Humans are social beings and love working as a team towards a common agenda. This trait is popular among employees working in the same office spaces. Collaborative workspace uses the same concept to build an environment where people share ideas to boost innovations, productivity, and efficiency. Moreover, a collaborative workspace fosters authentic relationships among the employees, and due to different backgrounds and skillsets, it is easy to come up with solutions faster. That said, here is how to create a collaborative workspace for your remote or onsite office.
1. Create the Right Environment
As an entrepreneur, you need to create an open workspace with beautiful aesthetics and comfort. You should take into consideration the different needs of people. For example, ensure that you have a large common area where people can gather to discuss ideas. On the other hand, such spaces should also embrace serenity to accommodate anyone who requires quiet time.
Ensure that the workspace is well-lit with allowance for enough natural light and have a balance in selecting your colors to meet the intended purpose in each room. For instance, some colors should be predominantly energizing, serene, calm, and energizing. The furniture in relaxation areas should be comfy, surrounded by laptop tables, a whiteboard, and corkboards. You should also ensure the writing surfaces have whiteboard paint available. Such environments encourage discussions and brainstorming over ideas, thoughts, questions, challenges, and solutions.
2. Create a Company Culture that Encourages Collaboration
No matter how much you invest in ambiance and comfortable furniture, you cannot succeed in a collaborative workspace without proper support. One of the ways to encourage collaboration among employees is to listen to them. Ensure that you create a culture where employees know that their ideas are heard and valued. Wherever possible, encourage cross-functional teams among departments to better understand what is required of them. You should also promote values that lead to the desired company culture with greater priority to internal communication.
Consider recognizing employees who perform well and make yourself available for anyone who may require advice. It is also important to advocate for an environment that embraces positive criticism of ideas, thoughts, and theories. In the event of conflicting factual ideas, arrive at a consensus instead of dismissing an idea over another. Always insist that decisions are for the greater good of everyone in the company.
3. Centralize Communication Channel
Communication is key in bringing everyone on board over a particular topic of discussion. Therefore, you need to establish a central mode of communication to encourage employees to share their ideas with others. Efficient and collective communication eliminates time wasted explaining to every single employee what you are up to. A common communication channel fosters transparency and an easy way to share information about a given project. It also provides an environment where people in different areas can obtain relevant information in real-time, which is critical to avoid outdated information. Lastly, a common communication channel makes it easy for all employees to access all the information required to undertake a given task from the same place.
4. Invest in Collaborative Tools
Collaboration in workspaces is not complete without the use of software and tools that enhance efficiency. For instance, you need to use proposal software to help you in knowledge management. These tools will also help you build, review, update and approve wonderful suggestions from a single library. Additionally, it is easy to follow through conversations and ask specific questions to given participants while making delegation and monitoring of assignment status much easier.
They also help your teams get real-time analytics of ongoing proposals and enable you to bring all your employees on the same page. As such, it is easy to meet any particular deadlines working as a team while streamlining the overall communication process, task evaluation, and collaboration efforts.
Great innovations are birthed in serene environments coupled with mind-boggling suggestions and comments from like-minded individuals. However, it is impossible to enjoy such innovations if your employees are not in a collaborative workspace. Therefore, your corporate management team has to make deliberate efforts in developing a culture that fosters collaboration. Suppose you have no idea where to start in creating such workspaces, the tips above will act as a guide to ensure your organization succeeds in its mandate.