If your company employs creative people and relies on them to come up with new and innovative solutions to customers’ problems, providing your workforce with an environment that fosters creativity could have a dramatic effect on productivity. Drab offices with fluorescent lighting and grey carpets are out and cool spaces with funky colour schemes and quirky design features are in. Whether you are embarking on a refit or working on an office interior design for a brand new building, you have a wonderful opportunity to create something special that will make a real difference to the way your employees perform.
Instead of having one desk for every employee, consider a design that features communal workstations where people can gather together and collaborate more effectively on important projects. Many companies fill valuable space with desks that are hardly ever used so this tip could enable you to make better use of the space available to you as well as ensure that your employees communicate more freely with each other. There are many different ways that you can create collaborative work spaces, from space age pods with a minimalist design motif to rustic picnic benches on artificial grass; the only limits are those imposed by your imagination.
Not a new idea in itself but try to think outside of the box when creating breakout areas in your corporate headquarters and you may be surprised at the effect they have on staff morale. Instead of a few sofas and armchairs with a coffee machine, why not build a small basketball court or install a couple of table-tennis tables in your relaxation areas? People think more creatively when they are at their most relaxed so by providing them with entertaining diversions from their daily duties, you could actually help them to become more productive.
Instead of using uniform fluorescent lighting throughout your offices, take advantage of the huge range of bulbs and fittings on offer today and create a different mood in different areas. Studies of the effect of lighting on mood have shown that the brightness and type of illumination in work spaces can influence the way that people feel. You can use this fact to your advantage by encouraging different moods in different areas, at certain times of the day. It is well worth looking at energy efficient lighting solutions as well, so that you can reduce your corporate carbon footprint at the same time as helping your workers to be more creative.
Whilst most modern office designs that are intended to foster creativity in the workforce tend to focus on open spaces to facilitate collaboration, and a sense of excitement due to the sheer number of people that congregate in these spaces, there are times when your employees may need a quiet, private room where they can think clearly. Make sure that they have access to such spaces throughout the day by including a number of secret hideaways in your layout. In contrast to the brash colors and flashy furniture that may be used in collaborative spaces, you may want to lean toward the more conventional when creating private hideaways and go for a cosy, traditional look and feel.
Some of the best ideas that come out of large corporations are developed by workers who get together after work to discuss the projects with which they are currently involved. You can encourage this behaviour by providing your employees with an in-house disco or bar where they can relax after a hard day’s work and bounce ideas off each other. If this sounds a little too modern for your company, remember that the best environment for innovation is one where people can mix freely with each other and trade opinions without fear of being rebuked. A social space provides just such an environment.
You may not wish to incorporate all of the above ideas into your new office layout but it is definitely worth including one or two to see how they affect the way that your workforce thinks and performs as a team. An experienced design consultancy will be able to help you choose the most suitable ones for your company.