One of the main challenges of modern workforces is getting everyone working together, collaborating and generally feeling more inspired. Collaboration is the key to success for many businesses, though small and medium companies especially, can’t afford to have a workforce that isn’t collaborative. Working together as a team gives every member of staff, from junior to senior, a chance to feel that they are a part of something bigger, providing motivation and a refresher in what the business is working towards. If you think your team could benefit from increased collaboration, then LEO’s guide is here to give some ideas to implement in the new year.
Office interior design plays an important role in collaboration. Thankfully, the days of cubicle offices and drab colours are mostly a thing of the past, with most offices injecting their spaces with tasteful colour and well-positioned desks. When designing or choosing your office space, look for rooms that feel airy and stylish, where desks are arranged in a way that feels connected but not crowded, allowing staff to chat and work as needed. Office layout needs to be encouraging of cross-collaboration, without harshly dividing teams – a fluid space will ensure that staff don’t feel confined to their area of the office and can talk freely when needed.
Sometimes a change of scenery is exactly what’s needed to get the team thinking more creatively and working together to problem-solve. Whilst spending the day at the park would work well, UK’s climate makes it near impossible outside of a few summer weeks, instead, try booking a meeting room for the day somewhere new. The thinking behind this is to create a change that will encourage staff to engage differently in a new environment. Even the process of travelling to a new location for the day is bound to incite creativity. Try it when you have a big new project coming up to see if you can observe a change in the way your employees behave and the kind of ideas they volunteer. New experiences also tend to bring teams closer together so you’re going to get guaranteed collaboration.
To increase and drive successful team collaboration, goal setting needs to become common practice amongst individuals, teams, and management. Having clear goals and objectives for teams to work towards is clear motivation to collaboration and better teamwork. The purpose of goal setting is to create achievable team wins – these wins have an amazing ability to break through barriers and provide positive reinforcement for future projects. When creating goals, set a few that can be achieved by the end of the quarter and maybe one or two broader goals for the team to work towards over the year, balancing them based on realistic achievability.
Even the most casual of offices observes a certain level of professionalism and decorum. All this is with good reason, but it does mean that employees never truly get to know each other on a more personal level and therefore cannot build channels of communications that are grounded in authenticity. It’s then important to create opportunities for employees to socialise in a non-formal environment and learn more about their co-workers as people with hobbies, interests, and opinions. When people start to connect on a more personal level, things like stereotyping, negative perceptions, and toxic competitiveness decrease, making everyone feel more at ease and, most importantly, less stressed out at work.