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.
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.
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.