I’ve recently talked about the importance of having a ideal space for your best work as a marketing or creative person. But the ideal work environment requires us to collaborate with teams and other people with a totally different or complementary skill set. So, as a brand owner, how do you create a creative space for collaboration? The key reason why this is important is because collaboration between diverse team members can drive innovation. Employees and teams that are diverse are 45% more likely to report a growth in market share. Your final product and market performance is often as good as the strength of your collaborative efforts as a team. I will present some ideas in this post that will help you create more opportunities for collaboration.
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Why do teams need creative spaces for collaboration?
Diverse teams tend to bring more creative innovation to the table. But, they’re often also slower to create as their world views and perceptions may differ. How do you get the team to feel well oiled to stay creative? One way to enable that is to create inspiration spaces around them. It forces team members to interact and brainstorm to come up with something innovative that challenges the status quo. It allows people to go beyond their comfort zones and be inspired to get into a zone of creative development.
How To Create A Creative Space For Collaboration
1. Create inspirational experience zones
A lounge setting, a plush sofa, a soundless cube, bright light, a big room with plenty of indoor plants, a room with comfortable seating and soothing music in the background- all of these can be put together to create an experience zone. Think about coffee shops, or book stores that inspire you to create. Now try and re-create that atmosphere in your office settings. The idea is to create a zone and separate it from the rest of your workplace where people feel excited to create something unique. They should be able to get to this experience zones and switch on a part of their brains which associates these sounds and spaces with creativity.
Quick fact: Plants in an office increase productivity by 15%
2. Add flexible furniture and seating
The district library close to where I live has perfected the art of creating spaces where my mind automatically relaxes to get into a comfortable creative zone. The couches come with wheels, so that I can shift my seating wherever I want to be reading. It also allows others around me to move flexibility and be in their own zone. The lighting is just right for my eyes and almost never too bright or too dim. I could potentially arrange this moving furniture to allow for a creative brainstorming session with a colleague. Things are not pre-set but moldable, just like all creative ventures should be!
Quick fact: People like working in coffee shops because of comfortable furniture and seating. IDEO employees are encouraged to play musical chairs at work!
3. Allow for writing on the walls
As kids we’re often told not to write on walls. Or not to experiment unconventionally. Or always to create and set up perfectly presentable solutions. Allowing people the permission to embrace something that’s work-in-progress, that may actually be the hip end product at times, allows them to stay creative. At Shinola’s (they don’t pay me, I do love the brand) coffee shop at Ann Arbor, the walls in between the cafe are half done by conventional standards. I am aware that it’s the new hip thing to do, but it does something special to my creative superpowers. It makes me feel comfortable with my own process – which may not yet be complete, but feels good and celebratory. I feel I have the permission to make mistakes and do something crazy. Allowing your teams that flexibility and feeling is a sure-shot way to bring in more energy to your space.
Quick fact: 83% employees feel artwork is important in office in simulating ideas and giving employees something beautiful to look at
What are some of the ways in which you’re creating creative space for collaboration in your offices?
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