In a post-Covid world, the office is being reimagined as a space for collaboration. Traditional office layouts with rows of desks are outdated and leave teams trying to collaborate and generate ideas feeling frustrated.
And when people do find ways to come together in spaces in the open-plan, a lack of privacy often leaves others feeling distracted and unable to concentrate because there’s no shelter from the noise.
Studies say companies who create collaborative workspaces are five times more likely to be high performing and are more profitable.
Collaborative office furniture can transform your workplace into a vibrant and welcoming space that sparks creativity and innovation. It can support all kinds of gatherings, from formal to informal, impromptu to planned, open and private.
We explore some of the best collaborative office furniture for every occasion.
Flexible furniture solutions within the open plan
Collaborative spaces need to cater for different types of collaboration and support a range of postures. Flexibility is a necessity.
The Steelcase Flex collection gives teams control over the collaborative space. Acoustic screens can be rolled in on-demand and double up as partitions to display working materials.
Pixel by Bene can act as a table, bench, platform or shelf. The blocks can be positioned to flexibly shape space for a number of different team tasks. They create a playground like space that encourages lively participation and creativity.
Collaborative furniture for private meetings
Private meeting spaces with glass and sound absorbing wall panels will give employees the choice to collaborate on private matters without concern.
Campers&Dens by Orangebox is a pod system that can be moved or re-positioned to suit changing needs and delivers privacy through pods, cabins and awnings. Technologies and whiteboards can be integrated, alongside freestanding seats and tables.
Air3 also by Orangebox is another acoustic pod that can act as a freestanding collaborative space for teams wanting privacy. The colours and fabrics can be tailored to suit your workplace.
Or, create a pop-up office with 'team' by Brunner. Described as a "mobile wall-dividing system and presentation - all in one" it can be rolled in any time you want to create privacy within the open-plan. It can be configured in various ways to support work as it happens. And it's stackable, so you can hide it away to save space when you don't need it.
Creating spaces for impromptu meetings
Chairs and stools placed in walkways, corridors and outside meeting rooms give workers a space to innovate on the fly.
Furniture solutions to support serendipitous collaboration could include:
- Cubb by Orangebox - A range of seating options to suit different environments, including stools and chairs with wooden or metal legs.
- Turnstone Buoy by Steelcase - A lightweight stool that can be moved from one location to another easily, whether that be a quiet corner or at someone’s desk. They are designed to encourage active movement, which helps creativity to flow.
- Bimbo by Blastation - A stackable stool that can be easily pulled out and moved around as needed.
- Away from the Desk by Steelcase - A soft seating solution that can be configured for two, four or six people. The high back design provides acoustic privacy and can meet a range of power, data and monitor requirements should you need to plug in or bring something up on screen.
- Border by Orangebox - A linear bench and worktable that can be used in both café areas and a variety of open-plan spaces.
Teams need a space where they can display their thinking and ideas, that they can change to suit work flows throughout the project.
The Share it Collection by Steelcase offers a space with whiteboards and digital screens where teams can interact, share and focus. High tables and stools encourage employees to lean in, helping to energise them so creativity can flow.
Tier by Connection can be used to create a town hall setting where groups can come together to collaborate. It comes as two and three-tiered, auditorium modules that can be configured for focused meetings and presentations.
Incorporating technology, IT and power
Digital screens, power points and other IT and technology are often needed to enhance collaboration. Especially as hybrid working becomes more prominent.
The Steelcase Flex Mobile Power gives teams the freedom to work wherever they want, whether it's the cafe or their favourite lounge space. The flexible handle makes it easy to move around and the sleek design means it can fit into any work environment.
When furniture and space are optimised for collaboration, creativity can flow naturally and projects can progress seamlessly. How much does your office support collaboration?
If you're looking to create a more collaborative workspace or you want to learn more about any of the products in this post, get in touch to chat with one of our team.