Execs find open-concept offices inspire: survey

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Creative Group recently conducted a survey of 400 American marketing and advertising executives and 1,000 workers, age 18 and over, on workplace creativity. Findings show that managers and employees disagree on the best office layout to encourage innovative ideas.

When executives were asked which type of office layout they believe is ideal to bolster creativity and innovation, 36 per cent chose an open-concept space for multiple people. However, 26 per cent of lower-level employees in the same field agree this layout can improve creativity.

For cubicles, results were relatively balanced: 21 per cent of executives and 19 per cent of workers believe this set-up boosts workplace innovation. And although less than one-fifth of executives (18 per cent) believe a private office for one person will garner the most creative results, double that amount of workers (36 per cent) say a private office is ideal to encourage creativity. Other less popular options include a shared office for two to three people or a remote office, such as working from home or a café.

Upon releasing these findings, the Creative Group offered up a few solutions to help stimulate creativity at work:

  1. Designate a few regions in the office that will act as ‘creativity zones,’ where employees can brainstorm and conduct impromptu meetings.
  2. Offer private areas where employees can work quietly and concentrate without any distractions.
  3. Encourage workers to post content to an inspiration wall that may help others think creatively. Also invite staff members to take photos of anything they may want to use in a future project.
  4. Occasionally take meetings outside or to a park, courtyard or café.

“Highly effective workplaces reflect the type of work being done, as well as the work styles of those that occupy them,” said Deborah Bottineau, senior regional manager of the Creative Group, in a press release. “Office managers should be cognisant of employees’ preferences and try to find an office design that caters to both the needs of the business and their staff. Being accommodating and flexible with layout options can result in happier, more productive and creative employees.”

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