The type of working environment you provide affects how people perceive themselves and their importance to the company as well as how productive they are.
This is especially true when creating workspaces for creatives.
If your business depends on originality and having imaginative people at the helm, the workspace you provide should foster the appropriate traits and behaviors. That means finding the perfect balance of open and closed workspaces to encourage collaboration and facilitate heads-down productivity. It’s no longer effective to furnish private offices or cubicles for every worker. Nor is it enough to simply incorporate open floor plans without understanding the occasional need for privacy.
Creatives can be found in several occupations. But let’s take a quick look at the examples of a graphic designer, a software programmer and an advertising writer to better understand what kind of environment is needed to cultivate and nurture innovation.
- THE GRAPHIC DESIGNER A graphic designer sometimes needs privacy to do heads-down creative work with detail-oriented tasks. But this person may also find inspiration in alcoves or meeting rooms. Designers often need areas to interact and brainstorm, with access to natural light for enhanced productivity.
- THE SOFTWARE PROGRAMMER Software programmers have to be creative because the nature of their work is to solve problems through code. They often get “into the zone” (as they sometimes call it) and cannot become distracted, so they need a place to work in private. Yet, they also need a place to meet with other programmers, developers and engineers to collaborate on complex problems and solutions. Dim or dark rooms often help these folks be more productive.
- THE ADVERTISING WRITER Writers may find themselves part of a social media or PR team, and typically fall into a larger subset of communicators in most organizations. They are responsible for taking a concept from start to finish. So, they may need a place to scribble story ideas on the wall, communicate openly with employees, or video-conference meetings in a quiet zone or touchdown room.
It’s easier to see the benefits for the more obvious artistic workers, but in reality, everyone is creative to some extent. Most all companies could benefit from tapping into these valuable assets, as running a creative organization is one of the key differentiators found among successful companies.
So go ahead. Strategically line a few walls with marker boards. Combine traditional conference rooms with ad-hoc meeting spaces that allow watercooler conversations. You should even weigh the benefits of a ‘fluid’ environment and think about soundproofing and lighting on the front-end of your project.
Be creative. Your people will thank you for it and your business may depend on it.