Office Administration

5 Tips for A Collaborative Workspace

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Written by Mary Nigel

In today’s fast-paced and competitive work environment, one of the secrets to a successful company is the ability to maximise collaboration practices. This means creating a workplace where employees can do and give their best, working with their teammates, while also having access to the right information and collaboration tools. 

When it comes to managing your business, the teams that are more successful at working together harmoniously are also those that are more adept at responding to various market conditions, challenges, and innovations.  

From finding the right shared office space in Melbourne, or wherever you’re from, to switching to a work-from-home arrangement, there are many ways to improve collaboration, to the benefit of the entire company. If you’re looking to improve collaboration between team members, these are some of the tips that you can follow. 

1. Create a Culture of Trust and Openness in Your Workplace 

Trust refers to the belief or confidence in the ability of someone or something. This matters in the workplace, as your organisation is a network founded on strong relationships. No relationship can function without trust, which is essential for collaboration. 

One of the factors that may be drawing other members of the team away from sharing their ideas with everyone else is the fear of judgment. Constructive criticism is acceptable, as this is also needed for growth. But, when the criticism doesn’t contribute in a positive way, then that’s where collaboration can fail. As a result, members of your team might become distant or simply keep quiet out of fear of being judged.  

When trustworthiness becomes part of your company culture, members of your team can openly address issues and freely share ideas with each other. Each employee feels a sense of accountability to actively participate and do their job, with very little need on your part to check regularly that tasks are being accomplished. This can also contribute to the overall happiness and job satisfaction of your employees.  

2. Define the Goals You Intend to Achieve 

Every time your workplace has a project to deliver, it then follows that you will need to set the right goals. If there’s a single member of the team not aligned with your values or uninformed of your aims, your overall propensity as a team to collaborate, exchange ideas, and meet set goals will be hindered. Remember, you don’t always need to think big – make your goals reasonable to achieve within a certain time period.  

What’s a good strategy, then? Be sure to remind your staff of their responsibilities and deadlines, so that everyone in the team knows what has to be done and what is at stake. This can be accomplished through email reminders, team meetings, or a workplace management application.  

3. Identify Specific Roles  

Another important tip for improving collaboration is to have specific roles for your team members. Give each person certain responsibilities and make it clear to them what must be done for the fulfillment of a project. When everyone has a role to play, this allows your team members to be more engaged, and fosters collaboration with others. For example, you may wish to designate a ‘team leader’ for projects within your marketing, sales or IT teams.  
 

4. Motivate Your Team Members  

It is essential to keep your team members motivated and satisfied to ensure they are willing to give their all at work.  

Find time to praise your team members’ efforts, especially those who have shown consistent improvement or high-quality performance within a specific period of time. In addition, provide your staff with incentives, such as free lunches or gift vouchers, to reinforce how important they are in the company.   

Remember, when employees are motivated and aware that they are valued, they become inspired to strive harder. And as a result, they become more collaborative in the workspace.  

5. Make the Workspace Comfortable 

Creating a collaborative workspace includes making it comfortable for all your team members. Generally, employees tend to collaborate more effectively if their workspace is designed to be secure, well-lit, and pleasant. For example, you may wish to create a zone where employees can go to relax during their breaks. 

Moreover, your team members will love to engage with others if the work environment is filled with comfortable pieces of furniture, and items used for brainstorming and collaborative activities, like whiteboards and projectors.  This is essential for any modern digital workplace.

As an added bonus, this is also likely to boost your employees’ overall satisfaction with your business. Your staff members will feel valued, knowing that their employer cares about their comfort and wellbeing. 
 

Conclusion 

If you’re not sure how to improve your team’s collaboration, the tips above can help steer you in the right direction. There’s a multitude of benefits from having a collaborative workplace, therefore it should be a priority in your small business.  

“The opinions expressed by BizWitty Contributors are their own, not those of BizCover and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice. Please read our full disclaimer."

About the author

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Mary Nigel

Mary Nigel is a work space interior designer. She has been sharing her insightful ideas through guest posting in various online publications. Mary loves outdoor adventures and gardening. She is married with five children.