Tags – Innovative Workspace – Innovative Office – Office Innovation Ideas – How do you create an innovative work environment
You need to have the right settings to encourage innovation.
In most cases, the right setting generally includes elements of the encouragement itself. More specifically, in order to promote innovation, you need to surround your employees by innovation.
Why you need to do so is a different ballgame.
The business economy has become extremely competitive because of, especially, the speed of change through technology.
In addition, employee and team culture has become a massive pivot point to compete, where teams are encouraged to unsurface creativity. Because staffing is usually the biggest cost to a business, leaders require employees to work at their full potential.
However, good ideas do not come in static environments. Therefore, creatives need the right space. This “right” space is generally triggered through innovation.
Innovation and creativity is never 100% unique.
In fact, brand new products actually require 2 or more ordinary ideas coming together to form something innovative.
On a positive note, today, we have more groups with preferred tastes where the market demands customised services and products. This means that if the right boxes are ticked, businesses are rewarded for innovative workspace ideas too.
In line with the presented idea, in this blog article, we will focus on the use of technology to deliver innovation in the work office. This is also inline with our projects, Sorev & Archr, seeking to enhance work experience.
The ambience of a workplace can change the way you feel, affecting the productivity in your office. Specifically, there are a number of factors, such as IT-systems dysfunction or slow wi-fi, that can cause individual frustration. However, these are more clear cut signs.
Now imagine a different kind of scenario: an office space that is humid, dark, or too bright. Each of these conditions are a fluctuation from an ideal environment and will create different negative effects. However, you have options to improve upon all such cases.
One way to improve in this department is through Smart Glass.
Smart Glass has the ability to change the effects of light. For instance, Smart Glass can alter into a clear window on a foggy day. Similarly, Smart Glass can change into a little frosty setting when the sun is beaming through the windows, allowing offices to reduce glare on workscreens.
In addition, Smart Glass also has the ability to change the tone of your office. For instance, if you want softer colours towards the evening and a sharper contrast at the beginning of the day, such conditions can be generated with Smart Glass.
In a wider view, Smart Glass can play a role in improving health and safety.
Here, we are extending the idea of health and safety to employee comfort. (We do not need to establish a relationship between the right level of comfort and an innovative workspace).
From a business perspective, the level of affect on performance through utilising Smart Glass could be the difference between a business going out of the market and accelerating towards success.
Virtual Reality (VR) may have been an unrealistic piece of technology 20 years ago. But, today, we’re not too far from VR becoming a practical piece to bring colleagues together. Let’s connect VR with innovation at work.
Innovation requires collaboration among people. When this collaboration is missing, businesses face problems. In case of bigger businesses, when they have multiple offices or small groups in different parts of the world, the said problem multiplies.
Here, research suggests that within the strands of communication, content (language) has limiting influence whereas body language has the largest contribution.
Then, it’s no surprise that face to face meetings are more successful than non-physical options, such as emails. However, the distance to travel, sometimes, causes inefficiencies, making physical meetings impractical.
VR may be able to solve this challenge in the long term, making digital meetings more real.
However, the cost of equipment for VR currently is relatively high. In addition, if you thought that Skype was frustrating for its common frozen screens, then VR will need super Wi-fi to just operate.
Further, lets not forget that VR can cause headaches. Therefore, the continued recommended usage of VR is no more than 10 minutes at a time. But, this may bring in another positive for meetings.
The limited extendability of VR may encourage meetings to be short, snappy and to the point. Along with saving time in general, this could promote productivity and innovation at the workplace from a different angle.
In terms of direct application of VR to promote innovation, we may have to wait a little longer.
Augmented Reality (AR), as the name suggests, is a mix of augmentation with reality. This means that AR tech allows you to place an augmented item in a given, real environment.
Currently, AR has many benefits over VR. This includes a lower cost in general, more practical business uses, and lesser production costs.
For example, imagine in a car manufacturing plant, a mechanic needs to learn to assemble a unique engine. In such a case, AR can be setup to guide the operator through the motions, along with other sets of information that may be useful, instead of working on a real engine.
In the present blog, we’ve tried to be innovative around how AR may be used in a working office, while remaining practical. Our best bet so far is seeking and maintaining attention.
In general, human attention span is quite limited. In fact, the human attention span is on a further decline. However, attention can be your key to survival in some cases and hence, needs to be maintained.
For instance, we know that attention decreases over time when employees are getting trained. Away from some mundane tasks, imagine training about a fire drill or health and safety in general. By bringing AR into the mix here, you will be able to impart the right information to your employees during training while keeping matters interesting.
This application of AR to training can be anything from flash-up reminders to the best possible procedure at a given time, such as the quick routes out of a building in a fire situation.
Our next suggestion to encourage innovation at the workspace is Gamification.
From a basic understanding perspective, Gamification is the act of applying game-design elements to traditionally non-game scenarios. There are multiple positives of Gamification. However, in the present blog, we will stick to its application at the workspace.
As an application of Gamification at the workspace, we encourage managers to set goals for the team, in order to create a sense of direction. (Even though there are many forms of goal-setting, we suggest, one of the most widely known, SMART objectives).
Now, you may be questioning the whole notion of gamifying workplace goals.
In its simplest form, setting goals is a tool regularly used by managers to motivate staff members. However, the problem with motivation is that it lasts only for short bursts of time.
In addition, due to the difficulty of finding good leaders, work spaces are focusing on flattening hierarchies. By doing so, the responsibility gets shared across the board, allowing employees to have more freedom at work.
But, in most flat structures, managers end up working with more individuals than they would in a hierarchy. And, instead of dishing out traditional work tasks, the main duty of a manager is to keep the team going towards organisational goals. In other words, the chief job of a manager in a flat structure is motivating the staff.
However, this is easier said than done. Further, the challenge for managers intensity if they struggle to inspire others.
This is when Gamification, through set-goals, becomes an excellent tool.
Although not easy to implement, the work environment should find ways to gamify where possible because it allows tasks and goals to become more internally enjoyable.
For example if your work office had a drive to become more sustainable through recycling, then to take the campaign to the next gear, there should be a target where achievements can be dynamically updated in the form of visualisation or even going to the extent of unlocking digital perks.
We talk more about making your office more sustainable in our blog:
Here, providing physical rewards can be treading on thin ice because individuals can feel demotivated when rewards are taken away. Similarly, a culture based simply on rewards does not promote a team culture and ends up doing more harm than good.
For this reason, a business should look to nurture a culture of self satisfaction, where gamification is an excellent solution.
Our fifth suggestion in this blog is Artificial Intelligence (AI) integration at work. Let’s look further into this with a short question.
How do machines learn?
Put simply, machines learn through clever strings of code that considers information collected in a database. When applied at work, AI can then provide decision makers with support.
For example, you may ask: during which periods of the year did staff members arrive early to work. Based on collecting data, AI can provide pointers on the ratios between timings and multiple factors, such as weather and projects at a time, trying to answer why this may have been.
Alternatively, in day to day life, business processes are only able to improve when teams reflect and think about how to improve. On the other hand, AI is able to filter through information a lot quicker, helping the team to concentrate on more refined information.
However, in order to truly apply and enjoy this suggestion, we need to get rid of the “technology taking human jobs” narrative.
Conversations around “computers taking over jobs” are more evidently heard when there is a fear that businesses are becoming redundant and office spaces are becoming smaller. Instead, the opposite has been happening. In terms of business growth and the opportunity to work on different challenges, there has never been a better time.
Also, in comparison to human existence, technology is like a 5 year old in terms of its range of capabilities and its need for nourishment. In any case, we can already see the positives of tech-involvement at work. Specifically, humans are now required to become more collaborative and share information to develop the business economy.
It is not about living in a business shell anymore. In fact, business has become an extension of how we live our lives. Even further, business has become a reflection of our attitudes towards life.
In short, technology is a chief innovator in terms of encouraging teams to execute ideas that would have been unthinkable in the past.
By applying tech, work spaces have come a long way where leaders are starting to give staff members as much attention as customers, instead of simply treating them as labourers. And, maybe, that’s why you are asking this question about bringing innovation to work in the first place.
Our simple answer is: in order to bring innovation into the minds of your team, you must bring innovation to work. To learn more, get in touch with us today.