Collaboration in the Lab Environment

Collaboration in the Lab Environment

By: Yasha Ogg

With the shift in the workplace to a collaborative environment, research laboratories are starting to become more open with multiple bays of research areas. Traditional laboratories were designed for safety, broad range of experiments, and were easily repeatable. Each laboratory had the same utilities for water, gases, and waste. In terms of workstations, usually there is a senior researcher in a private office and one or two associates that work with the senior outside of the office. This trend is changing into what is called research “neighborhoods.” These neighborhoods consist of multiple senior and associate researchers located in the same open laboratory and workstation environment. What this allows people to do is share their findings faster and easier with their colleagues. This collaboration can spark new ideas that can bring about the discovery of new drugs. Research neighborhoods not only have the benefit of collaboration among researchers, but expensive equipment and resources can be shared amongst these teams.

This open environment is becoming more important to the new generation of scientists entering the workforce. They have grown up in a society where technology has become so advanced and where communication allows us to talk with colleagues all around the globe. The ultimate reason of why this collaborative environment is starting to appear in the laboratory is to reduce the amount of time from discovery to development in order for companies to get drugs out to the consumer faster, as well as recoup their investments.

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