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Encouraging innovation and inspiring creativity from your employees is important in order to stay competitive. In today’s tech-focused world, the physical office space must conform to the modern millennial in order to attract top talent and foster innovation.
The way you design your physical office space can impact innovative work product. Purposeful interior design can bring an office to life, spurring innovative ideas, creativity, and collaboration. The design also can define the culture or personality of an office, which makes an important first impression.
An open space filled with bright color can encourage active engagement of ideas and creativity, while a more industrial, neutral space with simple pops of blue can promote focus for detailed and technical work. Color choice can have an interesting impact on performance, productivity, and mood so choose carefully!
Furniture design also impacts productivity and innovation. Will large collaborative desks or interactive whiteboards lead to more creativity in your company? Consider what will set your business apart and how you can empower your employees through strategic office design. Millennials are showing preference over cubicle-style desks for collaborative open spaces. They believe a collaborative office environment is key to innovation as the openness improves communication, sharing ideas, and flow of information.
A flexible floor plan is key to maintaining an innovative environment for two reasons: employee satisfaction and potential company changes. It’s been debated whether a nomadic desk - one that can easily be transported to any location around the office, or a stationary desk - a typical cubicle style, is best for employee productivity. While having the freedom to change locations in the office can lead to creativity and fresh thinking, having a sedentary desk enables personalization and independence and can make collaboration difficult.
Flexible floor plans can also be innovative during office restructuring or company reconfiguration. As certain departments become more dependent on working remotely, consider how a flexible office space can adapt to these changes. Is a department expanding? Are employees begging for an unassigned desk policy? Are your services changing that require new equipment to be brought in-house? Reviewing these issues as you determine whether to choose a flexible vs. permanent floor plan will help you adapt to future trends, and can result in increased business innovation.
Another factor that can lend to innovative work product is a positive work-life balance and focus on employee health. A health-conscious office is becoming a must-have for today’s business professional. Does your business empower employees to stay healthy during the day and carry that lifestyle beyond the office?
There are a variety of ways to promote employee health. We have recently seen standup desks make an impact in the office sector, starting in big tech companies and quickly being adopted by businesses that want their employees to thrive. Offices can embrace a healthy lifestyle by installing desks that adjust between seated and standing positions, or providing exercise balls as alternative desk chairs. Including fitness memberships as an employee benefit or offering a fitness center on-site will make your business more attractive to top talent as you promote a healthy lifestyle. If you stock the office pantry, be conscious of the foods you’re encouraging employees to eat - choose sparkling water over soda, and fruit over donuts.
The surrounding area of a business can be just as important as the interior office space. Innovative companies are choosing their location carefully to ensure needs are met from today’s top talent. Mixed-use developments in suburban or urban areas are drawing businesses and employees alike to their corridors. Teeming with retail, restaurants, and greenspace, these destinations offer employees the luxury of spending their lunch breaks, business meetings, and after hours in a cultural hub of entertainment.
In downtown Dallas’ Art District, Trammell Crow Center will be renovating their exterior to create a community destination and greenspace plaza that opens the building to the street and invites those working or visiting to enjoy the beauty of the Arts District. Together with a mixed-use center across the street, this block of Ross will become a hub for professionals to relax after work or enjoy their downtime among greenery and arts.
All of the factors above play into how your business’ culture is perceived and experienced. A business’ workplace environment reflects the culture of the company, attracts top talent, and inspires innovation. A well-defined company culture produces innovative ideas and sets a foundation for success. And much of it starts with what your physical space says. How are you working to build a better business, inspire innovation, and bring brilliant minds onboard?