In today’s competitive marketplace, creating a culture of innovation has become more important than ever. While most know the importance of innovating, many struggle to proactively plan for it – especially when it comes to office design. While it’s great to encourage employees to collaborate and brainstorm together, workplaces must provide creative brainstorming spaces where they can effectively innovate.

Collaboration zones provide a natural crossroads for coworkers to meet and share ideas. They can be as informal as a large table in the break room or as formal as a walled conference room. Remember to support those spaces with the necessary tools and flexibility employees need to work together. Ask yourself, “Is the space reconfigurable? Do users have choice and control over how and where they work in the space?”

Here are some suggestions on how to design a creative brainstorming space in the office:

Furniture

It’s important to create furniture arrangements that encourage collaboration. The space should offer comfortable seating and a variety of postures.

  • Lounge seating signals the space is open and relaxed, making employees feel comfortable and encouraging informal conversations.
  • Include ottomans or stools, like turnstone’s Buoy for an active sitting option.
  • Provide standing height tables with stools to encourage employees to switch postures, keeping them engaged.
  • Tables with casters allow the team to easily rearrange the room as they see fit for the task at hand.

Supplies

Having the right supplies within reach is key for successful collaboration and brainstorming.

  • Include post-it notes, whiteboards and markers to allow for easy brainstorming sessions. If possible, include mobile whiteboards to allow users to move them around as they work.
  • Tackable surfaces like foam core boards allow users to actively engage with analog information.
  • Include monitors with plug and play capabilities. This makes it easy for people to share digital content or collaborate with remote teammates through video conferencing.

Decor

Great decor is an important component for inspiring spaces that encourage creativity and collaboration. Due to the social nature of brainstorming spaces, they are best located in private or semi-private areas where noise and unstructured creativity won’t disturb others.

  • If possible, paint the walls a calming and inspiring color. If painting isn’t an option, add color through furniture, accessories and art. Color is also a powerful way-finding tool and can be used to signal different work zones within the office.
  • Consider using semi-private screens for visual privacy and space definition.
  • Use layered storage to keep materials handy and define the space.
  • Include a rug to make the space more comfortable and help absorb noise.

Want more inspiration? Check out our Pinterest board: