Collaborative spaces: Why they’re replacing desking

Collaborative spaces have recently been on every new interior’s hitlist.  Just what is making them so popular?

5-10 years ago, the only collaboration space would have been a chance meeting at the canteen, or in a formal meeting room.  The power of informal meetings and encouraging collaboration is directly linked to problem-solving, innovation, and (most importantly) building team relationships.

This blog post rounds up our top 5 ideas for collaborative spaces in the workplace:

Space Planning

If your company is open-minded and staff centric, you’ll want to start planning for the impromptu.  That may sound like a paradox, but many interior strategies include a envisioned flow of movement, with busy areas such as the coffee point also incorporating seating for informal conversations.

Likewise, planning the interior such that staff from different departments meet or cross paths is a strategic move for enlightening collaboration, and a clear focus across the company.  Image Source

Work and play

Ok, time to talk breakout spaces.  People often stress the importance of downtime, reviving creativity and boosting productivity…what they often forget is the informal collaboration that takes place in such spaces!

We believe breakout spaces are hugely important to every company.  An opportunity to bond with the team, share a laugh, or very likely discuss business matters together.  Who knows what will spring up over a game of table football?  It’s proven that ideas and creativity are at their peak when relaxing, and half an hour spent in a breakout space could bring about huge progress!  Image Source

Unifying focus

Whilst many companies still tend to sit in departments, it’s promotes broad-mindedness and unifies focus to allow departments to mingle.  After all, it may be a sales person, in touch with the customer all day, who sees the next marketing move needed.  It may be the technician or customer service who can advise a business development or change of strategy.

Formal meetings can be used to gain this common ground, but these sort of conversations are more likely to happen in collaborative, informal environments.  Valuable insights and feedback can be shared, if provision is made for such spaces.

Why not unify the team further by maximising your branding in the space?  Have your manifesto, or common goals displayed, or design the space to strongly reflect your brand voice.

Increased flexibility

Looking at the modern workplace, it’s easy to see how collaboration can fit in with the trend for flexible, agile working.  Some of the most attractive workplaces are those that abandon assigned spaces of old; where people can work according to task, or with those their task requires.

Rather then having a set space for collaboration, why not design the whole workplace in a flexible, collaborative manner?  With unassigned desks, plenty of larger tables and coffee table arrangements…it’s the ultimate collaborative environment!

Meeting rooms or huddles

With a collaborative environment, of course comes the need for focused spaces and meeting rooms.  Not every conversation can be had easily amongst the hubbub of office life, and there’s nothing more frustrating then finding every meeting room booked up!

Incorporate seating ‘huddles’, smaller meeting rooms in abundance, or other similarly purposed spaces, to allow the collaboration to further progress in a more focused environment.

Check out our blog on Office Acoustics, the power of quiet to discover more on mixing collaboration with focused working.


At West+Vittori, we make it our job to understand what motivates productivity and promotes wellbeing.  If you’re looking for a tailored workspace that delivers on all aspects, we’d love to help out.

Drop us a line on our contact page, and we’ll be right back in touch.


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