Anyone who has worked in an office knows a community of sorts is formed in the workplace. It may be one that fosters positive relationships and a sense of camaraderie, or it may be the type that makes you want to get in and get out as quickly as possible. Fortunately for those who work in office communities more akin to the former, research shows that a positive work culture improves productivity.

As a result, businesses are increasingly paying attention to office design and company culture in an effort to improve working conditions – and workplace communities. Designing office gathering places is one way to accomplish both goals.

Popular tech industry giants, like Google and Facebook  for example, have been highly sensationalized for their over-the-top workplace designs. While we don’t necessarily feel you need to add a scooter track or a video arcade to your office, creating an attractive, comfortable and (perhaps even) entertaining gathering place isn’t such a bad idea.

The article Rethinking the Office Environment, posted on bloomberg.com, highlights research performed by San Francisco-based design firm, Gensler, using online input from more than 2000 office workers. When data was analyzed, a hefty portion of the workers (75 %) said they work better when they have a close relationship with their colleagues, yet only one-third of the respondents felt their offices provided a physical space for co-workers to interact or collaborate.

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