We already know that a company that can’t innovate is a company on its way out.
Creating a culture of innovation in your office, however, can be an elusive goal. There are so many elements to consider when creating an innovative workplace, from learning and creative exploration opportunities to health and wellbeing. Foremost amongst these is the actual environment you and your team will be working in.
Working is living, and exceptional living standards attract exceptional people. Creating a workplace that is conducive to a happy lifestyle will attract top talent and keep your employees motivated. More than this, though, a truly great and innovative workplace can actively work to inspire employees, helping them to explore new ideas and blend old ones together for innovative solutions.
This week, we’d like to talk about the principles of an innovative workplace and how you can include them in your office design. How you express each of these principles is up to you, but they provide an excellent framework to start.
1. Flexible working
Some people work best alone. Some need the buzz of a community to focus and relax. Others simply can’t sit still for more than a couple of hours. Everyone has their own style of work and are most productive when their needs are catered too. More than this, though, a flexible work environment allows your team to explore their own routes to new ideas, whether that means the solitude of home working or the chaos of a busy cafeteria.
If you’re considering a flexible work environment, here’s a few facts for you to mull over:
- Workers are up to 20% more productive when working from home.
- 73% of employees say flexible working improves their job satisfaction
- People that sit for 8 to 10 hours a day have a 22% to 49% greater risk of early death
2. Inspiring interior
Only 11% of office workers are satisfied with their work space. This is an unhappy figure, given the proven relationship between office decor and productivity. A study by the University of Exeter found that the simple addition of a few houseplants increased work productivity by 15%. That’s pretty staggering. Make sure you are always working to create a beautiful environment. It’s a serious investment in your bottom line.
3. Opportunities to learn and explore
We’ve spoken in previous posts about the way in which innovation requires new, fresh ideas to flourish. Without quality knowledge input, it’s hard for employees to get excited about innovation. You’ll need to provide your team with opportunities to learn and explore new ideas if you want them to grow. A training budget is a great place to start, but even an hour set aside to read each week can help teams explore new concepts. Remember, they’ll need both the tools and the time to learn.
4. New ways to relax
Stress is a sure-fire way to crush creative aspirations. When your team is rushing around trying to get their day-to-day work done, there simply isn’t time or space for innovative thinking. Add to that the tiredness that comes from long hours, bad commuting time and toxic team members, and you’ll create an environment that people simply want to leave. Comfortable furniture, good lighting and some plant life can make all the difference. However, you can also give employees new ways to take breaks, like lunchtime meditation sessions and mid-afternoon walks. Spend some time thinking of creative ways to help your team relax.
5. Sense of ownership
Creating a comfortable work environment is a great first step to encouraging more innovation from your employees. However, if you really want to build a creative culture, you can go one further and create opportunities for them to contribute. For example, many companies allow employees budget to set up their own computer spaces. Others allow them to input on paint and furnishing decisions. Some companies even give employees ‘inspiration spaces’ – places that they can put items that inspire them. By allowing employees to make spaces their own, they’re more likely to relax and get the creative juices going. Virtual spaces like Idea Drop can even help give your team a sense of ownership.
To learn more about how to develop an innovative workplace, get in touch with us via the chat box below. We’d love to hear how you plan on building an inspiring creative process.