While you might love your office, you may be searching for ideas that will help improve creativity, innovation, and collaboration at your office. As a person who believes our environment has a great impact on our engagement, achievements, and creativity, I decided to share some of the things I learned related to office design and creativity.
Bur first, how does office design influence our creativity? Offices can have a great impact on employee creativity thanks to the designed work environment. Innovation and creativity are all about finding unexpected solutions to business problems. Employees get a lot more creative in places with a lively, bright, healthy, flexible and inspirational vibe. Many offices are built and designed just to look aesthetically stunning, but in reality, it takes a lot more than good aesthetics for an office to promote creativity.
Today, there are many offices trying to achieve perfect collaborative environments. They try out different color shades on their walls, buy new furniture, computers and coffee machines. But is all this really what it takes to have a perfect working environment in an office? It is true, we all love to enjoy our coffee and we like being surrounded by fancy decorations and furniture. But it is probably not everything that can influence our creativity and wish for improving!
Often employees will choose to work from home to be productive or creative because it has a relaxing impact on their work and wellbeing. What if your office provided the same feeling, would that have a positive impact on your business?
1. Add A Touch of Inspiration to The Office
2. Play with Colors and Imagination
3. Dedicating Enough Space for Past, Current and Future Projects
4. Design A Break Room of Your Dreams
5. Provide A Blank Office Space as a Valuable Resource
6. Highlight Outside of Work Achievements
7. Give Your Employees Enough Confidentiality and Anonymity
8. Design A Real Office Kitchen
9.Get Rid of The Clutter
Let your employees know you are willing to bring in some art and inspiration to their office space. Your employees will love the idea simply because each one of them has a unique personality, they will all want to give you an idea and maybe even bring some art pieces they adore! Each art piece will contribute to your company culture and it will surely highlight all of the values you will want to bring to light. Remember how back in the day’s offices were filled with boring artwork or just plain papers filled with information? Today, you have so many ways to bring life to the office, there are many miniature figurines available on the market, there are modern frames and quotes you can put pretty much anywhere.
Anything you choose to put in your office will have an impact on how your employees work in a group. By doing this, you encourage new possible ways of thinking in your employees and they might find it a lot easier to focus on their creativity than before.
Did you know Reebok has a special room where their employees can easily brainstorm all of the company’s designs by writing on the walls? They draw out their suggestions and co-workers edit them out. This is a perfect way to achieve employee engagement and good collaboration. Maybe your office will not want to be drawing all over the walls in order to get their ideas, but allowing them to bring their favorite quotes, figurines and other tiny things that might be important to them will surely have a great influence on your business as it is.
If we can paint our bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen the way we wish, we should also be careful of the colors we pick in our office. Back in the days' people mainly went for white or wooden walls, these were the cheapest and no one really thought about how brighter and happier colors could have an effect on our work. While colors might not be important to your company branding, it is important for your office.
Science has managed to prove many times already that colors have a great impact on our mood, thoughts, feelings and even our productivity. For example, did you know colors like red and black will always suggest dominance or power? Blue and orange, however, they will stimulate creative thoughts. Assuming you know most of your employees for a while now, you might already have a decent idea about what colors they would like to see around their workspace. You can always call a meeting and have them bring in their suggestions. Make sure your office does not end up looking like a rainbow, that can get chaotic and very unorganized, keep the suggestions flowing but keep them real.
Once you and your employees manage to decide of all the creative touches you wish to have, you could get an office management software that will easily help you keep track of important things. Make sure the colors you pick are well blended together, you do not want to have 10 different shades of green all over your office, keep it balanced and well organized for the best results!
We all know how great it feels when senior management sends an email thanking the team for completing an amazing job. The sense of fulfillment is huge and often has a great impact on our creativity, effort and will to learn more.
But how do you memorialize those accomplishments? Maybe you should think of a way to keep all of these accomplishments together? Make sure they do not fade from the memories of the team, as they are the people who always come up with original, new material for projects.
To make sure your staff can look back at the projects they worked on and remember the good times, set up space in the office dedicated to all of the brilliant work they have completed! This will not only look like a creative thing in your office, but it will also serve as a reflection on the previous work that has been done. It will motivate many employees to continually do their best and achieve high-quality solutions or products.
Maybe you are not able to have an entire room dedicated to this, but really, this can be a simple wall display. As soon as you include this into your office space, you will be exposing your staff to immediate benefits! They will feel appreciated, useful and they will be ignited by the creativity that will encourage various discussions and lead towards good business success! Going back to the new hires, they will also have it a lot easier understanding how your office team works as a group and they will not have to go through a massive number of files to get simple answers.
In today’s world, the line between work and the break has been blurred. People often forget how to relax and stop thinking about work. People have mobile capabilities that allow them to work from anywhere and they just forget how important it is to have a little bit of peace and quiet. Designing a break room for your employees might be a perfect way to get their productivity flowing even more than before.
Some people have days when they just can’t function as great as they wish to, having a break room available is a great option for those! They can sit back and enjoy peace and quiet as they gather their thoughts and rest their mind. With all of the deadlines approaching and insane amounts of stress, a break room can do miracles for your employees.
A break room can be a room where they will relax, watch an episode of their favorite series or even discuss something that bothers them about work, together they might even come up with various solutions and do an amazing job in the end! It is often in bad times that your employees will be pressured to work and share their thoughts together, this will be a bonding time not just for them, but for the entire office.
You might think this makes no sense at all, but your employees probably do not enjoy having their office cluttered with desks, chairs, and furniture. What if you gave your team an entire room and enough freedom so they can do whatever they want with it? Maybe your team wish to bring their pets, maybe they like playing table-tennis or simply enjoy various Dungeons and Dragons sessions? The point of this is giving your team the ability to choose how they want to spend their free time. Leave a blank office space open for debate, after a couple of days, you will see that the room design will most probably depend on the culture and overall personalities of your staff. This means they will finally feel good in the office and always have room to enjoy surrounded by the things that make them feel at home!
Of course, there are always people who find it hard to interact with others, giving your staff ability to choose certain things will most likely expose them to the individuals who usually do not interact much at all. Not only you will promote friendship, but you will also spark their creativity and heavily impact their sense of community. No matter what the blank office space turns out to be, it will be a key element towards innovation, a real collaboration, and teamwork!
While you might showcase past, current and future business achievements, your employees also care for other things aside from their work. They are real people with lives outside of the office, they have hobbies, families, passion, and friends as well! Their hobbies, family, passion, and friends are a reason what makes them, them. Maybe one of your employees used to participate in fishing contests, maybe they have a show dog they love more than anything, or they got children who are simply hilarious? Who would not enjoy seeing some of these things? These things will make your office atmosphere a lot livelier and you will often hear random laughs whenever someone passes by!
Ever considered adding space for these things in your office? Your employees probably achieved many things aside of only work achievements, let them show those off. Highlighting their hobbies, funny pictures, their children doing funny things, you will get your employees towards great employee engagement. Your staff will quickly get to know each other, and they might build a real friendship thanks to this.
Once you see how successful it is to share and enjoy all of these funny stories they might have, you will be more than happy that you let them do it! You know what they say, the better bond, the better working relationships, products, and solutions!
You may have noticed there are certain people in the office who have great capabilities, ideas, and solutions, but they just do not seem to be willing to open up as easily as others. This does not make them any less good of an employee, they are just as great, you just need to approach them differently! Certain people are filled with out-of-the-box ideas for something no one else managed to think of, they are just less reluctant to share their opinions and it is all because they wish to avoid sounding foolish.
You can get a private, non-confrontational medium who will help your employees propose the ideas they might not be very comfortable voicing out themselves. But again, even then, there will be a chance some employees will still not voice out their opinions. In case this happens, there is always an old way… A suggestion box!
Getting a suggestion box is free and will cost you nothing, but it might be a box with all of the answers you need related to your business! Provide your employees with a huge suggestion box and watch them get rid of their fear! They will be throwing in many suggestions you probably never even thought about, a suggestion box will remove all their fears and doubts right away!
We all get sick of all the food we need to eat while we work, there are far too many offices stuck in the past with all of the outdated appliances, seating and vending machines filled with processed foods and junk that usually have no nutritional value. Lately, everyone speaks of healthy foods, wellness, and health in general, but how many do actually try and eat healthy while they work? How many are even able to eat healthy while they work? Not many at all.
If you want your staff to be lively, healthy and ready for new business achievements, you need to accept the fact that having a single office microwave or vending machines will not do the job. More and more companies decide to turn a part of their office into a kitchen. You should do the same, get your office multiple stove tops, an oven and plenty of counter space so your employees can easily chop up their fruits and vegetables. You also need a fridge to store fresh foods and a water cooler that will cool down your water, so your employees are not drinking soda all the time.
These are all very known elements for a modern-day office kitchen and most offices should aim to have this too. Most of the features you require are obvious, yet there are still so many offices stuck with old boring vending machines and unhealthy foods all over the place.
When you design your modern-day office kitchen, make sure you ask for the opinions and ideas of your employees, after all, it will be their kitchen! Once you design an attractive kitchen space that is equipped with decent seating, it will just become another area where your employees will work and discuss their projects and ideas. A kitchen is also a place where many will be strengthening their relationships.
Did you know mess and clutter have a terrible impact on our productivity and creativity in general? We often feel moody, less motivated and we also seem to get fewer ideas when our workspace is cluttered with unnecessary papers, notes, broken pens, and useless decorations. It is often said that a cluttered desk means a cluttered mind, and that surely does not sound like something that will help out with our creativity.
Make sure your desks, chairs, kitchen and other furniture actually promote a feeling of openness and space, you do not want to make everyone feel like they are in kindergarten and there are toys all over the place. Keep the office space as bright as possible, have clean and very tidy spaces available for your employees at any time of the day. That will give them enough space to breathe and feel relaxed while they work.
It is extremely important to note that you need to keep the office space clean at all times, dirty spaces have an awful effect on our wellbeing!
Having your employees relaxed and feeling good in their new environment, you will surely get to notice how conducive it all was for their creativity and business motivation overall.
5. Mind Candy
Everyone knows how awesome Google is, they have an impressive employee engagement going on and on top of that, their offices are otherworldly! In Zurich, Google has one of the best offices I have ever seen! They have rooms for singing, dancing, sports, and many other activities! Their employees can enjoy a foam-filled bath, jungle, a sky lounge, and even a movie room. To make their meetings even better, they have different themed Gondolas all around the place, there are even fake ski cabin designs! These are their staff meeting rooms and they seem to love them very much!
Back in 2013. Adobe got a creative makeover by Rapt Studio. El Mac completed his spray paint mural here and it is one-of-a-kind project! This piece of street art actually centers the entire building around it and there is even a mural from Mike Giant (a famous tattoo and street artist). Adobe offices include employee cafe, NBA-sized indoor basketball court, The Bunker (a game room) and a fully equipped gym. To make things even better, Adobe also made interactive artwork that is inspired by Adobe products, so their employees can enjoy their accomplishment and remember of great achievements on the go!
Pixar is known for being a special company, following a special culture. Looking at their offices, it is hard to believe their staff gets any work done at all. There are many things to play with, but their employees seem to come up with great ideas in these surroundings. Just like very well-known Cartoon Network, Pixar also adopted a cubicle system, each of them is customized to fit their employee’s tastes. To our surprise though, Pixar also has their hallways and communal areas filled with life-sized movie characters, there are scooters, space hoppers and much more! For those who love cereal, Pixar also has their own cereal room, just imagine all the Coco Pops you could find here…
Shopify moved to Ottawa, Canada back in 2014, and since then, they worked with leading architecture firm in order to create incredible office design. Featuring six floors, each one of them has a completely different theme. There is a Canadiana floor, streetscapes and even a library located on the speakeasy floor. Today, Shopify employees can book their sauna by using Google Calendar, and then checking up on their reservations on iPads outside the door. If you ever wish to find a workplace that will allow you to read and enjoy all these activities, Shopify surely won’t disappoint. Their employees are happy and always ready for new ideas!
Mind Candy is a game company, but not an ordinary game company. They have their company’s headquarters decked out with Astroturf carpeting, there are vines hanging from the ceiling and there is even a gingerbread house that is used as a meeting room. Mind Candy offices are truly something else, there is bright artwork found around every corner, quiet areas looking like hobbit holes and even helter skelter-style slide that delivers employees from one floor to another. Seeing Mind Candy offices, it is quite obvious they are a company who cares about its employees as much as possible. They made sure their employees can always have some quiet time and on top of that, they have a lot of fun as well!
TBWA is an ad agency, their office space was designed by Italian artist, designer, and architect Gaetano Pesce. This is an outdoor-inspired design that features a huge-wide-open floorplan. They have a full basketball court, enormously big-screen television, trees growing inside of the building and even a classic London telephone box we all know about! TBWA has no allocated desk spaces; their team is encouraged to change their seats each day just to encourage impromptu collaborations and encounters!
What are the best color combinations for an office?
It is said blue, green and yellow are one of the colors you can never go wrong with, but to be true, it all depends on your employees and their personalities. Having to know their thoughts might be crucial in order to pick the perfect color combinations for your office space.
How to get employees involved in office design?
Simply by giving them the freedom of being what they are. Your employees are people just like you and me, they have their favorite colors, movie characters, foods, and series. Giving them a chance to show who they really are will also mean having them involved in office design activities.
You must be logged in to post a comment.