An Office that Actually Makes You Better at Work

If you’re thinking of choosing an innovative office space designed to make employees more creative, think again. Despite new office designs and innovations, creative office space can actually hinder employees’ creative abilities, according to scientific research that states creativity is cultivated through complex structure and fluidity in the workplace.

Here are four tips to choose the perfect blend of innovative and tried-and-true office design.

Shut Your Trap

One of the biggest trends in office space recently has been the “open office.” The open office gives off the ultimate innovative, go-with-the-flow company feel, but studies show it can actually work against productivity and creativity. Matthew Davis, an organizational psychologist, found that open layout offices often increase levels of stress and decrease levels of concentration. Davis found that the psychological privacy that individual offices provide enhance job performance.

Let There Be Light

Office space needs natural light to create environments where creative ideas can flourish. Janetta Mitchell McCoy, an interior design professor at Washington State University, found that raters judged students’ works as more innovative when those students designed collages in natural environments with high levels of natural light than those in spaces manufactured with plastics and drywall.

Sneak Attack

A typical office space usually consists of an over-abundance of white and sharp 90-degree angles, but curved spaces can produce great results. University of Toronto’s Oshin Vartanian conducted a study that found participants judged curvilinear spaces more beautiful than rectilinear spaces. Largely driven by their feelings of pleasantness, the participants supported geologist Jay Appleton’s “habitat theory” that the perception of an environment as favorable or unfavorable to survival is a primary determinant in finding a space aesthetically pleasing.

Rohrschach Test

The last important question to ask when designing an office space is: How does that make you feel? This question answers the simplest of questions, including color and decorative objects. Psychologist Robert Epstein states by surrounding people with unusual objects or visiting an art museum can encourage out-of-the-ordinary thinking. 

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Nick Banks

Nick created Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group in 2002 and spent the first eight years developing and acquiring office and retail projects in South Florida as well as North Central Florida. In 2010 the focus of the firm was shifted to primarily serve third party clients and perform brokerage, property management and mortgage banking functions. Nick has personally developed and acquired nearly 200,000 square feet of office and retail properties in markets throughout Florida. Prior to founding Front Street, Nick was the Director of Finance and Dispositions for Stiles Corporation in Fort Lauderdale where he financed and sold over $500 million in commercial real estate. Before joining Stiles, Nick was an Associate Director at GE Capital Real Estate where he sourced over $200 million in financing throughout Florida. Nick is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Finance and a concentration in Real Estate. He serves as a board member and current vice-chair for the United Way of North Central Florida where he also chairs the Development Committee. Nick is actively involved with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce where he serves as a board member and committee member for the Council for Economic Outreach. He is also a recent graduate of Leadership Gainesville which is a year long leadership program hosted by the Chamber. He is a member of Grace United Methodist Church where he has served as finance chair and as a member of the leadership council. Nick serves as an advisory board member of the University of Florida Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. Nick was recently named chair of the Gainesville committee for the North Florida chapter of Urban Land Institute (ULI). He is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Florida and is a long time member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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