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Team Building: How Office Design Affects Team Interaction

Team building and collaborative spaces are becoming increasingly crucial in agile working environments. These working spaces encourage experts from different disciplines to work together to create innovative solutions to novel problems. 

When building and designing an office, there are a few features and layouts a business should consider to encourage the interaction between team members. In this article, we’ll discuss the office design features to include to encourage a collaborative environment. 

How to create a team-building environment

Office design and building focused on generating cooperation should infuse concepts of team building such as creating a common purpose, engendering trust, and encouraging open, honest communication into the physical build. Below are some of our design tips to help create collaborative spaces that encourage teamwork.

Incorporate Spacious, Open Office Designs

 Open space office designs encourage and foster team building in offices.

Spacious areas build trust and encourage collaboration as there is greater visibility making it easier to see and interact with colleagues. The lack of barriers in an open space means that there are no obstacles to talking and discussions, so teamwork is not only encouraged, but more easily attainable.

Open office designs can also encourage freedom of movement around the office offering teams more agility. For staff hybrid-working or working in multiple teams, an open space design allows them to work as needed, not bound by rigid singular offices. 

Research by Harvard Business Review states employees in a high-trust environment feel 74% less stressed, 106% more energy at work, 50% higher productivity, 13% fewer sick days, 76% more engaged and 40% less burnt-out. 

Our recent work with Kinesso helped to create a spacious and open plan office design, suited to hybrid working and agile methods. They needed the look and feel of the space to match the design of the head office in London, whilst staying unique to the space they were working in. A wide range of furniture such as booths, pods, meeting rooms and a spacious canteen were included in the design. 

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Create structured, purposeful workspaces

A structured, organised workspace with a clear purpose will reassure employees and evoke a trusting office atmosphere. 

Organised workplaces present a sense of predictability and safety which gives employees the sense of being in control. This sense of control and safety empowers your staff to feel more confident in this space because they know what to expect.  

Defining the purpose of the space also reassures workers as they know what to expect. 

Giving people spaces where they feel in control will reduce stress and anxiety. One of the most common forms of communication breakdown is stress.

Insert communal spaces at connection points

The spaces that connect two different work areas are the perfect spot for communal spaces that encourage interaction between different teams. These connection points serve as a great break for employees to recharge, increasing the chances for different teams to interact socially. 

Areas for bleacher seating

Bleacher seating offers businesses a way to hold communal meetings for team-building events. These could be town hall events, guest speakers or conferences. 

Town halls are a great way to increase employer feedback and communication and promote a sense of community. 

Communal care items to improve trust

Free communal care items such as free food and drink or toiletries build trust and improve cooperation. Office design to boost social interaction should incorporate stations for care gifts into communal spaces. 

They encourage sharing, social interaction, and trust. Complimentary care items send the message that the company cares about its employees, employees are more likely to care about each other.

Use feature walls to create a common purpose

These walls can display slogans, quotes, messages or even a company logo. Displays are a great way to unite staff behind a common value and purpose close to the company’s ethos. 

Bringing your team together with a united purpose is hugely beneficial to companies. Research by Raj Sisodia published in Firms of Endearment found businesses that united staff with a common purpose, beyond making money, outperformed the S&P 500 by a factor of 14% between 1998 and 2013. 

The benefits of inserting a quote on a wall extend beyond focusing your team on your brand’s ethos. These quotes can also be a source of inspiration and motivation alongside being aesthetically pleasing and crafting a space your employees enjoy. 

Use art to stimulate discussion

Art is a great way to get people talking. 

Art binds people to each other and to places. It is the foundation of creating a culture and a community because it is capable of unifying people of different backgrounds and perspectives together. 

Great art gets people talking about its deeper meaning, encouraging the team to talk openly and honestly. These discussions are also a great opportunity for your team members to discover and explore different perspectives. It’s also a great way to offer your employees a stimulating environment. 

Numerous studies in the healthcare industry have established the benefits of using art to improve teamwork and communication.

The other benefits of a collaborative workspace

Increased Innovation

 A study by PGI found that collaborative workspaces can boost innovation by 15%. This is a great boon for businesses looking for creative solutions.

 More knowledgeable and skilled teams

Collaborative workspaces allow a collection of workers from different disciplines to come together and work together. This not only fosters teamwork between members of different teams but also aids in the transfer of knowledge between teams. 

This is a great way for employees to boost their skills and get different teams in sync.

Flexibility and agility

They are flexible agile spaces that allow businesses to scale up or down their business to workflow demands. This is especially beneficial to start-ups and growing businesses.

Quick Decisions

The less formal workspace encourages open and more honest communication, resulting in decisions that are made quickly.

When designing an office for team-building, you should inject the ideas of openness, trust, communication, and common purpose into the physical design. By inserting these ideas into the features, you can increase team interaction. 

Want to increase your employees interaction and cooperation? Drop us a message let us design you an engaging space your team will love. 

Carlie Dunbar

Written on the 23rd May 2024 by

Working behind the scenes, Carlie assists with the purchasing and setting up of new projects and looks after day-to-day tasks within the office.

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