Today’s modern office should have an interior design that not only invites collaboration but also facilitates it. With many companies using a hybrid model of remote work with in-person meetings, employees come to the office specifically to meet with their team.
This is why collaborative office furniture — comfortable, multi-purpose and easy to move — is a must. Learn about some options below to ensure your company has everything it needs to stay current and cutting-edge.
The New Hybrid Workplace
A recent Gensler survey showed that 70% of employees want to spend the majority of their week in the office when their workplace reopens. They cited missing the face-to-face interactions with their coworkers, both socially and professionally, among the top reasons.
While there is consensus that meetings and collaborative project work are more effective in person, working remotely has a couple of key benefits — namely, no commute and fewer interruptions.
This is why many companies have chosen a hybrid approach that gives employees the flexibility to split their workweek between in-person and remote work.
Some analysts call this the “3-2-2 workweek” — three days in the office, two days at home, and two days off.
The absence of a daily commute gives employees more time to exercise, sleep, and be with their families, which can improve their wellbeing. When MIT introduced a flexible workweek several years ago, they found it also increased employee productivity, as well as feelings of trust and respect among employees and their managers.
Qualities of a Collaborative Workspace
As you consider how your company’s typical work week may change, think about how your office design can support new ways of working. An agile, collaborative work environment invites teamwork with open spaces and furniture, such as shared work tables, desk benches, modular sofas and high tables with lightweight stools.
Rather than having to consciously seek out creative partnerships, the space allows this to happen naturally and organically.
This is particularly beneficial to introverts who may enjoy collaborating, but don’t always seek it out in remote-work situations or a closed-off, cubicle environment.
Creativity and innovation rarely happen in a vacuum, nor do they always happen in planned, structured meetings.
Instead, inspiration strikes when we least expect it, usually resulting from something we saw, heard or experienced in our environment when we are relaxed and maybe not even trying to be innovative.
When your employees can see and hear about what their teammates are working on, your environment is also promoting a more integrated culture since people will be able to connect with members of other teams instead of working in silos.
Using a variety of workspace dividers gives you the ability to accommodate individual work styles and as well as transform your office’s layout within minutes.
When employees add simple privacy screens to their desks, they gain the private space they need for highly intensive, focused work while reducing the spread of germs.
Get the Free COVID-19 Reopening Plan
Replace the traditional walls of your meeting rooms and private offices with modular flex glass walls that are easy to move, giving your employees privacy without isolation.
By creating a collaborative, comfortable and relaxed environment with dedicated spaces for working without distractions, you’re giving people the qualities they love about working remotely and in-person.
Types of Collaborative Office Furniture
While having unique pieces of furniture to suit different work styles and meetings is important, conference tables and other traditional furniture pieces still have a place.
Traditional doesn’t mean it can’t be collaborative. Take the tables from our Gunlocke Briefing series, for example.
This line’s sleek, executive look adds polish to an office environment, yet the high tables paired with cushioned lightweight stools, such as the Gunlocke Tia, will help your team collaborate with ease.
Multi-purpose seating allows team members to meet anytime, anywhere inspiration strikes. This flexibility keeps the creative flow going by allowing people to quickly grab a chair that best suits their physical and workstyle needs.
Take our Hon Skip chair, a modern twist on the rocking chair. With cushioned seats and a fun design, those who can’t sit still can be productive without being disruptive.
The entire Hon Grove collection of chairs and sofas features soft, relaxing colors reminiscent of nature while the Gunlocke Calm line offers a simple, timeless design.
Designed to both support and relax the body, Office Basics furniture helps calm the mind, much like our home furniture does, making it easier for employees to come to the office and be productive.
Essentials for Office Reopening
In addition to creating an environment ripe for the spark of innovation, collaborative office furniture offers the flexibility needed to reconfigure your workspace based on current needs, including the ability to work together effectively at a safe social distance.
You also need to consider other practical details, such as safety policies and equipment to ensure your employees stay healthy and happy.
A comprehensive shop to meet your office needs, Office Basics has your back with a free resource to help you do just that. Get a free COVID-19 reopening plan today for a safe, healthy start when you reopen your office space.