Mar 2023
Building Collaborative Practices in the Modern Office

Promoting collaboration in the office while maintaining personal space and accommodating a hybrid office environment can be a challenging task for any organization. Keeping everyone happy and safe while maintaining productivity and communication is a tricky juggling act. Luckily, there are several ways to achieve this balance effectively, ensuring that all employees feel comfortable, engaged, and productive.

Get Everyone on the Same Page

It is essential to establish a clear understanding of the goals and objectives of the organization. This understanding should be communicated to all employees, both in-office and remote workers, to foster a sense of shared purpose and unity. Regular team meetings, both in-person and online, can provide an opportunity for employees to discuss their progress and share their thoughts and ideas. This may sound like obvious advice, but in a hybrid work environment, communication is key.

Cultivate Collaborative Culture

Group of Employees Communicating, Collaborating and Smiling in the Office

You can’t just expect employees to jump at every collaborative opportunity without first creating an atmosphere and culture of collaboration in your business. This can be done by creating an environment where individuals feel comfortable sharing their opinions and ideas without fear of judgment or criticism. Encouraging employees to work together in teams, promoting open-door policies among managers, or even something as simple as a Suggestion Box in the breakroom will help to facilitate this type of culture.

Recognizing and rewarding employees for their collaborative efforts through performance evaluations, promotions, or recognition programs will go a long way towards fostering a culture of collaboration. Celebrating team achievements can help to reinforce the value of collaboration within the organization, while also promoting a positive and supportive workplace culture.

Stay in Touch with Tech

Employees on Skype at the Office

Utilizing workflow technology can help to promote collaboration and communication amongst employees, a significant obstacle in the hybrid office. Platforms such as Slack and Microsoft Teams can provide employees with a virtual space to collaborate and share their work. They can use it to communicate in real-time, exchange files, and provide feedback on each other’s work. Apps and platforms like Skype and Zoom allow for face-to-face discussions and group brainstorms alike.

Tips and Devices for Privacy in Public

Technology also helps employees who prefer privacy to maintain their personal space in an open office design. It may sound counterintuitive, but by allowing employees to choose privacy, you empower them to connect in the way that suits them best. Try these sound solutions in your workplace and watch productivity grow.

Wi-Fi Extender

One of the most important tools for privacy in public is a Wi-Fi extender. This device will extend your network connection, allowing you to access more secure and encrypted networks that can help protect your conversations and data from being intercepted by others.

Monitor Filter

A desktop monitor privacy filter is another great tool for maintaining privacy in public. These filters help block out ambient light, reducing the chances of someone peeking at what’s on your screen from the side or from behind. They also help prevent screen glare so you can work with ease.

Noise Cancelling Headphones

With these headphones, you can listen to your own music or audio without disturbing those around you, while also filtering out busy office background noise. This can be especially useful if you need to make private phone calls or take part in confidential conversations.

A Variety of Spaces for a Variety of Needs

The rise in popularity of seated privacy has made it more important than ever for offices to find a way to offer both collaboration and privacy to their employees. While an open office plan can often promote collaboration, it can also make it difficult to achieve personal space and privacy.

With the right strategies, businesses can create spaces that satisfy the needs of every employee. Fortify traditional spaces for collaboration such as conference rooms and breakrooms with these unique areas.

Touchdown Spaces

Designate specific rooms or areas in the office as “phone rooms” or “touchdown spaces”. These are areas where employees can go when they need to prep between meetings, take a call, have a private conversation, eat a snack, or just want some time away from their workstation.

Hot Desking

As hybrid offices continue to become the new normal, hot desking not only fosters collaboration without sacrificing privacy, but can also save money by allowing you to downsize your space. Hot desks allow whoever is in the office to work at whichever station best fits their needs; solo workers have no trouble finding privacy, while freedom of movement promotes group work.

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

If your open layout needs a complete overhaul, physical barriers are a low-cost solution with a big impact. These can include cubicle walls, half-walls, dividers, plants, and even furniture that provide a visual barrier between workstations. These dividers can help create a sense of physical separation that encourages privacy.

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