Organizations, in their various forms and industries, use a wide variety of design solutions based on specific needs. The one thing they all have in common is the constant need to encourage collaboration and synergy. Linear modes of production and coming up with ideas just does not cut it anymore. To stay relevant and competitive in today’s atomized, turbulent, and saturated market we need to rely on new methods for creating that competitive edge. Legacy platforms are traded for more dynamic and engaging ones. This does not mean that independent work is any less valuable, not at all. But most industries rely on teams rather than individuals. Now, one of the downsides of such a working environment is the non-productive aspect of it. Falling into the trap of white noise is an easy mistake to make, and can hurt the bottom line. Let us go over the key points on how to avoid too much unproductive exchanges in the workplace.
1. A custom-tailored design
Creating a more collaborative workspace is not just about tearing down walls, and getting aboard the open space concept bandwagon. The practices of modern, digitally-oriented space are to make them easy to manage in an everyday work scenario. If there are too many obstacles for people to communicate, there is also far less chance for them to exchange ideas. Walking between floors for mundane exchanges, navigating maze-like corridors and putting too many doors between subjects is all considered bad practice. Sure, often we can find ourselves constrained with the type of space we currently have. But there are ways of optimizing that space to suit our needs, no matter the industry we are in. Being in the so-called “chair-rolling” distance from one another, or just around the corner, is a good example. Creating adjacencies between sectors is definitely something any modern, up to date company should carefully custom-develop. Again, the commonality is minimal travel time for the optimal idea-exchanging environment.
2. Mindfulness at work
Mediation as a concept for relieving stress at work is not new. Research has shown that practicing mindfulness at work has great benefits amongst employees. These programs, when put in place, ultimately result in a considerate improvement (decrease) in stress, better sleep patterns, and higher productivity. In short, employers should make comfort and stress-reducing policies one of their top priorities. How do we create mindfulness programs at work? It is not as abstract as one might think. Investing in gym memberships or incorporating classes on employee’s work schedules are just some of the many possibilities.
3. A modular world
Open-space office concept is all the rage these days. And for a good reason, at that. Communication and transparency are effortless between people, ideas and information can flow with minimal obstruction. Also, such an area provides the best concept for a modular design. The importance of such a concept cannot be overstated in today’s expensive real estate market. The need to section off certain areas for a certain event or meeting is an ever-present one. Meetings demand silence and privacy. Unsightly storage areas need their own space to be concealed. In short, having smart and modular room dividers is a lot more feasible than leasing or buying real estate with a room for every possible occasion. One could argue, and rightfully so, that the latter is not even possible. So, having a solution that provides visual, as well as audio isolation is the most economical way to go. There are plenty of brands providing such solutions, such as Screenflex. Such an investment will enable you to create custom-tailored solutions to any and every event conceivable in a moment’s notice. Ideas and exchanges can flow freely, but can also be used to restrict unnecessary distractions. Creating physical boundaries between unconnected departments will drown out the white noise, and improve productivity and productive exchange of information.
More extroverted kind of people are typically the ones with ideas and are more likely to share them. Dedicated spacing, specifically made for exchanging meaningful information, is a good idea to follow. Ultimately, coffee bars, gathering areas, and in general, social spaces are the designated areas for such activities. This way we will give our employees the time and space for them to let their creative juices flow.