The style of business offices has changed over the last few year. Many businesses are getting rid of the one-size-fits-all approach to office design. While this is a good idea, many business owners don’t know what to do to replace their old, boring design. There was a time where making the office look like a children’s playground was in. Today, the trend leans more toward a coworking space or a coffee shop. You need to think, however, are these ideas future-proof? Will they create an environment where creativity can thrive?
The best answers to these question are not really. The office needs to be designed to the specific needs of the people who work there. It also needs to be designed for the work that your employees will be doing. We sent a poll to IDEO designers and we have found that there are a few designs that work universally to promote creativity. Below are 5 tips to help create the most creative work space.
1. Install a Communal Table or Another Gathering Space
General Assembly has one giant table where 30 or more people can sit in the middle of the main space. This table is designed so that students, instructors, and other staff can sit and share ideas in an unstructured environment. Each of the campuses around the world has their tables designed by community artisans and they use locally sourced materials. This can remind people of the importance of where they come from.
At Disney Animation Studios, John Lasseter had the conference room in the center of the building torn down. He did this to make room for a coffee shop so that people in the office could gather and collaborate.
2. Make Things Movable
When a person is glued to their particular area, their perspective can stay glued as well. If you use desks that are on wheels or you use rotating desks, it will give your workers a chance to meet new coworkers. It also promotes collaboration. When it comes to seating arrangements, you should avoid seating two people next to each other that have the same jobs. For example, sit an engineer beside a designer. This promotes creativity.
The design school at Stanford University has wells that can be moved and reconfigured. This makes it possible to convert an open space into a private space in minutes.
3. Hide the Clocks
You don’t need to remove all of the clocks from the office, however, you should remove most. If your employees are not focusing on the tie, their creativity will flourish. If your employees are focused on time, they won’t have the freedom and the time that it takes to come up with great ideas.
4. Activate Empathy
Airbnb is a perfect example of a company who understands the importance of activating empathy. Each of the conference rooms in corporate offices are replicas of the most popular rentals from around the world. At the entrance, there is an actual picture of the space. This helps you immerse yourself in the Airbnb customer experience. This is a great reminder that will give your customers a better experience.
5. Use Nature For Well-Being
CookFox Architects uses biophilia in their office design. All 80 employees have a direct view of the outdoors as well as having natural light pouring in from three sides of the office. They also used potted plants in the office and a rooftop garden was built so that the employees could enjoy nature. They used carpet, bathroom tiles, and paint that had ocean-inspired colors and the decorative lighting structure resemble patterns found in nature. This type of design is said to unclog our cognitive system, paving the way for creativity. This design will also give the employees an overall feeling of well being.