Thursday, November 2, 2017

Feel Good, Work Better

What do cinemas, nail bars, giant bunnies, gyms, Segways, castles, wellness centres, fireman poles, yoga studios, pizza bars, swings, pool tables, secret doors and running tracks all have in common? Somewhere in Britain, and probably somewhere elsewhere, they are part of someone’s office.

Is this a good thing? Should work have physical boosters? Clearly, there is a cost / benefit factor in buying a big ticket item versus say a ping-pong table to pump work feel-good factor.

Making the physical space fun, personal and connecting is worth every penny. The winning organisations ahead will set up in every way possible to support collaboration, engagement and inspiration. Not just because flexible, musical, healthy and happy spaces are table stakes for talent, but because it’s pretty-well proven that these are critical to increase creativity, innovation, and the future will be built on this. Design guru John Maeda: “Without inspiration, open plan runs counter to creativity.”

Go back to a legend of innovation, Building 20 at M.I.T, which forced solitary scientists to mix and mingle. Building 20 was referred to, among M.I.T. people, as “the magical incubator.” It was an unwanted and under-designed structure where scientists felt free to remake their rooms, customizing the structure to fit their needs.

No need to spend a fortune for work spaces to become more inspiring, more personal and more reflective of a particular culture. Provide some boundaries, bundle some imagination and ideas, and hand office design over to the crew. 

Pic is from a legendary farewell for Net-a-Porter's 2014 London farewell to their CEO Mark Sebba. See HuffPo article.