6 Office Design Tips To Jumpstart Future Innovation
In today's competitive marketplace everyone has competition - but in order to stay ahead, it is imperative to innovate in your field - or else someone else will, leaving you behind. While not every company has truly innovative ideas - many do - and those ideas are often sitting just below the surface waiting to be found and harnessed.
Recent office design research has uncovered a number of office design elements that innovative companies seem to possess - and as such - office design firms have begun designing the workplaces of the future to include them in order to give their clients the innovative edge.
The reason office design and culture are so important are because they are the stage upon which your company and employees act upon. And as such, giving a team the right stage is crucially important.
1. Make the Space Flexible
Innovation spaces need to be reconfigurable to support spontaneity: switches between different work modes, the dynamic flow of information, tools that come and go. In addition, organizations may require use of the space by multiple project teams, simultaneously or in sequence, which makes flexibility all the more important.
- Consider a mix of fixed and fluid architectural elements — i.e., semi-permanent walls and movable partitions
- Create a flexible hub for large and smallgroup activities
- Provide for user configurability with mobile furniture
- Consider privacy issues by providing enclosed spaces for audio and videoconferencing
- Corresponding Furniture: Bivi for Four
2. Make the Space Inspiring
Creating something new is fundamental to all knowledge work, and inspiration is especially important for those charged with product and service development and other areas of organizational innovation. Stimulating, engaging spaces can jump-start and sustain creative thinking.• Provide for abundant natural lightingand views
- Include natural elements and materials throughout the space
- Consider color carefully in terms of its ability to excite or sooth
- Provide settings that are casual, informal,and comfortable
- Allow for artwork and meaningful objects throughout the space that can support individuals and culture
- Corresponding Furniture: Base Camp
3. Make the Space Collaborative
Position individual workspaces around group spaces to maximize visibility
Provide group areas for informal brainstorming and informal information swaps
Plan for extensive dialogue with digital information and intense collaborations around computers that can involve both collocated and virtual team members
Provide for vertical content displays with whiteboards, tackable surfaces, foam core boards, projection surfaces, etc., that allow users to actively affect and engage with information
4. Make the Space a Hard-Working Tool
Hard-working spaces can be just as much of a tool as anything else a team uses to innovate. By supporting all the modes of work — focusing, collaborating, learning, and socializing — every square foot of an innovation space can become an efficient workshop for new ideas.
- Consider the wall architecture as a way to organize and display information in a way that links to group processes
- Make sure active and stored work toolsare easily accessible
- Think of every vertical surface in terms of its potential for information displays
- Consider layered storage that can serve double-duty by keeping materials handy and defining zones
- Provide a responsive infrastructure that supports technologies
5. Make the Space a Reflection of Culture and Brand
- Reinforce tone and culture authentically in the design of the space, recognizing that what works for one organization doesn’t automatically work for another
- Allow for displays of products and other collective achievements that will inspire pride and risk-taking
- Allow for team customization and personalization to reflect ownership and identification
- Corresponding Furniture: Turnstone's 'Little Things' Collection
6. Make the Space Social
Social capital between co-creators is crucial for innovation to occur. It builds trust, especially important when teams are doing intense work. Open and relaxed areas for informal conversations are critical components for successful innovation spaces.
- Provide convenient access to food and beverages
- Provide comfortable lounge seating ,café tables, and other furniture that invites mingling
- Locate casual collaboration areas in close proximity to work areas so it’s easy to take a break, swap stories, etc.
- Provide welcoming areas for guests with appropriate views into the space and work in progress
- Corresponding Furniture: Day Camp