The move to remote work and hybrid work arrangements might be making you nervous. You wonder: how will we collaborate? For years, employers used collaboration as a justification for open offices and rigid work schedules. But does working in an office space really improve collaboration?

Employees need places to collaborate

Nobody would be surprised to hear that the utilization of office spaces dropped during the pandemic. Most businesses were encouraging people to work from home wherever possible. But unwrap this data and you’ll find a surprise.

According to workplace analytics company VergeSense, the utilization of collaborative workspace actually increased 15% during the pandemic. Employees spent more time in collaborative spaces.

If you think about it, it makes sense. Individual work can be done from anywhere. If you’re entering data into a spreadsheet, drafting an email to a client, or managing payroll, you can do all that from anywhere with a computer and an internet connection.

But when you want to brainstorm, work together to solve a problem, or build trust so everyone feels comfortable contributing, a video conference might not cut it.

A space for face-to-face

In a survey by LucidSpark, 1 in 5 remote workers said they met with colleagues in person during the pandemic. These meetings often went against company policy, but employees (and executives) did it anyway. Their number one reason for this behavior? The need to collaborate.

Everyone was worried about productivity during the pandemic, but it was collaboration that really took a hit. In the same survey, 37% of workers said the lack of in-person interaction adversely affected their ability to collaborate.

Good collaboration requires trust and a willingness to speak up. Over time, fewer casual interactions might eat away at a team’s ability to work together.

So does working in an office improve collaboration?

The short answer is: it certainly doesn’t hurt. The trick is to provide the right kinds of office spaces. We’ve written, repeatedly, about the drawbacks of open offices. They negatively impact health, productivity, and employee satisfaction. But small, collaborative spaces are a different story.

If you want the best your team has to offer, give them an office space where they can collaborate and interact at least a few days a week.

At College Park Executive Suites we offer large private offices suitable for three or four people. Our smaller office spaces are perfect for those employees who need a little extra privacy. And you can bring everyone together in our conference rooms.

Get your team set up in their collaborative office space. Contact Jackie today.