As more businesses look to redesign offices as spaces for creativity and collaboration in 2021, we share some of our top tips for fostering creativity through great office design.
It’s something we’ve talked about in previous blog posts, but we can’t say it enough – in 2021 and beyond, the office space will be used in new and different ways. As more office workers adopt a hybrid working pattern, the office will evolve into a place of collaboration, rather than a space to ‘get your head down’ on solitary tasks. As a result, offices will need to look very different.
But what does this look like in practice? In a nutshell, you may walk into a more casual coffee shop style environment and see fewer fixed desks and other fittings. You’ll also see more creative spaces designed to encourage innovation, collaboration and liveliness. This could be anything from rooms with pop up furniture that can easily be moved/ packed away, to temporary partitions to separate out different sections of the office for different tasks depending on your needs that particular day. Flexibility is the name of the game here. In addition, companies may also look to incorporate relaxation or chill out areas, such as quiet rooms or gardens, to help employees unwind and explore their creativity in a less formal or ‘corporate’ setting.
The Opus4 design team breath a collective sigh of relief as we say with confidence ‘magnolia walls are a thing of the past’! This year, more companies will be embracing the power of colour – on their walls, furniture and elsewhere. There’s lots of research out there about the impact that colour can have on productivity, creativity and mood at work. Choosing certain colours in different spaces can elicit a specific response. For example, blue is thought to be a good colour if you’re looking to encourage focus. Warmer colours can inspire conversation and creativity.
But before you grab that orange paint, remember that there is no one ‘right’ colour. People’s response to colour can be subjective so colour theory should be used as a guide rather than an absolute. Changing the colours in your office needs careful planning and design. It’s equally important that any colours you choose are in line with your organisation’s brand and company culture. This is something we always consider in our office design process.
Office culture can at times seem like a nebulous concept. It’s something that you just feel, right? Over the years, many have tried to define it but perhaps none so successfully as Gerry Johnson and Kevan Scholes who have developed the Cultural Web model. This sets out the different components that make up a company’s culture. This could be anything from formal organisational structures to the stories that are told about past events.
Symbols are another key part of the Cultural Web model. These are things that you can physically see that tell you more about the company. Examples include branding, dress code and, of course, office space. With this in mind, there’s a huge opportunity to use office design to showcase your company culture and inspire creativity. This could be through the use of colour as discussed above, or through other design features such as your office layout or the sustainability credentials of your materials and appliances.
A really simple example of this in practice is the imagery you have on the walls. Some companies will choose to display their company values. Others might display previous examples of work or past successes. Some might opt for a more minimalist approach with nothing on the walls at all. There’s no right or wrong answer. But whatever you choose, it should be a reflection of your organisation. Done right, it can be a great way to inspire creativity and motivation within your teams and show visitors to your office more about who you are.
If you’re looking to inspire creativity through your office design we can help. As experts in office design, fitout and workplace culture, we work with you to make sure that your environment reflects your unique workforce and brings out the best in your people.