Cubicles can be cages for creativity – and desks sans makeshift walls aren't always better. While there are times when we need to put our headphones in and hunker down without distractions to cross important items off of our checklists, other projects require collective efforts. That's where communal office spaces join the party, providing the interactive working environments that employees need to effectively collaborate with each other.
If you aren't already on board, we're here to open your mind to the benefits of communal office spaces. Here's why they're so valuable for collaboration:
Humans are social beings
We're all guilty of falling prey to some juicy office gossip, but communal office spaces are for more than catching up on the drama and making weekend plans. They create opportunities for employees to converse with peers, brainstorm ideas and bounce thoughts off one another. Instead of resorting straight to Google searches, employees can learn from each other and share perspectives that may enhance the final results of their work. Plus, brief social conversations can also give employees the break they need between tasks before returning to their to-do lists.
Everyone needs a pat on the back
Communal office spaces create a sense of community, which adds a valuable support network to everyone's individual experience. It's comforting to have others around for guidance or feedback, and sometimes sitting in a room surrounded by people being productive provides the boost of motivation we need. Researchers at Stanford University even found that participants in a collaborative, supportive working environment stayed on task 64 percent longer than those who worked alone. Thus, communal spaces that inspire collaboration can be linked to better performance and higher engagement levels.
The minds must meet
When calendars are filled with conference calls, sales demos, trainings and brainstorming sessions, open meeting spaces allow all important team members to be in one place together. Personal web conferencing technology takes it one step further, allowing all meeting attendees to be in the same room despite where they're actually sitting. With video and content sharing, employees can easily connect, even if some members work from home or in a different office. Plus, collaboration technologies make it easy to connect with external teams as well, including clients, consultants and contractors.
With all that in mind, consider breaking down the walls and opening your office spaces for a more collaborative, engaging and productive workplace.