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Are collaborative workplaces the key to great innovation?

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As the corporate world becomes increasingly diverse and volatile, business leaders are calling not only for more collaboration among team members, but also within the physical office space.

Collaborative workspaces are believed to be good value, breed efficiency and inspire innovation and entrepreneurial activity among staff, and according to a new survey by Regus, more companies are looking into collaborative work environments to provide a different, yet cost-effective, way of working.

In fact, 95% of workers in Hong Kong and 96% in Singapore believe collaborative offices provide value for money.

The figure was beaten marginally by respondents in China (97%) who also cited value for money as the greatest advantage of having a collaborative workplace – all well above global average of 89%.

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China respondents stated the second most important benefit of collaborative environments is that they encouraged mixing with similar firms (93%) while those from Singapore (96%),  Hong Kong (92%) and Taiwan (95%), believed reducing maintenance and cleaning costs was the second most important benefit.

The study identified that co-locating businesses not only share costs, but also industry knowledge and ideas.

“This makes it an ideal breeding ground for innovation (72%) and entrepreneurial spirit (73%), all of which are key features of excellent employees,” the report stated.

Collaborative working was also seen as a valuable way of creating connections with partners, providers and suppliers (80%) and even potential clients (79%). The study explained this introductory function could prove very valuable to businesses in the long term.

Businesses also reported collaborative environments help them expand and retract more rapidly and without incurring hefty penalties (73%) because they usually are more flexible than traditional leasing arrangements.

“Workers globally agree that collaborative work environments are an optimal solution to help businesses save money while providing workers with top class locations and facilities,” Michael Ormiston, country manager, Regus Hong Kong, said.

“Global businesses recognise that mixing workers from different firms and different functions helps develop a more innovative and entrepreneurial outlook as well as keeping the firm supple and able to respond to changes in the market faster. Unlike traditional leasing arrangements, collaborative workplaces are generally more flexible allowing firms to expand and retract as the market demands.”

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