Posts tagged creative office
In a recent  New York Times  article,  Engineering Serendipity , Greg Lindsay deliberates workplace policies by  Yahoo  and  Google  and describes how companies can use social media as data to plug organizational gaps.    By bridging these gaps, he says, employers are able to “engineer” serendipity (“regarded as close kin to creativity – the mysterious means by which new ideas enter the world”) amidst employees.     
 In addition to Lindsay’s assertion that social media is one method for helping employees serendipitously “generate good ideas,” he adds that physical space that “maximizes ‘casual collisions of the work force’” can also breed creativity. This idea is supported by the discovery of  Sociometric Solutions  that “employees who ate at cafeteria tables designed for 12 were more productive than those at tables for four.” Thus, not only are companies like Yahoo banning employees from working from home as a way to bring people together, they are also housing employees in environments that encourage “chance conversations.” Lindsay explains that “we get a particular intellectual charge from sharing ideas in person.” 
 In the end, “the message [is] clear: doing your best work solo can’t compete with lingering around the coffee machine waiting for inspiration – in the form of [interaction with] a college – to strike.”

In a recent New York Times article, Engineering Serendipity, Greg Lindsay deliberates workplace policies by Yahoo and Google and describes how companies can use social media as data to plug organizational gaps.  By bridging these gaps, he says, employers are able to “engineer” serendipity (“regarded as close kin to creativity – the mysterious means by which new ideas enter the world”) amidst employees. 

In addition to Lindsay’s assertion that social media is one method for helping employees serendipitously “generate good ideas,” he adds that physical space that “maximizes ‘casual collisions of the work force’” can also breed creativity. This idea is supported by the discovery of Sociometric Solutions that “employees who ate at cafeteria tables designed for 12 were more productive than those at tables for four.” Thus, not only are companies like Yahoo banning employees from working from home as a way to bring people together, they are also housing employees in environments that encourage “chance conversations.” Lindsay explains that “we get a particular intellectual charge from sharing ideas in person.”

In the end, “the message [is] clear: doing your best work solo can’t compete with lingering around the coffee machine waiting for inspiration – in the form of [interaction with] a college – to strike.”

Open Spaces Make for a Productive Workplace    
    In a recent  New York Times  article, “ Looking for a Lesson in Google’s Perks ,” author James B. Stewart recounts his colorful experience touring Google’s East Coast headquarters. His, “at times, dizzying excursion through a labyrinth of play areas; cafes, coffee bars and open kitchens; sunny outdoor terraces with chaises; gourmet cafeterias… [and] Broadway-themed conference rooms with velvet drapes…” served as an attempt to discern whether Google’s imaginative workplaces are responsible for the creativity and productivity of its employees.    
  One of Stewart’s observations about the  Google  offices particularly resonated with our team at Innovant: the open plan environment serves as the physical platform for Google’s intellectual advancements. In the article, Craig Nevill-Manning, “  a New Zealand native and Google’s engineering director in Manhattan,” explains the philosophy behind Google’s office environment.      “Google’s success depends on innovation and collaboration. Everything we did was geared toward making it easy to talk. Being on one floor here removed psychological barriers to interacting, and we’ve tried to preserve that.”   
  After his Google expedition, Stewart conferred with Teresa Amabile, “  a business administration professor at Harvard Business School and co-author of “The Progress Principle,” about creativity at work.” What he learned from Amabile was that    “there’s some evidence that great physical space enhances creativity.”    She added that,  “the theory is that open spaces that are fun, where people want to be, facilitate idea exchange. I’ve watched people interact at Google and you see a cross-fertilization of ideas.”    
  Another expert, Ben Waber, “who has a Ph.D. from M.I.T. and is the author of “People Analytics,” weighed in on workplace interactions.  “Google has really been out front in this field,” he said. “They’ve looked at the data to see how people are collaborating. Physical space is the biggest lever to encourage collaboration. And the data are clear that the biggest driver of performance in complex industries like software is serendipitous interaction. For this to happen, you also need to shape a community. That means if you’re stressed, there’s someone to help, to take up the slack. If you’re surrounded by friends, you’re happier, you’re more loyal, you’re more productive. Google looks at this holistically. It’s the antithesis of the old factory model, where people were just cogs in a machine.”   
  At Innovant, we understand Waber’s point that “physical space is the biggest lever to… collaboration.” For employees to thrive, employers must invest in an environment that breeds productivity and creativity. This type of investment in the workplace is sure to be an investment in the work that’s completed there.   

Open Spaces Make for a Productive Workplace

In a recent New York Times article, “Looking for a Lesson in Google’s Perks,” author James B. Stewart recounts his colorful experience touring Google’s East Coast headquarters. His, “at times, dizzying excursion through a labyrinth of play areas; cafes, coffee bars and open kitchens; sunny outdoor terraces with chaises; gourmet cafeterias… [and] Broadway-themed conference rooms with velvet drapes…” served as an attempt to discern whether Google’s imaginative workplaces are responsible for the creativity and productivity of its employees.

One of Stewart’s observations about the Google offices particularly resonated with our team at Innovant: the open plan environment serves as the physical platform for Google’s intellectual advancements. In the article, Craig Nevill-Manning, “a New Zealand native and Google’s engineering director in Manhattan,” explains the philosophy behind Google’s office environment. “Google’s success depends on innovation and collaboration. Everything we did was geared toward making it easy to talk. Being on one floor here removed psychological barriers to interacting, and we’ve tried to preserve that.”

After his Google expedition, Stewart conferred with Teresa Amabile, “a business administration professor at Harvard Business School and co-author of “The Progress Principle,” about creativity at work.” What he learned from Amabile was that “there’s some evidence that great physical space enhances creativity.” She added that, “the theory is that open spaces that are fun, where people want to be, facilitate idea exchange. I’ve watched people interact at Google and you see a cross-fertilization of ideas.”

Another expert, Ben Waber, “who has a Ph.D. from M.I.T. and is the author of “People Analytics,” weighed in on workplace interactions. “Google has really been out front in this field,” he said. “They’ve looked at the data to see how people are collaborating. Physical space is the biggest lever to encourage collaboration. And the data are clear that the biggest driver of performance in complex industries like software is serendipitous interaction. For this to happen, you also need to shape a community. That means if you’re stressed, there’s someone to help, to take up the slack. If you’re surrounded by friends, you’re happier, you’re more loyal, you’re more productive. Google looks at this holistically. It’s the antithesis of the old factory model, where people were just cogs in a machine.”

At Innovant, we understand Waber’s point that “physical space is the biggest lever to… collaboration.” For employees to thrive, employers must invest in an environment that breeds productivity and creativity. This type of investment in the workplace is sure to be an investment in the work that’s completed there.  

Creating An Office Where Ideas Flow

In a recent article from the Fast Company Magazine, Perkins + Will’s Gina Berndt discussed the key ingredients she believed were needed to build an office that fostered a creative spirit. Although businesses can’t transform themselves solely by the design of their office, it can play largely into helping foster creativity within the employees. Some of the tips she suggests when designing an office include: engaging different perspectives in order to promote collaboration, providing an anchor in order to always bring employees back to the office, design for efficiency by making your office design plan flexible and adaptable to change, supporting different working styles by allowing employees to be inspired through the different meeting places in the office, adapting to the quickly changing technology, embracing shifting demographics from the different generations coming into the workforce, addressing wellness holistically by creating a healthy working environment, and finally making sure your office expresses who you are as a brand and how you want both your employees and the outside world to see your company. These tips can transform any dated workplace into one that inspires employees for the future.