Driving innovation in the workplace is critical in gaining a competitive edge in the ever-changing business world.
Ideally, an innovative workplace starts with acquiring innovative individuals. However, for these individuals to perform optimally, businesses should do more than just hiring. They need to create spaces that inspires these people’s creativity and innovation.
It would be a great undoing to place a great talent in a depressing workspace. Even the most talented innovative mind can underperform in such an environment. Besides, the modern worker is looking for a workplace that he or she is happy to wake up to every day. And such a workspace is one that optimizes their ability to think creatively. Here are three tips to help you create a workspace that inspires your teams for optimal innovation.
1. Have flexible workspaces
One characteristic of an innovative individual is the ability to have an agile way of thinking. They are always thinking of ideas and testing them out. Putting such a mind in a static environment would be more like closing their minds to only one way of thinking. Such minds require spaces that will make them enthusiastic to think and create.
Workplaces need to rethink workspace setup to include flexible spaces that employees can design into what inspires them. That means standing desks, desks with wheels and movable walls that employees can organize and reorganize to create different setups every now and then.
Allow them to personalize their desks with their family portraits, favorite drawings or plants. Indoor plants, for instance, provide an environment for innovation and creativity. Employees can easily grow them on their desks with LED grow lights to provide their lighting needs. This means that even employees who sit at a corner that doesn’t get sufficient natural light can also benefit from having a plant on their desk.
2. Incorporate a break room in the office
We all know that working long hours in one station can derail the mind’s ability to think innovatively. While most businesses still measure employees’ performance by how long they stay at their desk, it is one way of killing creativity and productivity. Businesses need to encourage people to take breaks in between work in order to give their minds a rest.
One way to do this is by incorporating a break room in the office. This will tell the employees that are more inclined to work for long probably for fear of repercussions that it is okay to take a break. Taking some time away from the desk works magic in rejuvenating the body and mind and inspiring fresh thinking towards a task.
The work shouldn’t stop there though, the break room should incorporate elements that inspire the people. That includes little things like choosing the right colors, furniture, and set up. Including games, coffee areas, a library, a gym, or a quiet room comes in handy for different personalities that find inspiration differently.
Spaces that inspire conversations within teams provide brainstorming opportunities while growing teamwork among members. Both of which are critical in driving innovation. A break room offers this kind of space in the workplace.
3. Encourage cohesiveness
When people are offered a workplace that they consider psychologically safe to air their views, their minds are opened up to think creatively. They are more willing to take risks in thinking and presenting ideas since the fear of being turned down has been eliminated.
Creating such an environment starts with fostering employees’ relationships that bring them closer to each other. When employees get used to each other and the management, expressing themselves becomes more natural. They feel like they are part of the organization and that their views are valued. This goes a long way in improving the earlier said psychological safety.
Workplaces must then create company rituals and cultures that encourage togetherness among the teams. They need to think of activities that bring teams together, get them talking, and brainstorming ideas. Think of dining together, celebrating birthdays, and each other’s milestones among others.
Employees’ demands for an ideal workplace are rapidly changing as the days go. Today, the modern employee ranks offices that inspire its people to be innovative as an ideal workplace. Thus, creating a workspace that inspires innovation will not only be for the current employee, but you will be setting yourself up to attract top talents for the future growth of your business.