In the last few years there has been a lot of talk about how crucial collaboration is to business success. In turn, it has led to the popularity of office design that encourages collaboration. Open offices was a natural response. But lack of privacy was a serious issue, resulting in more anxiety and stress. Unfortunately, designing a collaborative workspace takes more than simply putting everyone in the same room. So how do you create a collaborative workspace that genuinely boosts communication among employees?

1. Understand What Collaboration Means For the Business

Every business has unique needs and works differently. It’s no wonder they see collaboration differently too. Before making design decisions, learn what drives your (or your client’s) business. How do they operate on a day-to-day basis? What are their values? How do they use their current space and where does unplanned collaboration happen? Observing the business will help you understand which groups need to be working together more and where to plan spaces for collaboration to occur.

group of students working together in a classroom

2. Create Collaboration Zones

Good office design caters to all work styles. Some employees thrive in open spaces, while others need quiet in order to focus. Collaboration comes in different styles too, and the ideal office has specific zones for each of them.

For example, many good ideas are born in casual conversations. In the workplace, they happen in collision spaces where people run into each other naturally and spontaneous discussion occurs, driving the collaboration culture. These places include cafeterias, lounge spaces and comfortable open areas where employees can come to relax and connect.

Mixed-use rooms that encourage a creative approach to work are another valuable addition. These are flexible spaces that individuals can adapt according to their needs. They might look like a living room or mini-workshop. Their goal is to inspire nontraditional ways of meeting, sharing and testing.

Finally, small huddle spaces with flexible seating options, screens, and writable surfaces are ideal for brainstorming sessions, innovating and problem solving. They provide distraction-free space perfect for small groups or even solo-work.

Modern workspace with comfortable seating and small groups of people

3. Make Collaboration Zones Comfortable

Office design is more than aesthetics. For successful collaboration, meeting with co-workers shouldn’t feel like a tedious task. That’s why collaboration spaces should be comfortable and pleasant to spend time in. Ideally, they have enough natural light and an appropriate choice of colors. For instance, collision spaces that are cheerful and bright feel inviting and fun. Calm, neutral colors work better in huddle spaces, encouraging deep focus.

4. Encourage Collaboration with Office Design Choices

Seating in collaboration zones should be comfortable and flexible to meet employees’ immediate needs. In the zones designed for brainstorming, employees need to have the means to innovate and easily visualize the concepts they are discussing. Large writable surfaces provide them with space required for that purpose and can also improve the look of the room. We’re not talking about whiteboards here – those rarely look good and don’t offer enough writing space. Instead, you might want to consider writable walls or glass to offer plenty of room for creativity.

group collaborating using magnetic dry-erase wall

Make peerhatch Your Collaboration Hub

peerhatch is a non-ghosting writable wall covering made to inspire collaboration and teamwork. You can customize with any graphic and apply it to a wall of any size. It’s a perfect solution for mixed-use rooms, meeting spaces and collaboration huddles.

Wherever there’s peerhatch, collaboration happens naturally. It makes an entire wall writable, turning it into the perfect surface for innovating and visualizing. Plus, it looks amazing.

Creating a collaborative workspace for your current project? Contact us and let’s discuss how peerhatch can help you. We are looking forward to working with you!