How productivity and collaboration can be improved by social workplaces

/ Interior Design

It may seem counterproductive to efficiency and collaboration in the workplace to have a social space as a way for people to escape from doing work, but when done well, it can actually be the opposite. A strategically designed workspace can assist in building relationships, aid the circulation of ideas and opinions, create a more relaxed workforce and as a result increase productivity levels.

Positive social bonds create better working relationships

A workforce that get along well socially are naturally more likely to collaborate and communicate effectively during their working hours. Personal bonds between staff members can be bolstered with social events and team building activities but this can be increased passively and significantly with optimal office design.

The ‘café culture’ style of work encourages a more flexible attitude towards movement around the workspace and is encouraged by soft seating and modular office furniture. Implementing this in your social space design will therefore encourage staff to act, interact and communicate more naturally as they normally would in a true social setting.

Barriers of professional hierarchy are broken down

Communication and collaboration in the workplace can be blocked regularly by the intimidation that comes with a professional hierarchy. When in a formal meeting room, many junior staff members are more likely to suppress sharing their ideas an opinions when in the presence of senior staff members.

The relaxed, casual atmosphere that comes with a well-designed social space will break these barriers down and facilitate communication on more equal ground. Impromptu discussions away from the desk usually creates some of the best ideas and so creating this type of safe space is an effective way to boost collaboration and creativity.

The way things are heading

A social space is heavily reinforced by softer, more domestic design elements and so by combining parts of commercial and residential into the emerging ‘resimercial’ design trend that is becoming popular, you can give workspace that relaxed atmosphere that improves productivity.

This makes the space feel more like home, which allows staff to feel comfortable to conduct non-work based tasks more securely, and as research has shown, 88% of millennials agreed that they want to see more work-life integration so a social space would be a great way to attract and retain this new generation of talent.

Getting a more relaxed and refreshed workforce

Social spaces provide a bridge between the working environment and home as a ‘third place’  where people can go to relax and rejuvenate. Taking breaks from the desk at various points throughout the day is essential for well-being as well as concentration levels, and a social space provides the ideal setting for this.

Having the chance to go somewhere for some downtime or a casual chat with a colleague in a dedicated space away from their workstation, makes staff more likely to return to their work refreshed. Such a social space is also a way for employees to get away from frustration or a specific piece of work that has been giving them a hard time.

 

If you want to learn more about how you can maximise the use of your workspace and increase productivity through design, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team by phone, email or social media.

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