Anat Lechner’s recent piece in the Harvard Business Review brings up several excellent points about the importance of on-the-job collaboration and the importance of smart construction/design practices in today’s business world. Specifically, she discusses the various ways companies can design the physical layout of their offices, resulting in faster, more effective collaboration amongst employees.
Constructing an environment that fosters teamwork According to Lechner, a lack in predefined, equipped group work-stations makes any attempts at employee collaboration complicated and inefficient. By changing both the physical layout of business offices (providing dedicated meeting locations and ensuring employees have the necessary tools to work as a group) and the overall attitude towards employee collaboration (allowing employees the freedom to get up and gather when they choose, as opposed to confining them to cubicles), employers can supply more effective teamwork practices.
Lechner suggests that offices should move from an individual cubicle based layout, where employees (and their ideas) are isolated from one another, to a more open, free-flowing environment in which interaction between employees is the norm and not the exception. Dedicated meeting rooms encourage employees to share knowledge and ideas about projects. Having the right equipment and tools on-hand allows for these ideas to be recorded and reviewed whenever necessary. That being said, there must still be available space for individual, focused work as long as it is not completely removed from the group spaces.
Building smart at The Korte Company This focus on collaboration in work place design is something we take into high consideration when building office spaces. Our most recent renovation of CB Richard Ellis’ (CBRE) Las Vegas Headquarters in the Hughes Center demonstrates an effective and efficient open-office layout. The new free-flowing layout allows tasks to be completed in a fluid, integrated manner. An increase in employee collaboration leads to an increase in productivity. Work place design is the name of the game and we work hard to do it well. Another relevant project we completed recently was a tenant improvement for Affinity Gaming.
We practice what we preach None of our projects are one-man jobs: they are highly involved, wide ranging, and require a variety of skill sets to complete. Because of the style and scope of our work, effective and efficient collaboration is crucial to the completion of our goals. Information sharing plays a strong role in keeping projects running smoothly and on schedule. Also, with the amount of work we do in the healthcare field, interaction between design teams and clients is at a premium. By streamlining information sharing, we can ensure that this intra-group communication occurs with as few issues as possible. Our work is very important and effective teamwork lets us do a better job.