5 Steps To Creating A Collaboration Room

As the workforce evolves and becomes more hybrid, the need for better tools to facilitate effective collaboration becomes even more important.

To enable productive collaboration in a hybrid working environment, companies need to provide their employees with access to collaboration rooms.

What Are Collaboration Rooms and Why are They Important?

Collaboration rooms are hybrid spaces where employees can come together to work on projects, share files and communicate effectively.

Effectiveness of these collaboration rooms is critical. Without these rooms, employees can find themselves struggling to navigate the new way of working and producing less than they otherwise could with the right tools. Workplaces that do not provide the right tools also tend to see employees adapting their own solutions, bringing their own applications and devices, applying brand standards inconsistently across their efforts, both internally and externally. This not only reduces efficiency but also erodes brand reputation, morale and engagement.

That said, acknowledging that a change must be does not mean the change will be successful or optimal. Building a collaboration room is not as easy as throwing a laptop or a wall screen into each conference room and calling it a day. Choosing the right technology, from hardware to software, is critical for employees to actually use the room and get the most benefits from the investment.

The Need for Productive Hybrid Spaces

In a study by Frost & Sullivan, 98% of employees believe future meetings will include remote participants. A lot of people need effective hybrid environments.

Businesses are also listening, adapting to better meet the communications needs of their workforce. According to Knight & Franklin, 55% of businesses surveyed believe they will increase the proportion of collaborative space in their offices over the next three years. (Knight & Franklin). Considering the cost in both the money and time that these collaborative projects entail, the fact that MOST businesses express willingness to pursue these tools says a lot.

Collaboration Rooms Are a Cross-Functional Investment with Multiple KPIs

Fundamentally, any project must start with a data-centric motivation that can be verified and analyzed. Start by understanding why collaboration rooms are important to your organization.

Are you looking to improve team productivity? Drive innovation? Retain employees? Enhance customer satisfaction? Once you’ve identified the key performance indicators (KPIs) that are most important to your organization, you can begin to track the impact of your collaboration room. For example, if one of your KPIs is team productivity, you can track metrics — the number of meetings held in the collaboration room, the average length of meetings, and the applications that were used during the session.

There are many ways to gauge effectiveness. The difficulty is choosing metrics that are both meaningful and measurable. Here are five activities that help guide the right design and goals for your project.

5 Steps to Creating a Collaboration Room

1. Understand the ambition
The most important part of the process is to determine the purpose of the collaborative space you are looking to create, and to understand how the space will be used — not just by the key stakeholders on the project but the end users and employees or visitors who will be using it. Work through and define the scenarios of how the space will be used. What are the applications and outputs of those circumstances? Create some personas and use cases to understand what you are trying to achieve.

2. One size doesn’t fit all
Each collaboration room and workspace is unique, depending on people and the physical space of the room/s. You can’t replicate spaces that might work for other organizations. The physical space is an important factor in choosing the right environments, as is lighting and accessibility. It’s worth taking time on this step to ensure all the key considerations have been documented and discussed to ensure the best possible use of the space.

3. Pictures speak a thousand words
Animation is a powerful way to bring an idea or design into the physical world. By using imagery, drawings and other artistic techniques we can visualize what our workspace will look like before it’s even built, which helps us identify any nuances that may need adjusting to create atmospheres that will make the tools easy to use.

4. Money, money, money
It all comes back to money and the budget and investment needed to support these projects, whether it’s a small huddle space or a larger meeting room. The return on investment is crucial and stakeholders need to make an informed decision about the investment of their money. It’s important to develop a solid business case in association with your technology partners to understand the cost benefit of the collaboration space and to maximize the opportunity.

5. Life after Installation
Congratulations! The collaboration space was installed to specifications! Even better, it works. Now the hard work really starts. To maximize ROI, we need to establish ways of working and supporting stakeholders, so that everyone gets the most from this new way of working. Some people are advocates for change; others never want anything to change. Facilitating that learning process is absolutely critical. To do that, track KPIs and usage, and keep talking about how to use new tools.

At X2O Media we partner with you and your team and work together to fully conceptualize the collaboration room experience that you are looking for. From there, we will guide you through the design phase, site inspection, installation and user training to ensure that you get the best out of your new collaboration space.

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