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Pronounced /ˈtiːmˌspeɪs/Help with pronunciation

This is a recent business term describing types of workplace accommodation that are designed to support collaborative effort. A significant proportion of office workers now work in teams, but conventional office layouts still assume workers are individuals. This can be a problem, for example in trying to arrange areas in which to hold impromptu discussions. Project teams have been known to move voluntarily to inadequate accommodation, say in the back of a warehouse, just so they can be together. Experts say that well-designed teamspaces must permit workers to be all in the same place and should allow flexibility of furniture layout to cope with meetings and changes of personnel. Sometimes the teamspace is one large room, sometimes it’s broken into what’s been called a caves and commons system, with private individual work areas around a communal area. Capitalised, it’s the trademark of a computer application designed to assist team working.

Also, managers and teams need training in the new work practices, technologies and in how to utilize the team space as the tool to enhance team effectiveness in order to reap the productivity rewards they seek.

IDRC Communicator, July 1998

A new report by IDRC, a property research organisation, concludes that companies now realise that “teamspace” is what is needed, since one-fifth of workers in most companies operate in teams.

Economist, Aug. 1998

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Copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
Page created 7 Nov. 1998

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The English language is forever changing. New words appear; old ones fall out of use or alter their meanings. World Wide Words tries to record at least a part of this shifting wordscape by featuring new words, word histories, words in the news, and the curiosities of native English speech.

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
This page URL: http://www.worldwidewords.org/turnsofphrase/tp-tea1.htm
Last modified: 7 November 1998.