The open-plan office was once the dream for employers looking to introduce flexibility and collaboration to the workplace. Unfortunately, as with many dreams, the reality didn't quite match up to the vision.
Open-plan offices were just too noisy and too distracting. They were too fraught with interruptions. Research from the Humboldt University in Berlin found that it could take as long as 23 minutes for workers to restore their focus after such an interruption, dramatically impacting productivity.
Health and well-being also suffered, with workers in open-plan offices found to be taking 62 percent more sick days than their counterparts in standard offices.
But, despite these setbacks, collaboration is still a key factor for businesses. Communication and a strong ethic of teamwork are still things all businesses target.
This is why the Zenbooth team has spent time developing pieces of modern collaborative workspace furniture and infrastructure. We're able to achieve these aims while avoiding the pitfalls of the open-plan model.
So let's get into it. Here are seven key benefits of deploying collaborative furniture in your own workplace.
A Team – A Real, Fully Functioning, Team
You need your team to know each other well. You need them to be able to work effectively together and to have each other's backs in moments of adversity.
This simply is not possible in the culture of individuality and separation that characterizes many pieces of office furniture. When using this infrastructure, workers pursue their own tasks and are not equipped to achieve the collaboration that many projects need.
But, as we have seen time and time again, an open-plan office is not the right choice either. Workers simply grow too distracted and too annoyed with their environment to do their jobs full heartedly.
This is the ethos behind our well-thought-out pieces of modern office furniture. Teamwork, understanding, compromise, and collaboration are all fostered within your workspace, giving team members the tools required to really push the boundaries of what is possible.
The Agility and Flexibility You've Always Targeted
Agility and flexibility in the workplace are more than just the latest business buzzwords. Instead, they are crucial to the ongoing success of your organization.
The modern business landscape is changing all the time. What seemed like a solid course of action perhaps a couple of years ago, or even just a couple of months ago, may now seem hopelessly outdated.
The answer is not to become simply reactive. Instead, your organization has to have the flexibility and agility to recognize when change is required and to put that change into action. In other words, your business becomes pro-active. Your business is able to stay ahead of the curve and leverage the very best from every opportunity.
So, what does this look like in practice? Well, it begins with collaboration – the ability to discuss, debate, and work together on a solution. Collaborative office furniture provides a forum for achieving this level of communication.
With the solution then outlined, your team can begin to get the wheels of change turning. This may involve quickly and effectively setting up a project space or a flexible "HQ" from which to drive this change, or it may require teams to return to individual workspaces, fully briefed, focused, and ready for the task at hand. All of this is made possible with the deployment of the right furniture.
Onboarding Made Easy
Employee retention is a critical aspect of business, but so too is hiring the new staff required to grow. With this in mind, you need a collaborative space that will make such onboarding easy.
Consider what these new staff members need. They need close mentoring, training, coaching, and assistance. On a human level, they need to be made to feel welcome within their new environment and to understand that they are part of a team, not simply isolated amid a sea of similarly isolated units.
Huddle room furniture, for example, make this easy. Within a Zenbooth, buddying up is easy to achieve, and there is always a channel of help and support open.
This all makes the human process of onboarding much easier, but there are further practical benefits to this approach.
Onboarding also requires the quick deployment of different pieces of equipment, both for training and for longer-term use as the new team member effectively learns the ropes. This is far easier to achieve in a collaborative environment than it would be in a traditional office. Traditional office spaces are static and do not enjoy this kind of flexibility.
A single person Zenbooth could be just the place for a new employee to work a few hours each day.
The modern working environment is governed by a number of constraints. Among the most pressing of these are constraints relating to the physical dimensions of the space and the financial restraints of budget.
Let's take a look at the budget first. All parts of the office, especially furniture, need to be justified and budgeted.
If you operate a standard office environment, each component you add comes with its own cost. Each cubicle needs to be fully equipped and paid for, but this represents only the basics.
From here, we need to add conference rooms, project spaces, break rooms, reception areas, and all manner of other pieces that come together to form a complete office. Chances are, you need all of this within your workspace, but paying for all of this can be very difficult.
At the very least, it's going to eat into your bottom line considerably. With Zenbooth, you can acquire a portable conference room that serves different functions, cutting down on the amount of other furniture you need to buy.
A Great Use of Space
Your working area is a finite space. You can only add so much to this space before it is full. Not just cluttered and busy, but genuinely, physically full. And, when the time comes to add more functionality further down the line? Well, there's no more room.
A group meeting space sidesteps both of these difficulties. By introducing modern, collaborative workplace furniture, business owners are providing workers with a ready-to-use conference area, as well as areas for quick but effective huddles.
here is no concern regarding budgeting and space, and all team members have exactly what they need.
It's no secret that quality of life is something all of us value very highly. But, just how much value is placed on this may surprise you. Millennial professionals say that a better quality of working life is something they would be prepared to take a $7,600 reduction in pay for, underlining just how vital this aspect of work really is.
Considering how disillusioned many workers are with the open-plan system, it is more important than ever to ensure that team members have access to this quality of life. Fail to provide this and employee retention, workplace productivity, and, ultimately, bottom line will suffer.
The solution is easy: give your team what they want. Give them spaces where they can have some privacy and achieve a distraction-free working experience.
Give them the tools they need to communicate effectively, and give them the peace and quiet they need to get the job done. All of this can be achieved with the right workplace furniture.
Full Scalability for Your Business
Your business is growing. All successful businesses are growing. This means evolving needs that must be met and expanding workplace infrastructure.
It's going to be pretty difficult to accommodate the new equipment and team members you need to grow. It's also going to be almost impossible to tack a new conference room onto your space when you suddenly find yourself needing one. Flexible spaces like the Zenbooth conference room support this scaling with minimal disruption.
Your business cannot afford to stand still. This lack of action and progress is all the more frustrating when it does not happen out of choice but is forced upon you by the restrictions of your workspace.