We've all seen the cool photos and read the hype:  if you don't devote a serious chunk of real estate to temples of teamwork your business will FAIL!  Is this true?  Maybe, but...

Having the wrong kind of collaborative space is worse.

In today's economy it is more important than ever to make every cent count.  You pay for every inch of your space whether it's being utilized or not.  When you set aside space for team collaboration you either have to pay for a larger space or give less space to other functions.  So those team spaces better give you some return on your investment.

How do you know if you have the wrong kind of collaborative space?
  • After occupying your space for a year your collaborative zone still looks like the picture above.
  • While stopping off for an Expresso Macchiato you find your entire team camped out at their "usual table".
  • Your staff is using the space:  as a great place for an afternoon nap because it's so peaceful and quiet.
  • You call for a meeting at "the team space" and nobody shows up because nobody knows where it is.
  • You find yourself mediating space disputes that sound more like 1st graders on a playground than like the professionals you hired.

How do you get the right kind of collaborative space?

  • Create spaces based on how your team actually works:  not how you think they should work.
  • Make the spaces convenient for your team by making location and resources easily accessible to them.
  • Looking great is definitely a goal but remember that functionality is always top dog.
  • Use technology when it makes sense.  There are some amazing technological advances in collaborative space tools but these only make sense if your team has the desire and capability to use them.
  • Work with an architect that has the experience to draw from other solutions but who recognizes that your business and your staff are unique and require a unique solution.