What is it that links the most successful people around the world? It is the fact that they spend time creating an office environment that lets ideas and creativity flow – here’s how they do it.
There’s two things that every company needs to become a leader in their marketplace: good employees and good ideas. Nothing attracts these things better than a workplace that inspires the best in people. What secrets do the most profitable companies use to accomplish this?
Furniture makes all the difference
A table doesn’t just have to be a table – it could be a communication tool according to yankodesign or a multi-purpose piece of art. Chairs, desks and shelves come in a huge range of shapes and sizes that can break the mold and can give a work area a breath of fresh air compared to the standard array of catalogue furniture.
This can extend beyond employees, too – think about what’s being put in meeting and collaboration rooms. Top companies encourage a unique style of synergy and cooperation with areas that use furniture to bring people together. One example is Google’s London quilted room, where the walls, floor and room-wide sofa is all made from fabric, emphasising the importance of relaxation and comfort during the creative process.
Paint the walls with inspiration
Before furniture goes in, these top companies ask themselves some questions about the room itself:
- What will be happening in this room? If it’s coders or artists working on similar projects give them the means to communicate through an open-plan space or clever placement of desks; don’t keep barriers between them and the flow of ideas.
- What message is this room going to convey? Is it going to represent the company and proudly display its branding or is it going to use a more subtle and psychological effect with its colors and design?
- How can full use be made of the space? Pushing the envelope can lead to some unique uses of space, such as Google’s famous in-office slide used to travel down from floor to floor. Lighting can play a big role in this, with many creative offices making the best use of large windows and natural light.
While it looks like these work spaces may be a simple case of designers and decorators going wild, there is in fact a lot of thought that goes into each design. For example, Pixar’s quirky breakfast bar might seem like a luxury for its expert workforce, but it’s almost essential for those who sometimes have to work days at a time while maintaining high levels of creativity.
Style leads to substance
It’s no good simply having a clean and well-decorated office to inspire employees – a strong, brave aesthetic is the only way to go. No one should be afraid to inject some color into the workspace and even throw in some quirky decorations, such as the stag heads that can be found in Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters. For stag heads or other unique decoration to lighten up your workspace check out http://www.ebay.co.uk/ to get your imagination whirring.
The only idea anyone ever has in a standard work cubicle is how to make an escape, but you don’t have to go crazy with the paint to get an ultra-modern office like those found in the creative suites of Swatch and Microsoft. Simplicity, space and efficiency are the tenants they uphold, with blocks of bold colors on their walls and ingenious use of glass to keep things nice and airy.
The effects of a lick of paint
This all might seem superfluous to more than a few bosses reading this, but it can really help set a fire under employees. Not only will there be the aforementioned boost in creativity, but it helps bringing everyone together under one banner, creating a stronger and more passionate team. You’ll often find these companies have the most dedicated employees around, putting in huge amounts of work to make their products and services excellent.
Another simple fact is that people are going to want to stay in a nicely designed environment – more time spent there means more ideas are dreamt up and capitalized on. Everything from the furniture to the decorations help create a place where people want to be, but there’s one more thing that can keep employees happy...
Work is all fun and games
It might seem counterproductive, but having a good space for play can boost creativity and worker happiness considerably. Companies like Pixar and Facebook set the precedent here, with the latter having an entire room filled with old-school arcade games on which to blow off steam. Why should any company invest so much in toys for their employees, though?
According to Forbes.com, play has a strong link to creativity – even in adults – so having a workspace where that behavior is not just accepted but encouraged can help build up the imagination. There’s another simple reason behind moves like this: if you expect the very best from your employees then you have to give them the best in return, in terms of workspace, facilities and philosophy.