DATE: 10/21/2014

A 2013 office place study states that employees who work in collaborative office spaces are 57 percent more able to collaborate, 88 percent more able to learn, and 42 percent more able to socialize in their workplace than their peers who work in a non-collaborative office space. They are more satisfied with their jobs, more satisfied with their workplaces, and see themselves as higher performing.

See our list of top earning companies who have adopted collaborative office design:

CISCO released a case study that details their experience when shifting from standard office cubicles to a flexible work environment focused on collaboration and communication. The result was improved employee satisfaction and reduced costs.

Google’s New York City campus was designed with a “150-feet from food” rule to encourage employees to snack, allowing them more opportunities for “unplanned-collaboration.” The results were greater enjoyment for employees, which led to improvements in motivation and productivity.

Pixar redesigned their office to encourage inter-department interaction. Originally, offices of computer scientists, animators, and executive and editors were in separate buildings, and he ultimately brought them together in one cavernous office. This allowed executives to learn more about the realities of the animation process, and provide more opportunities for animators and computer scientists to work together on problems.

CoreNet Global released a case study about how they worked with employees to develop the right collaborative office. In the end, employees reported feeling more satisfied and connected to the new space, and the company had lower occupancy costs.

In general, companies report that a collaborative office design results in:

  • Creativity – You know the saying, “Two heads are better than one.” The more minds you have working on a project, the more likely you are to discover an innovative solution. Collaborative spaces mean that it’s easier for employees to seek one another’s help to come up with the best final outcome.
  • Flexibility – Collaborative offices are designed with the ability to move around furniture easily for meeting or brainstorming, and it also allows you to shift workspace temporarily for short-term projects when it makes sense, allowing your company to be more responsive to employee needs.
  • Efficiency – From a practical standpoint, companies that invest in collaborative office design often find cost savings for everything from real estate and furniture to services and IT equipment. And again, because of the flexibility built in to collaborative spaces, it’s easier to make adjustments to improve work efficiency as well, even as your company evolves.
  • Mobility – In a wireless world, it makes little sense to shackle your employees to their desk if they may be able to accomplish more by getting up and moving. A collaborative work environment usually works best with laptops that allow your employees to take their work with them anywhere in the office – or outside your doors when that’s required.
  • Communication – When you don’t have four walls boxing you in, there are more opportunities to keep your co-workers informed about what you’re working on. And since collaborative offices are designed to encourage gathering in groups, there’s more opportunities for impromptu meetings that keep everyone in the loop.
  • Fewer Meetings – When there’s more informal communication happening, there’s less need for formal meetings and even interoffice emails, which can ultimately give your employees more time to focus on their work.
  • Improved Morale – There’s a reason that the idea of cubicles is associated with a negative work environment. Being closed off from one another isn’t conducive to helping employees develop relationships. A collaborative office design can really turn around how employees feel about coming to work every day.Even with all these benefits, it’s important to design your open office to meet other employee needs, such as privacy and the ability to focus on work free of distractions. Not all open office designs are effective, so it can make a big difference to hire the help of an experienced office design team that can help you account for all the needs of your team.

Ready to add collaborative office design to your space? Contact CBI Group today.