When your profession demands creativity, it may seem overwhelming to find the inspiration to deliver, particularly when working to strict deadlines. The right workspace can not only help you to be more productive but can also help to put you in creative mindset.
Often when working at home, the lines between workspace and living space can become blurred. Maybe you have a basket of clean laundry waiting to be folded sat in the corner of your office. Maybe you sit at the dining room table because it offers more space and closer proximity to the kettle.
Whatever your personal distraction, it can make you less productive and divert your attention away from the deep focus that creative work calls for.
Unfortunately, traditional offices can be even worse when it comes to sparking and nurturing new ideas. Bland, uniform designs and colours in an office can be demotivating for any worker, but if you’re in the creative industry it can be even more debilitating.
An office designed to inspire creatives should pay attention to these key areas.
Layout and Use of Space
The first thing to be mindful of is the way you are using the space available. Trying to work in an area that is cluttered and cramped can contribute to feelings of being stuck, overwhelmed or distracted.
Try to consider the flow of your office. Is there room to move around freely between furniture? Does the air circulate around the room well to make it less stifling? Could your layout be more visually interesting, using unconventional shapes and positions to help your eye travel more freely around the room.
Try and visualise the way you work best and incorporate that into your design.
At SO Fourteen, we’ve created desk clusters that allow teams to collaborate easily and encourage networking between our members.
We have sectioned off phone booths and meeting rooms to offer a level of privacy for any matters that may be confidential.
We have also made use of the C shaped layout of our office to spread our desks out and create corners that lend themselves to quieter, more focused work, as well as more open areas that are better suited to collaboration.
Design features and Accents
Once you’ve perfected the layout of your office, you can start thinking about how you are going to make it unique and fill it with the things you need.
Often overlooked in corporate offices is a colour scheme. Many companies will go with their brand colours or a corporate blue, but when working with creatives it’s important to provide a colour scheme that inspires them.
Consider what inspires you when choosing a design theme and go from there. We’ve taken inspiration from nature and incorporated it into our wallpaper, bee-themed cushions, natural wooden desks and the abundance of real plants in the office.
There will be certain elements of your office that will require a more practical approach to the design, such as desks and chairs. But others can be more flexible. Think about furniture in more relaxed areas such as sofas and coffee tables, and other small accents such as light fittings, cushions or artwork.
Making these elements quirky or visually interesting will help you to get into a creative mind frame and create a more relaxed environment to work in.
Ambience and Environment
While a lot of the environmental factors and ambience in your office will be influenced by the office location and other design factors, it’s still important to consider small changes you can make.
Think about the lighting used in your office. Wherever possible, try to use natural light in place of artificial light, as it can boost both productivity and creativity levels. Top up the lighting where necessary with environmentally friendly LED lights.
Try and consider the temperature as well. While everyone is different when it comes to their preferred temperature, it has been shown that office temperature can have an impact on productivity.
When it is too cold workers have been shown to make more mistakes, but too hot and they may become fatigued and struggle to concentrate.
You may also want to consider background noise. At SO Fourteen we play soft, calming music in the office, to create a relaxed and stimulating environment.
Depending on your industry, playing music all the time may not be an option, but you may want to consider set areas or periods where you do allow music to be played at a low volume.
You may also want to consider investing in noise cancelling headphones, if you’re the type of person who finds too much background noise a distraction.
When choosing a workspace, you must be mindful that everyone is different, and it’s important to find what works for you. Coworking is a unique proposition that suits many workers who are prone to needing more flexibility, such as graphic designers, web developers or other creative professionals.
If you’re interested in using the coworking space at SO Fourteen, you can book a tour or call our community manager on 023 8112 5014.