Julie Tucker
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Unlocking creativity: How coworking spaces inspire innovation

Coworking spaces can inspire innovation due to the fact they differ from the typical office environment. They allow for extensive collaboration, which can help encourage creative thinking.

Meeting new people and networking can help with fresh ideas. A collaborative group of people involved in joint creative processes produce 28% more new ideas than people working individually, according to psychological research.

The study, Collaborative Creativity, Group Creativity and Team Innovation, published by Paulus, Dzindolet and Kohn, suggests the personal quality of creativity can be enhanced by working in a collaborative environment where everyone can share ideas. You can then choose and hone the ideas most suitable for the intended application.

The study concludes a physical space arranged to stimulate the creativity of users in an inspiring and hospitable environment can pay dividends.

How does coworking space work?

Coworking space has transformed the way we work by creating the ultimate platform where professionals can collaborate and innovate. Providing a unique environment, where people from different companies can work together under the same roof, coworking environments break down traditional walls.

Corporate office space usually accommodates employees from the same company. In contrast, coworking facilitates a creative hub, where open communication, networking and the sharing of knowledge between different businesses are encouraged. Entrepreneurs can thrive and new ideas are born and developed to benefit everyone.

How does the work environment affect productivity?

Research shows the layout of a workspace can impact productivity. Over the years, attempts have been made to improve workplace conditions by changing the office space.

In the 20th century, the cubicle layout was intended to increase productivity. It was believed segregating employees would reduce distractions such as conversations with colleagues. However, the impeded lighting, reduced airflow and feelings of isolation had the opposite effect.

In the early 21st century, completely open floor plans became popular in offices, but a study by Harvard suggested they caused too many distractions.

The best practice was found to be somewhere in between – and this is where coworking came in. Experts believe a “hybrid” floor plan, with both collaborative space and private areas, is the best option.

A survey of office professionals found 85% of respondents believed flexible workplace design was important. A massive 83% said they had their “best ideas” while working in a flexible workspace. Finding the right combination of collaboration, privacy and comfort points to coworking spaces.

How does the work environment affect quality?

The work environment is a key factor in employee productivity levels and the quality of work. Those who are based in a pleasant, positive and supportive workplace will feel more motivated, have a higher output level and make less errors. Consequently, they will produce better quality work in general.

A positive workplace environment increases the level of innovation and makes staff more receptive to learning and using new skills. Being surrounded by supportive colleagues will increase eagerness to collaborate, thus generating more ideas and increasing the quality of work.

A coworking environment can make someone feel more relaxed, so they can really express their creativity, while working in a dedicated space, rather than a traditional office environment. The distinctive design layout, with features such as collaborative areas, private rooms, a communal kitchen and breakout areas, exerts a positive influence on everyone’s mood.

Creativity isn’t just a characteristic of an individual – it’s also something that can be influenced by circumstances, according to research by psychologists Nira Liberman and Oren Shapira. Their report, An Easy Way to Increase Creativity, concludes the environment can positively influence creativity through collaboration between several people.

Computer vs laptop

Does working on a computer or a laptop make a difference to creativity and innovation? According to experts, the answer is yes. Creative professionals tend to use a desktop for more focused work, due to its larger monitor and greater power and memory.

However, a laptop is invaluable for its portability, or for when less complex tasks need to be done, according to a survey published in 2022.

One system is to use a computer that is free from distractions for deeper projects, when concentration and creativity are required. This means disabling notifications on the desktop. Then, have your laptop set up too, so that if any important emails or team messages pop up, you can answer them quickly, without disturbing the flow on the main computer.

Privacy without isolation

Offices with glass walls such as those at Headspace Group’s coworking space in Farringdon are a prime example of providing privacy without isolation. The breakout spaces on each floor are also designed to inspire your team.

Isolation impairs interactions with colleagues and limits the spontaneous and dynamic communication that is the basis for every creative process, according to research published in 2022 by Brucks and Levav.

Coworking in Farringdon is designed to encourage interaction, following the theory that individual creativity and innovation is shaped by context. Could it be time to find out if coworking spaces will unlock your creativity and inspire innovation?


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