HR & Management

Six reasons a creative workspace can play a big role in productivity investment

8 min read

03 March 2016

No matter what industry you work in, productivity is key to meet business goals. As a business owner, I’m well aware of this – and that’s why I know a creative workplace can play a big part in the success of an operation.

Sometimes, it can be hard to find motivation and creativity in the workplace no matter what position you’re in, especially if tasks don’t seem to be going right or it’s a rainy midweek morning.

However, designing creative workspaces can have a big impact on employee attitude, wellbeing and levels of productivity. How, you ask? Step into my office…

(1) How is a creative workspace different from a typical work environment?

A creative workspace is somewhere that strays away from typical office conventions and aims to cater to individuals rather than the corporate, traditionally business-focused offices.

When people think of creative spaces, the first place that usually comes to mind is Google. They are renowned for their creative use of space to inspire their staff whilst putting health and wellbeing at the forefront of their design ideas.

My personal favourite is their rooftop space with a beautiful view of the London skyline. However, creative spaces are becoming a popular phenomenon with countries all over the world and business in all industries taking part.

(2) Why design a creative workspace for an accountancy business?

Although ideas of creativity aren’t usually associated with accountancy businesses, I have been interested in creative workspaces for quite some time. I am, and always have been, passionate about designing and decorating spaces in a way that it is original, pleasing to look at, yet functional at the same time. Whether it’s in the office or at home – it’s definitely a hobby of mine.

We recently moved into a new office and I was determined to have a space that myself and my employees could fall in love with.

But, no matter what industry you are in, there’s always a good reason to create a workspace fit for creativity and productivity. Allowing your creative side to flourish in this environment can help increase your imagination and overall productivity.

(3) What do creative workspaces mean to employee wellbeing?

Employee happiness and wellbeing is very important to me as a businesswoman. I wanted to create a space that would spark inspiration and make my staff proud to be part of our company.

I was also well aware that this would help to create a positive attitude towards the working environment and reduce the chances of any possible mental health issues arising due to working conditions, as creative spaces are renowned for contributing to healthier workspaces.

Research also shows that creative workspaces can increase employee productivity. People don’t have to be glued to their desk with zero distractions anymore to get things done and there are increasingly more spaces in offices where employees can get away from their desks and clear their mind and help them to focus.

Continue reading on the next page for how creative workspaces can improve happiness, the favourite items I have in my office and how the change benefits HR.

(4) Why is a creative workspace integral to employee happiness and productivity?

Providing a creative workspace heightens senses and encourages right brain thinking. The use of specific colours is known to affect mood. Our calming colour scheme of blues and greens gives a calming space to our employees. This was particularly important with so many deadlines to meet. Open spaces encourage collaboration between team members and remove the emotional silos created by the more traditional internal dividing walls.

Creating these innovative workspaces are cost-effective, flexible and are easy to maintain. The end goal of a creative workspace is to provide an environment where employees can thrive and produce their best work.

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(5) What are my favourite items in my office?

I really think creating a colour scheme for your office is so important. From that you can choose other items that will suit your brand image conveyed through your office space and although some items may appear random at first, they fit perfectly with the office theme. For me, I wanted to include calming colours so I’ve used greens and blues which tends to remind me of being outside and close to the ocean.

Although we each have our own desk, they are handmade from recycled scaffolding boards and poles which brings a creative and rustic feel to our office and ties in with our brickwork wallpaper. I also have a driftwood side table to bring a sense of nature into our workspace.

I’m also a firm believer in having an open plan office, where everyone can easily communicate, engage and no one will feel excluded. It helps us to problem solve and collaborate each and every day.

Of course, comfort is crucial. Taking inspiration from Google, my office has been designed to feel like a living room with a sofa, a rug, teapots, plants and scented candles. This reminder of a home environment is more likely to help my employees feel comfortable and relaxed while getting on with their tasks.

Feeling stressed at work is likely to hinder employee performance so I wanted to create an environment that moves away from any negative feelings towards your job and I’ve found that it creates a more positive attitude towards any task.

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(6) How can creative workspaces benefit HR departments?

Selling the concept of a creative workspace to a board can be intimidating and sometimes challenging, particularly in industries where a creative workspace might not be expected or considered to be not needed.

However, it’s crucial to highlight that there is direct correlation between workspace, employee engagement and productivity which will help support business objectives. Your case to the board can be proven by drawing on one of many studies conducted on how creative workspaces benefit overall employee wellbeing and productivity.

Creative workspaces can also be used to attract the best recruits for your company and make you stand out against your competitors. It can be viewed as a part of the overall package employment, alongside the salary, health plan, pension and any other perks a business may have to offer.

You’re paying your staff, so they should be satisfied with that, right? Wrong. SMEs must think of today’s employees as consumers.

Marsha Ward is the founder successful accountancy company, The Number Hub. Based in South Wales with a background in HR and accountancy, she is a firm believer in creating a positive workspace and ensuring employee wellbeing.