So what does it mean when someone says “inventing the collaborative workspace?” I just finished reading a blog by Adam Richardson for the Harvard Business Review about the importance of collaborative spaces in today’s workforce. However, when I first read the title, I wondered why this idea seems like a new concept to those younger than me.
This article is reviewing the corporate workplace, and I enjoyed the breakdown of designs that inspire interaction, but I don’t believe this is a new concept. After all, weren’t we raised in a collaborative workspace when our teacher placed us in groups to create, research, and complete projects? That continued through all levels of our education.
So where did it stop?
So where did it stop? There are very few who “own” the corner office, and I agree with Mr. Richardson that most corporate environments have not catered to the fundamental benefits of collaboration. But, if what we (Modern Office Systems) market is anything to go by, the collaborative workspace is as strong and potent as ever. I suppose I’ve always felt the real issue is how to make it better. How do we bring it into the next century and not lose our sense or need for privacy?
There are designers and manufacturers like Joe Agati who have worked tirelessly on this concept since th
e 70’s. He has created furniture that opens up the “cubicle” environment to allow privacy or collaboration. (We all need both at some points throughout the day). How does he do this? By offering a modular type solution – furniture that can be configured to accommodate whatever the spatial environment needs. Healthcare, Business, Government Offices, Pharmaceutical, Libraries? He offers the Gee seating modular concept that can be configured to allow both. Or, he uses banquette seating with or without the elements media to work alone or connect with others immediately. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. And Agati is only one manufacturer who comes to mind.
And as the Dalai Lama once said, “It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.”
I, for one, like that idea!