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The Ultimate Guide to Collaboration in the Workplace

Collaboration in the workplace is essential for driving innovation, fostering a sense of community, and improving business output. This guide explores the importance of collaboration and provides 5 actionable ways to spark collaboration among employees, including workplace design, technology, community building, meeting spaces, and socializing.

The Ultimate Guide to Collaboration in the Workplace

Collaboration in the workplace is more than just a means to an end. While it's often seen as a way for employees to get work done, it offers far greater value to organizations. Effective collaboration can spark innovation, foster a sense of community, and drive business output.

team brainstorming ideas on whiteboard

What is Collaboration in the Workplace?

Collaboration in the workplace involves employees teaming up, typically in person, to make progress towards a common goal. This can include both one-off tasks and ongoing projects. Organizations can support collaboration by providing the right tools, conditions, and spaces for employees to work together effectively.

Why Does Collaboration in the Workplace Matter?

The benefits of workplace collaboration are numerous for both employees and businesses. It develops team camaraderie, strengthens work relationships, and contributes to a sense of community onsite. Collaborating allows employees to bounce ideas off each other, engage in brainstorming activities, and tap into their coworkers' creativity.

Apart from improving company culture, workplace collaboration can drive business output, accelerate innovation, and unlock potential for growth. It's no wonder why tech giants like Apple have built their return-to-office policies around the importance of in-person collaboration.

5 Ways to Spark Collaboration in the Workplace

As a workplace leader, you play a crucial role in encouraging collaboration. By focusing your efforts in the right areas, you can create an environment where collaboration happens naturally. Here are five ways to make collaborating onsite easy and enjoyable for employees:

1. Design Your Workplace with Positivity in Mind

The design of your office can significantly impact creativity and collaboration. It contributes to the overall workplace experience and can make the difference between employees feeling engaged and excited or wanting to avoid the office altogether.

When designing your workspace, consider what would positively impact how your employees feel onsite. Choose furniture that encourages collaboration, such as large tables, desks, and couches. Separate areas for different purposes, like quiet zones for focused work and social spaces for collaboration and interaction.

2. Use the Right Tools

To prioritize collaboration in your workplace, you need the right tools and technology. Technology can facilitate renewed collaboration and enable new ways of working together onsite. When your team can't all be onsite together, office technology like Zoom can easily connect those in the office with remote coworkers.

Some useful tools to spark collaboration include:

  • Whiteboards for brainstorming and visualizing ideas
  • Room scheduling software to help employees book the right space for their needs
  • Communication tools like Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Teams to connect with remote colleagues
  • Hot-desking to encourage employees to sit near different coworkers and spark new conversations
team using collaboration tools in meeting room

3. Foster a Community Culture

When employees feel like they belong and are part of a supportive community, they are more likely to collaborate and share their ideas. Building a strong workplace community takes time and effort, but it's worth it for the positive impact on company culture and collaboration.

To foster a community culture at work, consider:

  • Organizing social activities unrelated to work, like happy hours or game nights
  • Celebrating teamwork and acknowledging collaborative efforts in company-wide meetings
  • Partnering with HR and functional leaders to encourage collaboration across teams
  • Adding "collaboration" to your organization's core values

4. Get Creative with Your Meeting Spaces

Meeting rooms are where the majority of collaboration happens in the workplace, so it's important to set them up for different types of discussions and ways of working. Ensure your meeting spaces are unique and varied to encourage creativity, engagement, and productivity.

Consider incorporating:

  • Focused collaborative work areas, like closed-off conference rooms for private discussions and Zoom calls
  • Open collaborative work areas with modular furniture and movable whiteboards or monitors for spontaneous creativity and problem-solving

Diversifying your meeting rooms gives employees options to choose the space that works best for their needs.

5. Encourage Socializing Inside (and Outside) the Workplace

According to employees, the number one benefit of working onsite is socializing with work friends. People are more excited to come to the workplace when they anticipate fun, impromptu social interactions with colleagues. This helps attract new talent, prevent costly turnover, and encourages existing employees to choose the workplace over working from home.

As a workplace manager, you can organize fun events and activities to help coworkers socialize both inside and outside the workplace. This might include quiz nights, themed drinks, movie screenings, happy hours at local restaurants, or picnics in nearby parks. Bringing your people together in social settings can have a positive impact on teamwork and collaboration in the workplace.

colleagues socializing at office happy hour

How Collaborative is Your Workplace?

Before you start implementing changes to boost collaboration, it's important to assess how collaborative your workplace currently is. This will help you identify areas for improvement and track your progress over time.

Consider taking a quiz or survey to evaluate your workplace's collaboration levels and get personalized tips for making it more collaborative.


Collaboration is a key component of a successful workplace. It encourages employees to work together, drives quality results, and positively impacts your organization as a whole. By designing your workplace for collaboration, using the right tools, fostering a community culture, diversifying meeting spaces, and encouraging socializing, you can create an environment where collaboration thrives.

diverse team celebrating successful collaboration

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