Are Collaborative Workplaces All They’re Cracked Up to Be?

Collaborative Workplaces

You probably know what a traditional workplace looks like. Think cubicles. Think private offices. Think a workspace that provides each employee with a separate space to get work done. That’s how most offices have been structured and laid out over the years—but that’s starting to change. These days, collaborative workplaces are all the rage.

But what is a collaborative workplace? Think Google’s layout. Basically, it’s an environment that’s open and flexible, making it easy for team members to work together in creative collaboration—but not necessarily providing much in the way of private office space.

Collaborative workplaces are trendy, and not without reason: There are many benefits to this workplace layout, and for many companies the collaborative approach just makes sense.

The collaborate workplace isn’t for everyone, though. For some businesses, the more traditional layout still offers the greatest benefits. It all comes down to weighing the pros and the cons—so let’s dig into them here.

The Pros of a Collaborative Workplace

For starters, here are some of the pros of a collaborative workplace:

Most obviously, a collaborative workplace promotes interaction and integration. Your team members won’t be in siloes, secluded from one another. They’ll constantly be in the mix with their fellow employees, sharing, supporting one another, and working together.

The layout is more democratic, too. The senior leaders won’t be off in their own cozy, corner offices. They’ll be more accessible to the rest of the team.

Finally, a collaborative workplace is actually much less expensive to build. There are fewer walls that have to be erected, and this in turn can improve airflow and increase natural lighting—allowing for lowered utility costs in the long run.

The Cons of a Collaborative Workplace

To be fair, there are also some downsides to consider:

Collaborative workplaces tend to bring more distractions, stemming from the very fact that they are, well, more interactive than traditional office layouts.

There is a lack of privacy here, too—which can be a problem if employees regularly need to have sensitive or discreet discussions. An HR counselor, for instance, really needs to have a private space to work and to meet with other employees.

There are potential health risks, too; if somebody brings a bug to work, it’s going to spread through the open work area pretty quickly.

So if you find a warehouse space for rent and think about making it into one big, open office space—well, that could potentially be a great idea. It just depends on the kind of business you’re running, and the needs of your employees. Consider all the pros and cons before deciding.

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