Are you concerned about the decline of your company culture caused by remote work? Then it would help if you thought about transforming your office into a collaboration hub. It is an office model that Google uses to bring people together to work and innovate effectively.

Do you know why on the Google campus, no part of the office is further than 150 feet from food in kitchens, restaurants, or cafeterias?

The reason is not to encourage employees to snack all the time but rather to get them to interact. They are invited to “casually bump into each other” and build relationships with colleagues.

The Google campus concept embodies the same idea Steve Jobs had when he decided to redesign Pixar’s office. Initially, the Pixar IT team, animators, and executives occupied different buildings, but Jobs realized that this separation was a mistake. He wanted the teams to share ideas and solutions – and he wanted his employees to work together.

This strategy bore fruit: Pixar became a success story. John Lasseter, Pixar’s former Chief Creative Officer, said, “I have never seen a building that fostered collaboration and creativity as well as this one.” Data confirmed Jobs’ vision: A College of Michigan study found that researchers located in the same building were 33% more likely to collaborate than colleagues housed in different buildings.

Collaboration in hybrid reality

In today’s reality of the hybrid work model, collaboration is critical. While it is convenient for most employees to work remotely, the efficiency of some activities depends on the employees’ physical presence in the same space.

Planning, brainstorming, and creative discussions are much more natural and successful when they do not occur online. Therefore, if you are designing a hybrid work model, make an office the focal point.

Such an office should no longer be just a place where work gets done. Instead, it should encourage collaboration, productivity, and teamwork. It should cater to the needs of people: Meeting with colleagues, social interactions, and face-to-face conversations.

The benefits of a collaborative space

Research shows that people who work in highly collaborative spaces have higher morale and are more engaged. In such a workplace, traditionally isolated teams (like Jobs’ animators and tech specialists) can communicate better and hold more effective meetings. A study by Cornerstone and Harvard Business School found that placing the right employees close to each other leads to a 15% increase in performance and up to $1 million in annual revenue.

“The office as the collaboration hub can improve productivity and increase engagement. Evidence shows that employees who work in high-walled cubicles miss contact with other people. Recent research also shows that working in an environment with a moderate level of ambient background noise can increase performance on creative tasks,” says Mateusz Piotrowicz, Real Estate Strategy Manager at ShareSpace.

He stresses that a collaborative space is not the same as a coworking office, where freelancers work individually and share the same office space and facilities. It is a space dedicated to a company that brings a team together for innovative and creative work.

The main features of a collaboration hub

How do you design a collaborative space? The good news is that you can often redesign your workspace and use your existing furniture and equipment. 

There are several crucial features that a collaboration hub should have:

  • Versatile space: Meeting rooms, private offices, informal social spaces, and de-densified zones for focused work.
  • Multiple common areas such as cafeterias, a central lounge, a large conference area, or even a ping pong or foosball area for creative breaks.
  • Convenient location near your employees’ homes to ensure a quick and short commute from home to the office.
  • Resources your team can not use at home (depending on the company and type of work), such as podcasting studio, printing capabilities, library, etc.
  • Flexible options such as mobile walls or movable whiteboards that you can quickly adapt to current needs.

Of course, each office can be customized to fit the needs of your business, the number of people who will be using the space, and the type of work they do.

New office models

At Google, office spaces are designed so that employees enjoy being in the space. The “Googlers” themselves say that the offices are a source of constant learning – not through formal training programs, but through working with brilliant people. And that’s a value the tech giant does not want to lose. The company has already announced plans to bring its employees back to campus in the fall.

If you want to get your team to come back to the office, a collaborative space can be a magnet that draws them in. Your office should be a social space for meetings and interactions. The suitable space can help you shape the company culture that has been affected by months of remote work.

At ShareSpace, we can help you redesign your space to create a collaborative atmosphere and increase productivity. If you are looking for a new space in a prime location, check out our powerful search tool. Thanks to our platform, you can find a cost-effective and all-inclusive option that will help you build a successful business and a creative, motivated team.

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