Those that come to our Innovation Loft to engage in collaborative team events often comment on how the environment itself supports creative thinking, boosts team energy and facilitates the ability to work effectively. We are frequently asked how to recreate those same attitudes in their office space.
In this post, we’ll cover 7 key qualities that are essential to creating a space that fosters creative collaboration and will help bring these qualities to a more traditional work environment.
Create an environment that is surprising and novel. Our brains filter out a large portion of expected or familiar things than what we generally see, hear, and feel. So creating a space that is new and unexpected opens new possibilities, taking people out of their comfort zones while making them more open to adjusting their thinking.
Certain colors, textures, and objects evoke a certain mood. We find that lots of toys, books, natural materials and flashes of bright color encourage imagination and open a new door to creativity.
Surround people with content related to the topic at hand such as logos, charts, graphs, inspirational images or other relevant visual information. For example, at the Innovation Loft we have hundreds of feet of magnetic whiteboard walls where we can write and post relevant material, along with 35+ video displays used to display different images, videos, and websites during a session. In a conference room, you could replicate a similar effect by having just a few screens connected to an external device, or by lining the room’s walls with colorful, large-size images.
Light has a massive impact on how people see the world. The use of specific lighting from different sources can have an effect on mood. Strategically use a mix of LED and fluorescent lighting to maximize this effect.
Give people the tools to easily communicate and collaborate. We find that the number one tool that fosters collaboration is a lot of canvas space and plenty of writing utensils. Creating canvas space is easy. For example, an inexpensive approach is a whiteboard (or chalkboard) paint or turn whole walls into collaboration surfaces! Glass or acrylic tables can also be used as writable surfaces. Remember to always document your work, at the Innovation Loft we photograph and upload anything left on the boards to an album for later review before the being erased at the end of the day.
Encourage movement! It’s difficult to remain energetic in a day-long meeting, or while sitting at a desk for hours on end. Physical activity provides a much-needed boost of energy, enthusiasm, and creativity. Foster an interactive atmosphere by offering toys, games, or activities to encourage motion. You’ll quickly agree that movement is invaluable to a dynamic, productive meeting or work space, as participants’ moods will be instantly lifted by the change of pace.
Iteration and Prioritization
Give people areas to post their progress with a visual representation of their work. During a meeting, something as simple as an open wall to post flip-chart pages or post-it notes can be an immensely effective space in displaying the meetings’ growing output. This provides an easy way to browse and prioritize your work as well as a way to motivate your team!
The environment itself is only one piece of the puzzle. That’s why, in addition to our creative space, we can help you make the most of your off-site event, bring out the best in your team, and provide the best results for your company or team with our facilitation services.
Visit How Tech Adds Value for more information on what innovative technology event industry professionals use on a daily basis! If you have any other inquiries about our space or services, please don’t hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 646-692-3522.