trying hard. When the office design is transparent and open, you are more driven to focus on tasks and solve problems actively. Got lots of tasks on hand and need to find suitable places to work? But you don’t want others to think you are just wasting time walking around at the same time? A standing desk is always there for you.
Not all employees accept open office designs. Ask for office design experts if you want to move forward with this latest trend. Why not give it a go? Unleash your creativity and try customizing your own office!
Here is an idea: Reserve an open space for your standing meeting (maybe at a standing conference table), adapt a “circle time” before full work mode begins. Use this area for small talk, updates, and significant changes to your projects and long-term goals. But remember, leave space for workers who vote for privacy, they will only shine when they feel comfortable.
You probably have lots of ideas in mind right now. (Just don’t go too insane like removing the toilet door!). The key is to be considerate and acknowledge individual needs before implementing a collaborative office design. Some prefer to work discreetly and some do not. Remember to provide an easy transition between alone time and group time, and make sure they are content about it. A quiet zone can be beneficial for people to meditate and concentrate as well. I guess there are millions of ways of doing it, so stick to whatever works best and look at how the company and individuals grow and evolve in the open environment.