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Innovation in the workplace – the power of the accidental collision

Accidental Collisions

Innovation in the workplace – the power of the accidental collision

So-called ‘accidental collision’ plays a key role in boosting collaboration and encouraging innovation within the workplace.

Some companies, including We Work for example, design space precisely to encourage these accidental collisions. And it’s not alone in doing so – the world’s most successful, forward-thinking businesses are all on the same page.

As reported by Harvard Business Review, Google’s Silicon Valley campus is designed to maximise chance encounters, Facebook plans to put several thousand of its staff in a single, mile-long room, and Yahoo turned its back on mobile working in the belief that the best insights come from accidental collisions in the hallway or other shared spaces.

Samsung has also joined the bandwagon, reinventing its new U.S headquarters to include more expansive public areas to break down hierarchies and encourage conversation between employees. Scott Birnbaum, a vice president at the company, explained the decision, saying “The most creative ideas aren’t going to come while sitting in front of your monitor.”

There is clearly value in creating a workspace that encourages spontaneous discussion and conversation.

So, what are the options for a business looking to boost collaboration, create a buzz and start benefiting from accidental collisions?

Variety is the key when it comes to office space

Variety is key when it comes to encouraging accidental collisions – think about adding some comfortable chairs to unused spaces, make reception areas and nooks more inviting and, if possible, have a single kitchen area for the whole of the business.

This was an important consideration for a client we recently worked with – Griffiths & Armour, an insurance broker based in Liverpool, appointed Aztec to design and fit-out its new offices at Princes Dock. After having several small kitchens within its old offices, we instead created one large kitchen and breakout space for staff, along with a spacious communal reception and seating area.

The benefits have been enormous, with G&A reporting a huge uplift in morale and collaboration.





For more information about our work with Griffiths & Armour please see our case study

Create a focal point within the office where people can socialise and chat informally

At Aztec, we appreciate the power of the accidental collision – it’s something that factored heavily in our award-winning design and fit-out for Liverpool co-working space, Avenue HQ, which comprises a variety of spaces to encourage those unplanned meetings and discussions that lead to great things.

A key focal point is Avenue HQ’s bespoke bar, created by Aztec’s own joinery workshop. It’s a real wow factor and provides a center-point for regular networking events.





For more information about our work with Avenue HQ please see our case study

Introduce more relaxed spaces and wider corridors

Does your office include space for employees to relax? Is there a place for them to take a break from their desks to recharge?

Whether a comfortable area where people can sit and have a coffee or read a newspaper, catch up on the news over lunch or play a game of pool, a more laid-back space will encourage people to chat informally, share challenges and encourage the sharing of ideas.

The breadth of corridors and walkways are also important to consider when thinking about accidental collisions – make sure there is adequate space for people to stop and chat without preventing colleagues from passing or obstructing walkways.

Have a look at Grow How’s office – a good example of a workspace that benefits from a variety of areas and wide corridors: https://www.aztec-interiors.co.uk/work/grow-how/

Does your office space encourage accidental collisions? Are colleagues encouraged to mingle and share ideas? Does your office encourage a ‘one team’ ethos?

If you’re considering refreshing your office space, give Aztec a call. With more than 30 years’ experience, you’re in the right hands.

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