When it comes right down to it, employees determine the strength and performance of a business. Creativity, technical skills, and the ability to form collaborative solutions all come together to determine your final result. Working together to solve problems is just how business gets done.
That’s why it’s so important to nurture the creativity and collaborative ability of your team. That’s where smart design comes in to play. With the right ecosystem of spaces, there is no limit to what your employees can accomplish for your business.
What Is an Ecosystem of Spaces?
Your office is a living environment. Each department and every employee works together to meet goals. The problem is, every department has a different set of needs. Adding in the individual needs of your employees makes this even more complicated. That’s why creating an ecosystem of spaces means creating a space for every part of the work process. You need areas where employees focus, work independently together, collaborate, socialize, and rest.
How Are Collaborative Solutions Supported by this Ecosystem?
Everything in an ecosystem works together to keep it flowing. Designing with this mindset is the same as designing for collaboration. No two brains are alike, and every employee is going to have a different workflow. Every employee needs different things to give you their best work. That’s why you need a variety of spaces designed specifically for the needs of your employees, and for the needs of your business.
When beautiful design is tailored to the function of a space, collaborative solutions are born. In a planned space, employees flow through each area and stay in-tune with their workday. An overwhelmed employee can take a quiet break before jumping into a meeting, and that meeting can gather in a room created to meet the needs of working together.
How Microsoft Uses Space to Encourage Collaboration
Microsoft designed new headquarters using this strategy. Originally built in the 1980s, the company demolished all of their closed-space offices to create an open design. They used basic elements of nature to reduce stress and promote creativity. There are no closed office spaces in these buildings, so corporate executives work side-by-side with their employees.
Most importantly, Microsoft uses planned space to meet the key needs of their team:
- Quiet time in a relaxing area that displays flying birds to let employees know when people are approaching
- Easy navigation with wide, open walkways where employees drive segways to get around
- Stress-free time management with an “egg” statue that changes color according to the time
- Supporting collaborative solutions with an array of spaces designed for easy communication and use of team-based technologies
- Delivering on tasks with spaces designed to help focus in on specific types of work
As you can see, Microsoft’s network of spaces boost creativity, collaboration, and productivity. It also amazes visitors and enhances their company image.
Why You Need to Design for Employee Engagement
Your office is only as strong as the ability of your employees to work together and form collaborative solutions. Every employee has different needs. When you meet those needs, you encourage good results from your team.
If you design with this in mind, employees bring their best to every meeting. They have the space to work independently and form creative ideas. They easily share those ideas in areas designed for engagement. Afterwards, they can take a break in a cozy corner before focusing in on implementation.
Without this, employees may feel stifled or uninspired. No matter how nice your meeting room is, you will not get someone’s best ideas if they feel this way.
That’s Why the Ecosystem is Important to Collaborative Solutions
It’s great to have a good meeting place, but what your employees bring to that meeting begins and ends in those other spaces. In a way, collaborative solutions happen at every level of the workflow. A confident and relaxed employee will always make a better contribution to your workplace.
So, take a page out of Microsoft’s playbook and begin evaluating your office today. Go Image Works has partnered with Microsoft to develop an array of tech-rich solutions for any office.