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Designing the Workplace for Creativity

Designing the Workplace for Creativity

Posted In // Design Tips

What is the most critical component of success for business, more important than work ethic, leadership, directional consistency, and planning? Creativity – at least that was the overarching perspective of almost 1600 chief executives surveyed by IBM in 2010.

A half-decade later, creativity is still a central concern of hiring and workplace design. Here are a few tips on how to design with creativity in mind:

Homeyness free-for-all

There’s often a tendency to control what people bring into the office, but many workplaces are embracing the benefits of personal items and dogs. By allowing employees to bring in elements of their home lives, people start to feel more comfortable. Comfort sets the stage for creative ideation.

Watch rather than ask

If you really want to optimize your design, it’s best to observe your team in action rather than simply discussing what they want, explains design executive Kevin Kuske. “The problem with asking is, if people don’t know it’s an option, they’re not going to give it to you as an answer,” he says. When you observe, you can see the facts of real use, such as that “no one ever uses those four spots … but the couches are always busy.”

Interior city planning

Organize your workplace in terms of zones. That way people can gravitate toward spaces that are better built for collaboration or individual focused work.

Branding in three dimensions

Think about how you can use objects to build your brand identity and foster a more free-thinking culture. These elements can often be lighthearted, as with the 121 PEZ candy dispensers that line the wall of a communal room at eBay. Toy cars have similarly been deployed as branding objects.

Background noise as an asset

People don’t feel comfortable expressing themselves unless there is enough background noise to mask conversation. Building energy in a room can be distracting, but it can also create privacy for one-on-one interactions.

That general din in the room is now fundamental to productivity at Facebook, where 2800 workers share a single room in the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters.

Movement & status

If you want people to be able to come up with ideas, get them moving and toss the status symbols, according to Stanford University researcher Scott Withthoft. By fostering movement, you “[allow] active posture to really help collaboration move more smoothly, and can forward creativity by allowing people to participate when they want, step out when they don’t,” he says. Furthermore, you boost creative flow by removing evidence of hierarchy such as corner offices.

Creative expertise

Are you wanting to design a space that will foster new ideas and allow your business to flourish? At Beaux-Arts Group, our professionals can create fluid areas while maintaining design integrity, enhancing your creative edge. Contact a design specialist.
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