All work and no play apparently not only makes Jack a dull boy, it makes him less productive at work as well. A recent on line survey by San Francisco design firm Gensler found that over 65 % of workers feel they are much more efficient when they communicate and collaborate with their colleagues. However, only 30 % said that their workplace promotes interaction with others. The link between informal communication and greater productivity is leading many organizations to rethink their office environments.
Fostering informal communication might be as simple as adding a quiet enclave or two where people can meet and talk or it could be as elaborate and daring as a basketball court or ping-pong table. Before you laugh, remember Google’s first conference table was also a ping-pong table.
If you’re thinking about adding an informal collaboration area in your office, a good place to start might be by asking your team for their ideas. If you balance those ideas with a dose of reality, you should be able to come up with a simple and relatively inexpensive way to create a cool looking area for people to talk and test ideas and that could very well lead to more productivity. At the very least, you’ll have more fun doing it.
Nobody wants to work in a place like Initech. A fun and collaborative space in your office can also be a great recruiting tool and help you attract the kind of high energy, creative people who can help your organization thrive in the new economy.