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The value of collaborative space

Posted on Thu, 2017-11-09 23:24 by Lucy Galloway

Successful businesses of any size tend to display two key attributes: the ability to develop creative solutions and strong decision making. These are traits we would commonly associate with individuals, so, does success come from having more people like that?

While more great people probably couldn’t hurt, it isn’t purely a numbers game. The reality is that the businesses who establish the right environment for teams to successfully collaborate are the ones who achieve success.

Collaboration, while definitely a catchy ‘buzzword’ is much more than just ‘knowledge sharing’. The generation of solutions comes from the exchange of ideas and viewpoints by a diverse team of individuals working to achieve a common goal. This process tends to follow three distinct stages:

Building of trust and understanding which begins the sharing of knowledge and identification of issues and tasks.

Creative which allows the examination of possible approaches and solutions.

Evaluation of solutions to enable best decision or route to achieve the shared goal.

Simple, right? The space to enable and encourage team members to engage collectively, to explain the tacit knowledge that is gained from their individual experiences and insights, to share the information and perspective that cannot be found in manuals, processes or whitepapers. The value of the right environment to support these activities is clear.

Consider, there are four established ways of working; Learning, Collaborating, Socialising and Focussing; they’re probably all underway in different parts of your office right now.

Of these working styles, 3 of 4 require two or more people. This highlights the frequency of engagements that must occur daily to ‘share knowledge’.

The above image was taken in our Glasgow office not long after we moved in; it’s approximately 130Sqft, right in the heart of the space. We briefly daydreamed over installing a bar, a ping-pong table or maybe even some millennial inspiring bean bags; all the while knowing which one we’d get the most use of.  On average, just one of those precious square feet of Central Belt commercial office space costs an average of £42 per year; putting the annual bill for 130 of them at £5460. They could have been some very expensive bean bags.

If provided the right environment (which I regret, is not a game of ping-pong) each of those daily occurrences can facilitate engagement, trust building and the subsequent stages of solution generation and decision making and I’m happy to say, those 130-valuable-Sqft of mustard in Glasgow regularly do.

Is the continued success of your business likely to come from the effort and traits of individuals or from leveraging the collaborative thinking, creative problem solving and decision making of teams? Simply providing the right environment can be a catalyst for new ideas and opportunities.

Feel free to pop in to our office to discuss, though, you will need to bring your own bean bag.


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