The Benefits of a Collaborative Workplace
Is your workplace truly collaborative? Does it offer employees the opportunity to work together when they want to, choose team-based projects according to their interests and strengths, or even simply take some time to bounce ideas off a colleague? Is there an open plan design to encourage collaboration and foster friendships—as well as more secluded areas for those who don’t want to be distracted while they work?
If you’ve answered, “No” to any of these questions, then you could be missing out on some important factors that can contribute significantly to successful business operations. Here are some key benefits of a collaborative workplace:
- It helps attract and retain top Millennial talent. Instead of conventional cubicle offices in hierarchical structures, Millennials prefer workplaces where teamwork and cross-departmental collaboration are encouraged. Employers that want to recruit top Millennial talent and professionals with niche skills need to adapt their work environments accordingly.
- It enhances engagement. Having the ability to interact and collaborate with colleagues throughout the workday helps employees feel more valued and engaged, which has a positive impact on productivity and retention.
- It promotes creativity and innovation. Workplaces where employees can collaborate and share their diverse points of view are often highly creative. The reason for this is that when people are exposed to non-familiar ideas, experiences, and insights, it can trigger new realizations and concepts. This in turn drives the innovation that’s so important for today’s companies.
- It facilitates the exchange of knowledge. With so many Baby Boomers leaving the workforce, employers are struggling to prevent the attrition of company-specific knowledge. A workplace where younger workers collaborate easily and effectively with mature workers is the perfect setting for organic knowledge transfer. This makes it easier for employers to keep valuable company-specific knowledge within the organization.
It’s important to understand that when done well, a collaborative workplace doesn’t just consist of your physical offices. It should also include a virtual workplace where employees from different locations can interact remotely. As Larry Alton points out in his Forbes article “The Future of Digital Workspaces Means More Collaboration,” supplementing your physical workspace with a digital one can create more flexibility and improve communication, ultimately leading to greater levels of productivity.
Clearly, a collaborative workplace can be critical to building and maintaining an engaged, creative, and innovative workforce. So if you want to remain a competitive employer and brand, you’re best advised to start transforming your workplace into one that’s collaborative as soon as possible.