You’ve seen photographs of office spaces in Silicon Valley — maybe in the headquarters of Google, Facebook or some other tech giant — that look more like giant kindergartens or elaborate theme parks. Sure, they look amazing (although sometimes you might wonder how anyone ever gets any work done), but they also look prohibitively expensive. So, when it comes to redesigning your office in a creative and inspiring new way, it’s easy to becomes discouraged because you don’t have limitless funds to throw at the job. With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at some creative ideas that can bring your office to life and inspire your workforce but won’t bankrupt you…
1) Go non-linear. When people think of offices, they tend to think of rows and rows of desks in a very rigid formation. If you have the space, try opting for a less conventional, non-linear layout. Something as simple as this can cost nothing but can look great and can facilitate creativity and communication.
2) Experiment with meeting-space dividers. Office partitions don’t need to be solid walls or even solid floor-to-ceiling panels. Some of the most interesting office spaces these days experiment with non-solid partitions that separate areas of the room just enough to create the right amount of privacy. For example, you could use a row of head-height glass panels or a length of box-type shelving.
3) Vary your flooring. Another really effective way to divide up your workspace is to use radically different types of flooring, creating clear divisions between different areas. This keeps your office space open, but clearly differentiates between zones that have different functions.
4) Mix open and closed. While open spaces stimulate communication and collaboration, in some circumstances productivity can suffer. If at all possible, give your team the choice of private meeting rooms and informal discussion areas.
5) Write on your walls! Having rooms or areas that have whiteboards on the walls are a really great way to stimulate creativity and the easy sharing of ideas.
6) Theme your space. Rather than just having rooms that are labelled “Main Meeting Room” or “Meeting Room No. 1”, be a little more adventurous. You don’t have to go the whole hog and have “The Hawaii Meeting Room”, but live a little, use your imagination and create more interesting spaces.
7) Get arty. One great way to achieve the above effect throughout your entire building is to use artwork. Art can add colour and personality not just to walls but to carpets, floors and even ceilings, and it doesn’t have to break the bank. Rather than forking out for famous prints, take the time to do a little research and see if a local artist can offer you a collection of pieces.
8) Give yourself a break. Make sure your breakout space really does provide a break from the rest of the building. It’s really important that it feels different to the space where the majority of work is done, that it facilitates down-time and allows your staff a moment’s respite from their desks. This will make them all the more inspired and creative when the break is over and it’s time to get back to work.
Do you wish you could be more creative with your office space? Give us a call at Flow, being creative in the workplace is what we do.