When designing an office for creativity, a key challenge many companies face is striking the balance between creativity and efficiency. Back in the days when Google first incorporated slides and sleeping pods, many commentators described their spaces as childish and immature. However, years into the future, it’s clear that the tech giant knows how to encourage creativity and innovation.
Google gets the balance right. It understands that everyone works and thinks differently. Whilst some may do their best work at night on a bean bag, others may prefer a quiet pod with no distractions.
Therefore, when designing an office space for creativity, it’s important to consider how your staff work and accommodate for everyone. This is something that has become far easier in recent years thanks to the rise of remote working and hot-desking. Staff increasingly have the freedom to move around and find spaces that are most conducive to how they work.
As well as accommodating for different needs, there are some key elements to consider when designing a creative office space. Here’s our round-up.
1. Prioritise Collaboration
Linear office spaces were once the go-to layout as they allowed for maximum capacity proving to be the most ‘economical setup.’ However, in recent years, employers have wised up to the fact that whilst linear offices may keep the rates down, they can hinder productivity.
Around ten years ago, pioneers such as Facebook and Google helped to pave the way with innovative office designs. The tech giants knew that their unusual measures would positively impact innovation, creativity and productivity. By prioritising staff collaboration, they created spaces where communication was simple. Opting for break-out spaces and open plan offices, they led the shift in office design.
Now, many businesses are increasingly opting to take down partitions, remove desk dividers and open up their spaces. For creative companies, this aids collaboration and encourages teamwork.
When designing a more open plan, collaborative space, there are a few things to consider:
Noise levels: With more collaboration, noise levels will naturally increase, so it is worth incorporating separate areas for more focused work.
Defining areas: It’s important that staff know where the more focused, quiet spaces are and where it’s ok to kick back with a coffee and hold informal meetings. Consider creating an office plan so everyone is clear on the various areas, preventing any disturbance.
Ergonomics: It’s an easy one to forget when bean bags and swish new armchairs get thrown into the mix. Whilst this type of furniture can look the part and is great for downtime, be sure to encourage staff to use a desk setup when working for prolonged periods of time.
2. Add a Dash of Inspiration
You want to ensure that your staff members feel alive and inspired when in the office. Many businesses find their own unique and quirky ways to do this which helps to add a sense of personality to the space.
Here’s a few ideas:
- Incorporate shelves and fill them with inspiring/useful books for your industry to encourage continuous learning
- Select art carefully and make sure there’s a clear meaning behind it that staff can relate to
- Music can often help spark creativity so consider a staff playlist or tuning into a radio station
- Encourage staff to personalise their own spaces – as everyone has their own sources of inspiration.
3. Third Spaces
Otherwise known as ‘break-out spaces’ these areas help to differentiate office spaces and provide staff with a change of setting. Whether this is for creative thinking, informal group meetings or teamwork, a change in surroundings often helps to spark creativity.
When designing these areas, think about the tools and resources which would be conducive to collaboration. Whiteboards, chalkboard walls and interactive screens can be great tools when staff want to hold impromptu meetings or mind mapping sessions.
New York-based ad agency, Barbarian Group created a “Superdesk” which spans around the entire office. Whilst connecting everyone across the company, the desk also contains nooks and crannies along the way where employees can hold meetings or work privately.
Although you may not have the desire to include a desk spanning the length of your office, it is worth considering incorporating large open tables. They offer a great place for hot-desking, holding meetings or just providing a more collaborative space for staff.
To Sum Up
Creative spaces are often designed to aid collaboration and innovation. Staff need to feel inspired and have the ability to work in an environment that suits their thought process best. By breaking your space down and incorporating a variety of areas, staff will have the freedom to work in an environment that is best for them.
Just be sure to consider practicalities when designing your space such as ergonomics and noise levels. They are key to productivity and can sometimes be neglected when creating new and exciting spaces.
If you’d like some more advice on how to design a creative office space, give us a call on 0115 939 7572. Alternatively, drop [email protected] an email. We cover Nottingham, Derby, Leicester and surrounding areas!