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What is a Collaboration Desk?

What Is a Collaboration Desk?

Collaboration desks are furniture that transforms. The furniture changes with the needs of the moment. Users have the option to build a shared workspace or table. Such freedom also changes the way a space gets used. The real value of collaborative furniture is how it encourages productive, meaningful work.

What Makes a Good Collaborative Space?

A good collaborative space allows different ways of working. Whether the space is educational or professional, tasks change often. A class or team has to shift between individual work and group work according to the day’s schedule or because of an unexpected event. A collaborative space makes this change simple instead of stressful.

How does a collaborative space differ from a traditional one? Here are some of the architectural and design elements that set them apart.

Collaborative Spaces Architecture and Design

Open Floorplan

Collaboration is hampered by walls. A collaborative space is built and arranged so people are able to see each other, allowing the free exchange of ideas and information. The layout should enhance, rather than restrict, the ability of the instructor or boss to move through the room to see everyone. In turn, everyone should be able to see a screen or whiteboard from any seat.

Group Seating

A collaborative space needs options for breakout discussions and team meetings—a place where collaborative desks shine. For example, combining desks for a group meeting without having to move all items, and then pulling the desks back apart to serve as individual workspaces. The design of the furniture makes these changes exciting! The iGroup collaboration furniture has wedge-shaped desks that come together to form a shared table, a brilliant example of a beautiful design. 

Integrated Technology

Not all collaborators are guaranteed to be in the room. It’s important for a collaborative space to support remote users. Furniture gives everyone an equal place in the conversation. For example, Motif computer conference modules include flipIT, a computer mounting feature that allows on-demand access to desktops, laptops, or tablets—a capability that lets remote collaborators connect to the conversation in a matter of moments.

Collaborative spaces are tailored to the needs of users as much as possible, including the furniture.  Some companies like SMARTdesks even handle custom collaborative furniture requests

What Is the Importance of Collaboration Spaces?

An open, collaborative space supports the relaxation of students/employees. They feel less confined and separated from one another; ideas and shared learning flow when people work according to their preferences. For the space owner, a collaborative layout uses less square footage, reducing costs if you are renting or creating an opportunity to repurpose excess space.

Collaboration spaces also have different benefits for schools versus workplaces. Let’s explore the data for each.

Impact of Collaborative Spaces in Schools

● Table shape influences student behavior. Pairs of students at round tables are more likely to work without speaking. At rectangular tables, pairs are more likely to have discussion. But in groups of three, round tables lead to more discussion. Rectangular tables lead to more non-verbal work. Collaborative desks in a school make it possible to incorporate both shapes.

● Schools in Finland have more collaborative learning environments, leading to a reduction in bullying. Other benefits include students expanding their learning with different teachers and reduced stress on teachers. 

Impact of Collaborative Office Space Furniture

● According to employees, desk-sharing leads to more positive feelings about the office. Workers get a choice of where they want to work, able to change locations based on their energy level, task, or mood. A collaborative office desk even leads to more physical activity in sedentary jobs.

● Workers acting collaboratively stuck with their tasks 64% longer than employees working alone. They also had more engagement, more success, and less fatigue.

Get the Best Collaboration Desks from SMARTdesks

We started this piece by asking, what is a collaboration desk? It is a piece of furniture, but it’s also much more. Investing in collaborative furniture reflects your values and goals in the space, and encourages more productivity and sharing. It might even get people more excited to come to school or work!

SMARTdesks helps you make it all happen. Explore our catalog of desks, conference tables, smart furniture, and more. Start visualizing the future of your space and contact us for assistance.