By GEMMA FOORD
Today’s work place is littered with distractions, from impromptu chatter, calls, emails to last minute meetings; it can be hard to get the creative juices flowing.
Productivity and creativity need to be fed and the best way to do this is to ensure an inspiring environment. London is considered one of the top 5 cities globally in which to locate your business. Iconic areas such as Camden, Shoreditch and much of East London are historically renowned for their creativity, however, great creative spaces can be found across London and DeVono can help with the search and selection based on the inspiration you are looking for.
People are inspired in different ways. If you are running a business that relies heavily on creativity for example, try to cover as many angles as you can.
Location chosen, it’s time to find your perfect space. Natural light and windows with a view should be on the list. Studies consistently show that exposure to sunlight boosts workplace performance. The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine published a study that found that employees who sat near windows slept on average 46 minutes more a night than employees sat elsewhere in the office.
Most offices are painted white with the occasional piece of generic branding or artwork.
According to a study published in Science Daily, people working in a white walled environment suffered more with nausea and headaches on balance than those immersed in a coloured office environment. The study concluded blue or green best with blue producing twice as many positive results when compared to a red. Green spaces scored 20% higher on staff creativity when compared with a white office. Use yellow if you want to get the conversations flowing. Incorporating these primary colours through way of lampshades, artworks and furniture and paint is advantageous.
The benefits evidenced in numerous scientific studies are both physical and psychological and with plants symbolising growth and nature, they are a brilliant and cost effective way to implant some inspiration into the workplace (excuse the pun). A study conducted in 2010 recorded significant reductions in anxiety (37%), depression (58%), anger (44%) and fatigue (38%). A separate evaluation also concluded that office space with plants increased creativity by 15% and that’s not even mentioning the physical benefits. In a further study which had a ratio of 1 plant per 3 employees, CO2 was reduced by 50% as well as a reduction in dust, bacteria and mould.
The best plants to have in an office environment which will keep in the environmental conditions and periods where the office is empty include Aloe, Spider Plants, Peace Lily, Cactus and Succulents.
People are often inspired by a particular person or quotation. It can be the reason they work in the field they do or the reason they work a certain way. Having inspirational quotes dotted around the office has been proven to increase motivation levels and inspire outside the box thinking. Often used by fast-growing creatives to communicate their ethos, values and vision, there is now a large body of research indicating that visual cues help us with information recall and retrieval.
The layout of your office is significant and layout should promote, not stifle, inspiration. To achieve this it is generally best to have an open plan office with dedicated areas to allow for different working styles.
There are many clever ways to make your space work efficiently and effectively for your team; reception area for visitors, small private offices, meeting rooms, a quiet area, brainstorming area, breakout space, relaxation space, debate room, board room, phone booths, event space to name a few. Perhaps even a clever hybrid space that provides multiple functions dependent on needs and we help unlock this with a complimentary space assessment; part of our service when advising on your business relocation.
Cut the clutter! Your desk should only be home to anything that will help you be more productive or inspiring. Having a clean, clutter free working environment boosts productivity and distractions within your control kept to a minimum.
Endless task switching can be costly… we face a near unlimited number of distractions that interrupt our thought process. Studies show that it takes our brain an average of 20 minutes to regain the same level of concentration we had before we were distracted and although some distractions are out of our control, there are things you may be doing yourself which prevent you from staying focussed.
Many people turn to the gym, yoga, cycling and general wellness activities in order to gain inspiration and think clearer. A growing number of serviced office buildings DeVono list have onsite gyms, weekly yoga classes and bicycle racks to accommodate those who benefit most from a schedule incorporating physical exercise . Another thing to consider is perhaps if there is a nearby wellness centre to offer a discounted membership as an employee perk. We have also found weekly masseuses to be increasingly popular in offices to help relieve stress and stimulate clearer, more focused thinking.
It’s a common misconception. Various studies site that over 60% of employees that listen to music at work do it to make them happier and more productive and interestingly, nearly 90% of employees surveyed produce more accurate work when listening to tunes. However, you should avoid music with lyrics especially songs you haven’t heard before as this can interfere with your ability to learn new information. Creative minds tend to do best with jazz, classical, reggae and surprisingly punk and rock. Background noise in general is good for creativity, with optimum noise levels being 70db – 50db.
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