office workers at shared desks

Companies are constantly adapting to provide the most efficient and productive work environments for their employees.

Research has shown there is a multitude of benefits from creating a collaborative workplace, from greater employee satisfaction to increased idea generation. One of the most important outcomes is the positive effect it has on an organisation’s innovative output.

A cohesive environment is a perfect vehicle for creative thinking and idea generation. Higher levels of innovation lead to increased productivity and business growth. As a result, implementing a collaborative workplace is a must for any business looking to fully leverage the talents of its employees.

Here we share six ways you can create a collaborative workplace:

1. Encourage Departments

Working with the same people day in, day out, can slow the innovation process. Having an open plan office and designing the layout to include collaboration style furniture, can help encourage engagement between teams and departments. When different departments come together, great ideas bubble to the surface with diverse strengths and perspectives working together.

2. Lead From the Top

There is nothing less motivational than a boss who remains cooped up in an office, separated from the rest of the office. It is important to remember that collaboration is not only reserved for part of the organisation. It should be adopted by every member of staff, no matter their level or job role. Visibility is key – if employees can see their managers and directors effectively collaborating then they will feel inspired to replicate this behaviour, hence improving their own productivity.

3. Positivity and Rewards

Ultimately, we are only human and even the most dedicated employees need an appropriate reward if they have achieved success. Rewarding individuals can be commonplace, but don't forget to reward team efforts too. This is crucial in encouraging future collaborations, as employees will realise the benefits of working together.

4. Encourage People to Socialise Outside of Work

We all lead busy personal lives and the thought of having a work event we are obligated to attend, can often add stress. However, socialising with co-workers outside the office is an effective way to open channels of communication, create a better understanding of each other and break down any walls of judgement or mistrust between team members. When team members learn they share common interests or challenges outside of work, they can see their team members as more human, which helps to decrease individual bias, stereotyping and false objectifying.

5. Establish a Judgement-Free Idea-Sharing Culture

One obstacle that often prevents employees from putting forward their ideas, is a fear of judgement or rejection. Overcome this impediment by establishing a creative and judgement-free workplace culture, where new ideas and discussions are consistently welcome. Refrain from setting too many guidelines, as these can stifle creativity. Place an emphasis on creative freedom and valuable workplace collaborations will follow.

6. Have the Right Technology in Place

If you are pushing to create a fully cohesive workplace culture, then you need to ensure that you have the appropriate technology in place to facilitate collaboration. Help employees do their jobs faster so they can invest more time in teamwork and innovation. Cloud-based software is increasingly popular and fast becoming the norm. Stay ahead of technological advances in order to keep your employees engaged and motivated.

Individual work will always have its place in the office, but teamwork and collaboration boost overall company success.