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August 28
3 Ways to Design for Collaboration

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The Athenaeum at Milliken's global headquarters features a mix of large worktables, conversation areas, and private workspaces to accommodate​ the different needs of various tasks. Photo courtesy of Eric Laignel. 

Interior designers have the unique ability to influence the corporate workplace. Overall interior aesthetics set the tone for office, whether it is bright and playful or sophisticated with neutrals, and the space layout impacts how employees might interact among one another. 

Creativity and collaboration are key factors of success for business. Here are a three design trends we have noticed that facilitate collaboration and communication in offices.

1. Open spaces designed so different groups cross paths and interact. Such design fosters impromptu meetings that normally would not occur and opens communication channels.  

2. Transitioning from assigned desks to shared desks. Not all work occurs in one spot. Moving around and working in different areas helps spur creativity and interactions with other colleagues. 

3. A variety of meeting spaces. Different projects require different types of workspaces. Offering multiple work areas, from large open tables and conversation areas to private nooks, will allow employees to tackle projects in a way that best suits the team at hand.  

Kristin Gruenefeld, senior floor covering designer at Milliken, shares "As a person who works in an open concept office, I find myself moving to large communal tables in order to gain a different perspective and complete items that do not need to be accomplished at my desk. 

"Alternate functional spaces really allow workers to interact on an informal level with their peers and upper management. There's natural collaboration and sharing, which benefits individuals and the company as a whole."

How do you design for collaboration? We would love to hear your thoughts.

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The Zendesk San Francisco office, designed by Design Blitz, features a bright and open areas for collaborative conversations and cozy booths for meetings and focused work. Photo courtesy of Bruce Damonte. 

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