Collaborative Workspaces – The need of the hour
Brainstorming, exchanging ideas and collaboration ensure success of an enterprise. In today’s world, an architect or interior designer has to design an original and refreshing workspace that can encourage or boost Collaboration. They have to tread a delicate line, i.e. the design they come up with should inculcate a productive work environment without being too disruptive or chaotic. Collaborative workspaces are designed so that there is a fine balance of “me vs we time” and the main intent is to improve productivity through interacting in the workspace.
Studio Elements under the able leadership of Trupti Puranik have forayed in designing many spaces for corporate and advertisement agencies. According to her, an Architect or interior designer should understand the intent and the priorities first which helps design an innovative workspace. The space should also be able to handle diverse working styles of people and there should be more face-to face conversations. Studio Elements understands this very well and under the designing guidelines of its founder Trupti Puranik, the team of designers led by her design every work space keeping in mind the vision and working culture of the concerned corporate set up along with a complete clarity about the communication process between its employees. For example, if it is an open work culture, the designing is differently done, while the approach is completely different if the said corporate follows a conventional work culture.
The designs, as per Trupti Puranik, can be with the idea of a common place for recreation and proper workstations or a mix strategy or a place where people can huddle and discuss. If it is a common place, the way it is acceptable in the modern work culture adopted by many MNCs and corporates, then it increases transparency and people cannot be doing secret projects. These collaborative workspace, she says, also should reflect the open culture that the organization follows rather than the traditional hierarchy mode of operation. As more organizations are moving to flatter structure, each furniture design should also be intricate and should ensure open culture and co working and echo class!!
Should we aim for behavioral transformations that invite employees to have impromptu interchanges between coworkers? Yes, says Puranik, for that can change the work dynamics amongst them and within the organization. The open office plan should align with the company’s goals and culture and in doing so it reinforces more collaboration amongst employees. The strategy according to her while designing should be:
- Do as much research to come up with a plan that fits the organization culture. Popular trends should not be the deciding factor. Every workspace has a different story, different output expected and a different working style. The product, the lifecycle, the vision, the process cycle of the organization, the working styles of employees should be studied and given paramount importance when designing. This will help in deciding the proximity of seating, the lighting of workstations
- Design should ensure convenience in accessing common facilities like Kitchens, printers, Photocopiers, water coolers etc.it should ensure a warm ambience in these areas and free space. These areas are also hubs of brainstorming and idea exchange. Care has to made that these spaces are not cramped.
- Design of lounge area also should be done so that it can facilitate the free-flow of ideas by simulating a relaxing, home-like environment in the office. Spaces like these can double as casual collaboration spaces.
- Work areas should be designed keeping the idea of play in mind as well. Incorporating a play space (Like table tennis, Ping pong etc.) where employees can spend time and exchange ideas as well is the new trend that is being growingly accepted by more and more corporates.
- The plan should also take into consideration accommodating privacy needs in the physical workspace for instance, a worker may need to focus deeply while preparing for a meeting, move to a nearby project room to collaborate, and afterward break away with one other person to concentrate on a task. Physical proximity of these spaces facilitates quick switching between work modes.
Every company’s needs are different. Your company’s culture, its workforce, and your work processes need to support a collaborative workspace if you are to reap the greatest benefits possible. And design of it, is a meticulous project that has to be nurtured and done with care, love and caution!!And At Studio Elements it is ensured from the word GO!!