What collaborative work is and its benefits
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What collaborative work is and its benefits

27 April, 2021

Dialogue, communication, explanation, learning, knowledge sharing and cooperation, are some of the fundamental axes of collaborative work. Large companies such as Google, Facebook or Amazon, as well as smaller schools, incorporate the philosophy of collaborative work into their projects, fostering the cooperation of teams.

In the case of private companies, a good working environment, in which participation and collaboration are included, has direct and positive influences in the performance of individual employees. After all, we are social beings and we relate to our environment by nature. However, in a school, the teacher is the responsible for actively involving their students in the cooperative learning process.

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With this new post, we want to explain what collaborative work is, sharing its advantages in working environments such as offices or classrooms, and introducing some furniture that will contribute to boost all its potential.

 

What is collaborative work

The definition of collaborative work was coined in 2006 by Harvard University, professor Yochai Benkler, which defined it as: “the system of production, distribution and consumption of information goods that is characterised by decentralised individual actions, executed through widely distributed media and outside the market and its strategies”.

Collaborative work is about a group of people exchanging ideas, training, knowledge and concepts, with the aim of achieving a common purpose. In turn, it is characterised by several peculiarities such as the following:

  • Has areas where you can relax. People working in a collaborative environment do not always perform in the same way. Some employees and pupils carry out the most important tasks in the early hours in the morning and then like to take some free time to rest and recuperate. Therefore, companies and schools that encourage collaborative work, design and create spaces where people can relax and unwind, releasing tensions and socialising with other colleagues.
  • Incorporates digital learning assets. Another of the defining characteristics of collaborative work in classrooms is that it transforms education by creating new, more digital learning environments. In this case, it is about making technology part of everyday life in the classroom by incorporating digital screens where students can upload their work to the cloud.
  • With distinctive furnishings that encourage collaborative work. Having a space with collaborative furniture that encourages teamwork, fosters the exchange of knowledge and creates a welcoming and cozy environment is essential. Many companies and educational centers invest in these pieces that stimulate reason, and create a pleasant atmosphere.
  • Spaces are perfectly illuminated. If we want to have a workspace that inspires and encourages collaboration between our employees, something very important is good lighting. Vision problems, tiredness or headaches, are elements that may negatively influence the development of the project.

 

8 advantages of collaborative work in offices and classrooms

There are many advantages that collaborative working can bring to both offices and classrooms, where cooperative learning processes are actively promoted. Therefore, from Viccarbe we have compiled this list of advantages based on our own experience in collaborative workspaces:

Advantages of collaborative work in offices and companies

  1. Increases creativity. Interaction between workers from different areas powers the collaborative spaces . This means that, thanks to collaborative work, employees can exchange their opinions and different points of view, which will undoubtedly improve, both the creativity and the performance.
  2. Improves motivation. When employees or students are able to share their opinions and thoughts about a particular topic, they feel part of a whole. This increases motivation as it gives them a sense of belonging and the opportunity to be their best selves daily. Fostering a collaborative environment will help them boost their courage and determination.
  3. Generates new ideas. Working together with people who have different opinions and who are specialised in different fields, opens new perspectives that can be ideal to develop a much more complete job. A collaborative space allows for a constant flow of ideas among colleagues.
  4. Reduces competition and promotes teamwork. Collaborative spaces reduce competition between workers to move a project forward, as it fosters a working environment of teamwork, family, companionship and unity.

Advantages of collaborative work in the classroom

  1. Promotes values. Teamwork, respect for colleagues, empathy, cooperation or promotion of learning are some of the values that drive this type of work in schools and educational centers.
  2. Encourages learning. Thanks to collaborative work, many students are able to develop their own knowledge and skills through interaction with their classmates, achieving group learning.
  3. Helps to exchange knowledge. As we have just mentioned, this way of working enhances students to learn and, consequently, an atmosphere of constant exchange of thoughts, ideas and knowledge.
  4. Improves communication. Thanks to the students constant cooperation, their communication skills improve everyday. For both children and adolescents, participating in group activities is fundamental in developing their social skills.

 

Furniture compositions to improve collaborative work

Collaborative work environments seek to transform the idea of conservative, classic and dated work areas. Whether or not you are a company looking to include collaborative office furniture in your workspace, or a classroom in a modern educational center, Viccarbe suggests different compositions that will make collaborative workspaces stand out, offering a much more open and welcoming environment, that will favour communication between people, while providing dynamism, autonomy and freedom to the users.

  • Trestle high table. This set of modular tables, designed by the talented John Pawson, is available in various sizes and heights, with solid oak legs for durability and strength, essential for classrooms and workrooms that require durable and resistant furniture. A versatile table option that sits many users and includes electrification options for added comfort. Includes a matching bench to achieve a smooth and polished design atmosphere in the class.

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  • Levitt sofa. Levitt is an aesthetically pleasing piece that connects team members and offers great comfort thanks to its wide and sinuous shapes. The Levitt sofa is perfect for more informal gatherings, for offices, waiting rooms, staff break rooms, lounging rooms, libraries or university halls.

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  • Season Pouf. Fits perfectly in containedand free-standing spaces; the Season pouf adapts to different spaces thanks to its hidden casters . In addition, Season is a fun piece that enables integrated electrification to connect users wherever they go. It is suitable for school reception areas, student accommodation halls, meeting rooms and staff break rooms.

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  • Ace armchair. This armchair by Jean-Marie Massaud is perfect for teachers and students to relax in leisure rooms, as it has a very comfortable silhouette. The Ace armchair adds warmth in open spaces thanks to its visual lightness.

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  • Nagi armchair. Nagi armchair, designed by Tomoya Tabuchi, is an elegant armchair that looks great in any space. An ideal armchair for meeting rooms, halls, reception areas, and collaborative spots in classrooms.

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If you are thinking of incorporating collaborative pieces into your workspace or educational centre, in Viccarbe we have many pieces that are designed to foster group learning and encourage collaboration. Check our catalogue and, if you prefer, contact us with any queries you may have.

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