In today’s fast-paced business world, collaboration is king. Whether you work in software development or in public relations, the need for teams to collaborate and generate innovative ideas is nearly universal. While getting high-achieving individuals onboard is certainly an important strategy for success, putting together teams made up of employees with complimentary skills is even more important. Once you have that team in place, don’t make the mistake of separating them into isolated small offices. Instead, create an open office space that is conducive to collaboration. Here are four ways that open spaces are important for successful teams.

Open spaces foster collaboration.

Closed in offices may offer individual employees a sense of privacy, but that privacy comes at the cost of natural collaboration. By locating teams together in an open workspace, you increase the opportunities for everyday collaboration. In an open space, discussions and problem-solving naturally become a group activity. Try incorporating moving walls or glass dividers to create an open office that still provides some privacy for employees.

2. They provide three-dimensional brainstorming spaces.

Innovative solutions happen when a team is able to harness the creativity and brainpower of the entire group. By adding in some movable white boards that double as temporary room dividers, you can surround your teams with a three-dimensional brainstorming space. Small groups or entire teams can record ideas, sketch plans, and take notes on the moving walls around them. Hand each team member a dry erase marker to involve everyone in the brainstorming process.

3. Open spaces can increase productivity.

In traditional offices, employees are separated into a host of individual spaces. This separation creates several barriers to productivity. Here are several advantages that open offices offer:

  • An open office minimizes the need for time-consuming interoffice emails, filled with lengthy explanations and context. Instead, employees can ask quick questions in person.
  • Team members can easily see who is available for impromptu meetings and discussions.
  • Clarifying tasks and coordinating work is natural in an open environment.

With open office spaces, these conversations and collaboration become simple again, increasing the productivity of the entire team in the process.

4. An Open space create team accountability.

Finally, open spaces create team accountability. Because everyone can see and collaborate easily with coworkers, it makes working transparent. Employees are more easily accountable to one another to get the work done and to carry a fair share of the workload. Rather than relying on supervisors alone to nudge a team toward a deadline or milestone, team members themselves can help drive projects forward in an open environment.

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