As with all elements of office culture, office setups must shift with technology and behavior changes to help employees think creatively and accomplish their day-to-day tasks.
Over the past 25 years, I have developed many creative spaces for Vanguard’s staff to foster collaboration. There are many tools available to help you collaborate, but how can you craft a creative, productive and collaborative work environment? My experience has shown that watching and listening to your staff is the best way to provide them with the office environment and tools they need to thrive.
Here are some tips based on what I’ve learned that will help ensure your office setup supports your staff’s creativity, productivity and collaboration.
Provide different areas around the office for staff to work outside of their own offices. Creating reasonably quiet and sunny open spaces around the office allows staff to move around easily and change their routine. I’ve learned that just being able to move to a new space helps people’s ideas flow.
Create places for staff to gather and work together. Think beyond conference rooms and use areas such as kitchens, lounges, workrooms and even roof decks as places to meet. This maximizes your current space, as meetings don’t have to take place in a conference room, especially since laptops and tablets enable technology to move with you. And the change of scenery may help get the creative juices flowing!
Let the light shine in. Boost creativity by using glass walls and doors where you can to let natural light in. If there is an area without a window, you can hang landscape pictures to give employees the feeling of being in nature.
Mix up the décor. Add pops of color to easily make a space feel more inviting and creative. Research also shows different colors can affect productivity, making this change beneficial for employees and your company as a whole.
Break spaces up a bit. If your budget allows, adding mobile walls that can open and close to modify spaces will allow you to adapt spaces to your evolving needs including creating smaller spaces for less people, or larger rooms for bigger meetings or events.
If you want to learn more about how psychology is used in office design, this Medium series has helpful background on the topic and tips for designing creative workspaces. People need welcoming and tailored spaces that are designed according to their needs, so let staff move around, add color and light – and don’t be afraid to change up your space!