We are now in a time where the workplace is experiencing unprecedented change. As we continue to explore these changes and take a closer look at the ways the corporate work environment has distinctly evolved, we must also consider the benefits in transforming the ways in which we work. Research shows that the work environment can support the rise or decline in productivity, connectedness, and creativity based on its design and structure. Creativity has become a preeminent necessity in the modern workplace, leaving employers to reexamine how they’re prioritizing employee innovation.
According to Steelcase’s Creativity and The Future of Work Survey, 72% of workers believe their future success depends on their ability to be creative in the workplace. People need a system of interconnected places and devices to support the different stages and activities of creative work. Employers are beginning to incorporate solutions that are specifically designed to inspire innovation through more creative focused spaces equipped with technology. In support of the creative process, Steelcase and Microsoft have recently partnered to develop five Creative Spaces that are technology-enabled sand specifically designed to help stimulate the creative thinking process. These include:
1. The Focus Studio
The Focus Studio is where ideas incubate before sharing them with a group. It supports individual creative work time and the ability to get into flow quickly while also allowing quick shifts to two-person collaboration.
2. The Duo Studio
The Duo Studio was created with the knowledge that working in pairs is an essential behavior of creativity. This space helps build trust — two people can co-create shoulder-to-shoulder while also supporting individual work. An informal lounge setting creates a place to relax and re-energize during intense work sessions.
3. The Maker Commons
The Maker Commons encourages quick switching between conversation, experimentation, and concentration. Here, people can socialize ideas and engage in rapid prototyping — essential parts of creativity. To achieve privacy and focus in open areas, a work lounge with privacy screens creates a cocoon-like environment where people can bring their mobile devices and do focused work.
4. The Ideation Hub
The Ideation Hub is a great place for brainstorming. It’s a high-tech destination that encourages active participation and an equal opportunity to contribute. Here people can co-create, refine and share ideas with co-located or distributed teammates.
5. The Respite Room
The Respite Room is designed with the understanding that creativity requires balancing active group work with solitude and individual think time. Here, people may generate their own ideas without interruption or spend time absorbing the information they just heard.
Technology has become the piece of the puzzle that has lifted the barriers, which once constrained the creative thinking process. It’s inspired a change in the perception of what work should look and feel like. In the past, there has been more concentration on ways to help shape the culture through space. Now, operative solutions are focussed more on technology and creative innovation
Global design firm IDEO conducted a study that focused on defining what innovation meant to a variety of different companies. While the findings were complex, IDEO found that the most important element is the organization’s ability to adapt and respond to change.
Successful companies are aware of the ever-changing needs of today’s workforce. They have begun to integrate forward thinking technology spaces that have lead to a rise in creativity in the workplace. Thus showcasing their employee’s greatest creative potential.