Many workplaces lack the space, resources and culture to make their workplace truly collaborative and this can be a problem.

If everyone is working in blissful isolation of other departments, such as sales and marketing, these departments will eventually start to butt heads. Here are some suggestions to try and foster better workplace connections and collaborations without breaking the bank.

Ensure The Kitchen is in Good Shape

The better your office kitchen, the more time your staff are likely to stay in the office.

If staff can make their own food, or at least reheat their leftovers in a nice, clean space it means that more of them will get to eat together and get to know each other. This helps build rapport and foster friendships that help everyone want to work together cooperatively.

A key part of any organisation is the workplace coffee machines. You’d be surprised at how much time is wasted on staff members who run out to get coffee elsewhere. A lot of people like to have tea or coffee with them in meetings, so by having good facilities in the office will reduce the wait for people ducking out before or during meetings for a coffee run. To be clear, your office needs a proper coffee machine that uses fresh grounds, not instant or plunger coffee.

Have Planning Days and Open Forums

Everyone in your company has opinions on how things should be run and want to have their voices heard. Some companies are structured in such a way that it is difficult for people on the front-line such as in sales or customer service to be able to talk directly to senior staff or to raise issues or cracks that might not be visible outside of their departments. Some of these things might be easily fixed if the right heads get talking.

This is an event that should be held at least once a year, possibly more if your company is facing a major problem or is commencing a large project such as a new product launch, rebrand or a new CEO has joined. If you do not have the space for such a forum, you might want to hire out a hall or function room.

Team Building Days

Many departments will have their own team lunches and budgets to do training and other activities together, but more companies need to do activities that involve multiple departments. Depending on the size of your company, this can get quite expensive, but you can always do split groups of people from different departments going off to a game of laser tag or go-karts over different weeks or months.

If you are on a budget, there are always options like BBQ or Pizza days, international food days where everyone brings a plate of food and lots of charity morning tea events across the year. Food can be a pretty easy thing for people to bond over.

Have a Proper Intranet and Chat System

Ensure photos are always taken at any work events, including team-building events. Make these photos accessible to everyone on the intranet. A chat system such as Microsoft Teams or Slack is also a great form of collaboration between floors and departments. The ability to talk to anyone in the company live can be quite handy. This is far better than having everyone call each other, in a lot of cases. Both of these rely on your workplace having reliable 2.4G or 5G WiFi, which is now a staple of all businesses.

The Verdict

With the right tools in place and proper management, any company can become more collaborative. By having teams work together and run things in a way that suits all departments, your company will work better and more efficiently.