Collaborative areas for small groups in big offices

Collaborative spaces can take many forms — from formal meeting rooms designed to bring employees together and work as a group to informal social spaces that prompt staff to come together in a natural, more relaxed way.

Regardless of style, the key purpose of any collaborative space is to encourage an environment where discussion and teamwork thrive, where people within the company meet to share ideas, cooperate and generate creative plans to keep the company innovating and moving forward.

Here are six tips for creating versatile spaces that bring small groups together even in large open offices:

Consider how the space will be used

  • How do you envisage people collaborating in the space?
  • Who will be using it?
  • How many people will be using it at one time?
  • What will they be collaborating on?

The space should be designed with these considerations in mind and tailored to your specific company and its workforce. 

Start with a great table

Once you know how you want the space to be used, think about how to make that happen! Communal tables are a great starting point. Even in large open-plan offices, collaboration spaces are often designed around tables. Simply put, tables represent a gathering waiting to happen. 

Make it relaxing

When a team gets together to share insights or generate ideas, a comfortable setting is vital. Making sure the space is somewhere employees can relax is making sure it’s somewhere they will spend plenty of time.

Offer options

No two employees are the same. Make sure you give workers lots of inviting choices and a variety of collaborative spaces that suit different needs and working styles.

Encourage spontaneity

Given today’s nomadic workforce, agile work styles and often distinct lack of formal structure, it’s vital that people are given the space and opportunity for impromptu meetings. Supply common areas with seating and tables that are easy to move around. Perhaps even consider a modular furniture system.

Future proof it

For your collaborative space to stay innovative and inspiring, it needs to be flexible, so it can be customised, modified and updated as trends change, technology advances, or the company grows.