Google, Facebook, Pixar – what do these companies have in common, besides huge success? Collaborative and creative workspaces. With big name companies like these leading the way, many businesses are shifting to office space models that offer a more relaxed environment in which employees are encouraged to use each other as problem solving resources. As suggested in the article, “How to Build a Collaborative Office Space Like Pixar and Google,” there is a strategy to creating this type of environment, and here are some tips for bringing that into your own office:
- Space and Bustle – The overarching principle behind creating a collaborative environment is making sure that an office has plenty of space and other design features that encourage employees to bump into one another throughout the day, fostering casual interactions.
- Common Areas – the key is to have more than are necessarily needed – workspaces, cafeterias, anything to get people out of cubicles and surrounded by coworkers when doing their jobs.
- Food Stops – Google’s rule is that employees should never be more than 150 feet from food – whether it is a cafeteria, a restaurant or a small kitchen in a break room. As employees casually snack throughout the day, they have more opportunity to interact with others.
- “Thinking” Spaces – Along with having a lot of common spaces, it is important to have “no-purpose spaces” so people have plenty of options for where to do work outside of their office or cubicle space.
- Two or More – These companies also try to emphasize having two or more people in a space when designating office spaces.
The key to collaboration is creating as much space as possible for the kind of casual interactions that can lead to tossing ideas around and problem solving as a team!