An inflexible workspace is the number one obstacle to stimulating business creativity

An inflexible workspace is the number one obstacle to stimulating business creativity

Creativity is one of the most appreciated resources of companies and, today, the daily life of many employees demands it, according to 74% of employees worldwide. A skill which, moreover, will mark the future employment of most companies and their employees, according to 87% of Spaniards and 85% of employees worldwide, as shown in the study “Creativity at work” by Steelcase.

As part of World Creativity and Innovation Day, Steelcase, a consulting firm specializing in the layout and design of workspaces, analyzes the relationship between the configuration of a workspace and the promotion of corporate creativity, through various studies carried out around the world.

Can a space encourage innovation and creativity? The first tangible obstacle to promoting business creativity is an uninspiring workspace, according to 20% of the global population surveyed. Surpassed only by organizational processes (37%) and work overload (36%), it is an instant response that appears before obsolete technology (also 20%), being for workers the point where everything is channeled. The aforementioned variables, according to research conducted in Spain, France, Germany, United Kingdom, United States and Japan.

It is significant that the definition of creativity applied to work according to the country fluctuates according to the countries analyzed, since 52% of workers in the United Kingdom and 47% of workers in Germany locate their conceptualization of Creativity in spaces closer to the artistic expression. Just as definitions vary from country to country, so does the importance of this ability on a daily basis at work. The surveyed country that uses creativity the most is Germany, where 83% of workers say they should be creative in their job, daily or once a week, followed by the United States, where the percentage is 82% .

At the other extreme are Japanese workers, with just 54% saying they should be creative at least once a week and almost a quarter, 22% saying creativity is not necessary in their job. . For Spain, which is not one of the countries that defines itself the most as creative on a daily basis, succeeding in changing this is a desire of 62% of Spanish workers questioned.

What to do to stimulate creativity at work

Today, 90% of people think collaboration is key to creating new and better ideas, according to company research. Therefore, it is essential to take into account the current new working environment, being less likely to happen if you work from home or if workers spend most of their time at the desks in a row of benches.

The office underwent significant changes both before and after the current pandemic, with Steelcase experts already defining the top three factors people want their office to provide to them now, according to a global telecommuting study released by the company in 2021:

Collaborate effectively with others. Easier access to tools and resources. Allow the possibility of socializing, with sufficient distance and safety measures.

In this sense, the offices with Agile methodology appear as a technical solution allowing to combine collaboration and security. Given the expected extension of COVID-19 in the coming months, offices that have this optic in their design will allow spaces to be used according to projects, without barriers and adapted to the needs of workers.

Thus, the Agile methodology applied to the design of offices has as main advantages the agility, flexibility and adaptability of spaces, which coincide with the different stages of this work methodology. An approach that many multinationals were already integrating into the current pandemic before. However, most spaces are not designed to promote smooth collaboration, but are adapted to accommodate the total number of employees present in the office, which contrasts with the expectations of workers, especially in countries like Spain. ., In which workers want to develop their creativity and their breakthrough.

For Teo Manzano, Director of Innovation at Steelcase Iberia: “Space is the biggest drag or boost to creativity, and the pandemic has only precipitated a change that is already needed in many organizations. Working in flexible spaces, in a hybrid model and allowing secure collaboration is, at present, the main formula to continue to generate added value in the provision of services, while ensuring employee engagement. People don’t want to go back to what they used to be; they have to come back to something better.

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