How we interact at Interaction
Posted by Interaction on 22/06/2016
We are passionate about designing workspaces that encourage collaboration.
We understand that helping people interact effortlessly heightens productivity and promotes workplace wellbeing. In our studio, for example, we find cultivating a collaborative working environment nurtures our creativity and keeps us consistently engaged with our work.
From our industry knowledge, we have created a variety of spaces within the studio that cultivate interaction between team members. However, effective interaction takes many forms and goes beyond the physical layout of our studio space. It is our culture and the things we do to foster a collaborative environment that helps to promote communication.
Listed below are ways we like to interact at Interaction. We encourage you to take this list and consider how you promote collaboration within your work. Would these ideas work in your office?
Rather than having our own desk we sit wherever we want. As well as being a practical space saving solution it also encourages greater collaboration and understanding between team members. Directors, assistants, designers, accountants and managers all sit together and no one has an office. Sitting next to somebody from another area of the business helps us to gain a greater understanding about them and the work they do.
2. ‘Interaction Time’
Every two weeks the whole team gathers together to discuss: current projects, upcoming social and fundraising events, and to share any good news stories. It keeps us engaged in the recent developments in the business and keeps spirits uplifted.
Whether it’s getting fit in our studio gym or cycling into work we like to encourage each other to stay healthy. Sit down at the lunch table and it won’t take long before you hear people discussing a recent distance, time, or speed that they have achieved. We’ve also been known to get an Interaction team together to undertake events like triathlons or the upcoming Tough Mudder. We then return to the office invigorated, uplifted and with new stories to share.
4. Create a buzz
As well as having areas in our studio for private, focused work we also have a larger open-plan space, which is always busy, full of people and often has music playing in the background. This space is designed to have just the right amount of ambient noise to promote creativity, collaboration and conversations.
5. Step away from the inbox
Why send an email when you can easily get out of your chair and talk to your colleague face to face? The open-plan space and the sociable breakout areas enable us to grab a coffee and have informal meetings, quick project updates, and general catch-ups.
6. The Volt
Designing our office to include a pub bar - The Volt – has proved to be a very popular and successful addition. It provides the perfect place to decompress after a busy week. It’s the fun, social hub of our office on a Friday night. Whether it is a relaxed evening or a ‘cocktail party’ we are spending time with friends not just colleagues.
We share a love of food and generally find any excuse to get together around a plate of something tasty. Whether it’s pancakes on Shrove Tuesday or haggis on Burns night, we are all there, fork in hand, ready to dig in. This simple gesture of cooking and sharing food together means we are also meeting together. It’s enjoyable, simple, informal and inclusive.
For two days, the whole team is taken away from the office. During that time, we discuss our year-end results and what the future plans for Interaction are. It’s time for us to consider the bigger picture and the progression of our business. Then, having completed the serious part of the meeting, we seriously get down to having fun. We’ve built dens in woods, kayaked, cycled, swung through trees, and played ‘It’s a Knockout’. It’s a fantastic way to get to get to know one another beyond the 9 to 5.
9. Work hard, play hard
We can be serious but we also enjoy having fun. We have quiz nights, pool parties, and cinema nights. We even have our own version of school sports day - Party in The Park. An annual summer event where we run, jump, play rounders and act silly.
What do you do in your office to encourage interaction? Does the design of your office make collaboration difficult? Do you not like collaborating and can’t see the point in it? We’d be interested to know your thoughts and would be pleased if you added your comment below.