Collaborative Work Spaces – A Passing Trend or A Thriving Culture?

Remember the Movie - ‘The Matrix’? In one of the scenes, Neo is seen working in his enclosed cubicle when he gets a Phone call from Morpheus informing him about the unknown villains who have come looking for him in his office? This is when Neo suddenly stoops under the workstation desk of his cubicle and manages to scoot to a safe area. Did you notice the maze-like structure of the office? Well, that's how old offices used to be - structured and repetitive. If this was to happen in 2019, I’m sure Neo would have had a little hard time hiding with the open offices being what they are - open! But thankfully, offices are not meant to be hunting grounds anyway.

Come today and you’ll find offices consistently breaking the tradition with dynamic re-organization of the workspace, shattering the norms. The office workstation of today reminds you of a high-end sports bar or a lounge or even your home, anything but a regular office. But do not mistake this welcoming avatar to just be a passing fad as they are extremely high performing too. This stark shift in the ambiance is perhaps due to the realization that employees participation and positive engagement can be achieved only through creating a stimulating work environment.

Crimson Interactive, a Mumbai-based Language Solution Provider, is one such company with collaborative office space to make a plush lounge bar shy. The green wall verdant holding the plants is a view to freshen up the stalest of moods. There is a separate collaboration zone to titillate a distinct point in your brain and take you on a creative trip. There are many other companies doing their own version of collaborative to suit their fancies.

Scheduling serious meetings in the formally reserved block with a long meeting table and neatly circled chairs is passe. Cafes and Vending machines are the new meeting points. Employees increasingly view social connection and engagement as part of their collaborative experience. According to a study by Scientists at the University of Exeter, adding plants to your office can aid concentration, increase productivity and boost staff wellbeing by 47% [1]. Another study suggests that having abundant exposure to white lights in your workplace acquired 173% a white light introduction inside work hours and dozed a middle of 46 minutes increasingly a night.  While for an organization to succeed, it needs operational excellence and productivity, a collaborative workspace provides a conducive environment for these creative encounters leading to the holistic growth of both, employee and the organization. While there are obvious benefits such as fostering friendship and camaraderie within the workplace, there are few other advantages to a collaborative workspace such as:

  • A collaboration and clash of new ideas
  • Reduced Stress, loneliness and depression with the improved overall mood
  • Energetic atmosphere
  • Fosters social bonding and attachment with the organization
  • Less competition more teamwork
  • Increased efficiency and productivity
    But anything in excess is detrimental as it is also important to keep in mind that open offices do not have to mean a ‘bare all’ design which literally robs the employee of any sense of personal space.

It simply means, inculcating a sense of social belonging to discard feelings of monotony and developing love towards the workplace. It could also be that different departments or individuals may have different requirements with regards to the work environment. For instance, creative teams can work better with open seating architecture that promotes communication, while teams such as the Accounts, HR, R&D, and certain confidential offices such as that of the CEO can work better with lower levels of noise and greater confidentiality. Hence, it is best for offices to go for a hybrid combination of open and closed spaces pertaining to individual & departmental needs.

Certainly then, collaborative workspaces, when implemented in the right fashion, can not only benefit the organization but also enhance the mental and physical health of employees. Ultimately, a sustainable Corporate philosophy is to believe that what’s good for its people is good for the company too!

If you are speculating turning your office into the contemporary work zone, check out the rather impressive collaborative furniture range from HNI India, which presents loads of designer options to add quirkiness and positivity to your open office space. Be it fixed or reconfigurable, bold or conventional, whatever your selection, observe the furniture blend seamlessly with your workspace. There’s a lot more you can achieve simply by a change in furniture than you can perhaps conceive.


  1. 1. Need to Increase Productivity in the Office? Do It By Design