We know that, by now, employers are realising that inspiring surroundings can have a direct impact on employees’ creativity and productivity. We believe that having a stimulating workspace is arguably more important in the creative industry than any other! Logically speaking, if you want your staff to be innovative, creative and happy about it, their workplace can go a long way to fuel that process.
Of course, any office should nurture the well-being of staff, but the design of offices and studios for the creative and digital sectors generally doesn’t need to follow the route of traditional office layouts. There’s an opportunity to do something a bit extraordinary. With companies like Google and Airbnb constantly leading the way with their creative hubs, individuals in this same industry have come to expect better offices too, albeit perhaps on a less dramatic scale. They still want to be impressed by – and feel nurtured in – their everyday environment.
But creating the perfect office space and ticking both the style and practical boxes can be a tricky one. You want the area to be a professional and productive environment without being dull and corporate. It should energise staff in a way that reflects your brand and company, offering more than just a collection of desks and chairs in a room. It’s not just about throwing some bright paint on a wall and offering up a vending machine*.
Striking this balance is no mean feat and requires some serious consideration…
Enter Ben Johnson Interiors!
(*It might not be as simple as a vending machine full of snacks for staff, but a nice coffee break and lunch space – like this one we created for LeoVegas – certainly helps!)
Luckily for you, we know exactly how to make this a reality. So here’s some inspiration we’ve taken from a handful of our past projects to help you create a workplace that your people will be proud to work in.
Step 1: Promote brand identity with internal branding
Making your mark with strong internal branding will strengthen that brand, improve the visitor experience and inspire both talent retention and attraction.
Plus, it’s a nice little aesthetic boost to the wellbeing and creativity too.
Neon signage can be a contemporary way to incorporate company logos or mission statements, doubling as eye-catching, jazzy artwork. We’ve used neon for the Netsells iconic ‘N’ sign, above. As an alternative approach, we’ve also gone big and bold with a feature biophilic wall incorporating our logo in the new Ben Johnson HQ.
Our logo certainly packs a punch when you first walk into our York office!
Step 2: Collaborative workspaces
Collaboration and sharing thoughts and solutions is one of the best ways to get creative and to spark innovation. The more laid-back, comfortable and welcoming you can make a collaborative space the better, particularly when it comes to creativity, although it’s important for every sector. You want to encourage people to use it, to spend time there and to do their best work.
To cater for as many ways of working as possible, we created a number of different breakout and collaborative spaces in the Boxclever Consulting office in Leeds, from high tables and stools, sofas and armchairs and fixed seating with high backs for privacy.
Two examples of unique spaces in the Boxclever Consulting offices
Step 3: Offer some inspiration for downtime, too
Enabling an atmosphere where staff are encouraged to mingle socially and take breaks from their desks is a good one, and actually boosts productivity in the long run, rather than hindering it with distractions.
For the LeoVegas team in Newcastle, this pool room for one of their sub-brands, BetUK, has a different feel to the rest of the office, giving staff somewhere to go and chat in a less formal setting while blowing off a little steam.
This is worth its weight in gold in the digital and creative sector, and means when staff sit back down at their machines, they’re refreshed and ready to work again.
Step 4: Empower your employees
The best way to make your staff feel wanted and inspired to do their best work for you is to involve them in your plans from the outset. Listen to what gets their creative juices flowing and what prevents them from working. This ensures that you are investing in real solutions, and will save you money in the long run by simply increasing the productivity levels.
Search Consultancy in Manchester knew that their team worked best collaboratively and that acoustics would be a concern. Together, we addressed these concerns and many others to help create a space that their employees love working in. As shown below, sleek acoustic glass partitioning was installed.
This divides areas to minimise noise, introduces natural light and conveys an open, transparent feel to the interior. The air-conditioning system was modified to allow appropriate heating and cooling to each of the individual meeting rooms to ensure all staff were kept happy.
Step 5: Continue Evolving…
This last step is a bit of a cheat but, with the creative industries, the work you do is constantly staying ahead of the curve. Your office could do with reflecting this!
Constant evolution is key because you want your employees to feel energised each day when they walk through your doors. Over time, a stagnant space won’t stir creativity in your employees like it once did. Even something as simple as adding more plants or changing up the artwork on the walls could be enough to freshen and reinvigorate the area. It’s also worth making sure you have a plan for future growth because no one likes to feel overcrowded!
We’re currently working with Circus, a PPC agency, on their new office space in Leeds city centre, as they cater for an expanding team at an exciting time of growth. Here’s a little sneak peek of the work in progress!
If any of this has offered a source of inspiration for your next office project, we’d love to be involved. Using our years of combined expertise and skills in commercial interior design, space planning, fit-out, furniture and more, we have worked with some amazing creative and digital clients, configuring new spaces to invigorate their employees and shake up the brand itself.