The quest for innovation has meant that many companies are now looking to their office spaces as a way of encouraging creativity.
The BBC's office space in Manchester is an excellent example of a vibrant workspace being used as a platform for creativity. A visually striking arrangement that's made up of colourful pods, it creates an efficient use of space that allows the BBC's employees to work in an intimate environment.
The BBC is only the tip of the iceberg, Innocent's London office has benches instead of desks and green astroturf instead of carpet. The office has a quirky feel to it and has created a vibrant atmosphere which has aided the company's success. Other examples include, Google, White Mountain and Pallota Teamworks.
These types of offices aren't a rarity , but they aren't common either, with most longstanding companies continuing to house their employees in traditional office spaces. Although many thrive in these environments, it's been suggested that open planned, modern offices aid collaboration and teamwork.
The fact that we can answer emails and take calls anywhere has meant that there's not as much need to control where people work. Although everybody needs a desk, creative meetings can take place anywhere and it's important that companies can offer this to their employees. It's also essential that workers feel that they can go somewhere away from their desk to work on something that requires increased concentration. This will create a company culture of empowerment where workers feel that they can work autonomously without their superiors keeping a watchful eye over them.
Many of us will have had to go through the rigmarole of reserving a meeting room, a painful procedure that often stifles the creative process. The 'nooks' within these offices, places where people can go within the communal areas whilst remaining private, act as a great place for meetings where ideas can be shared over a coffee. Often, these types of exchanges foster more creativity than rigidly defined meetings where ten people are forced to take time out of their day to discuss something that they have little input on.
The rise of these weird and wonderful office spaces is a sign that organisations are embracing an intertwined environment where the worlds of leisure and work combine. On the face of it this may seem as if companies are giving their workers a free reign to do what they want, but there will be an expressed condition that workers will need to be more productive.
There is undoubtedly still a place for more traditional offices but with collaboration one of the cornerstones of innovation, it's likely that we'll see an increase in office spaces that try and get the most out of their employees by giving them an environment that allows them to be more creative.