Lighting the way Featured

9:49am EDT January 30, 2006
Mood lighting helps to set the tone and create an atmosphere for all kinds of restaurants and businesses.

But a new survey by The Creative Group, a California-based staffing service, shows that the office environment can play a big part in your employees’ creativity, not just in customer perception. Things such as office layout, dcor and lighting may greatly affect innovation.

“Physical surroundings can heavily influence an employee’s ability to concentrate and perform well,” says Tracey Fuller, executive director of The Creative Group. “Companies can encourage productivity and innovation by providing staff members with comfortable, attractive areas for team meetings, as well as individual work stations that can be tailored to personal needs and preferences.”

The Creative Group offers the following tips for developing a productive and stimulating work environment.

  • Construct creativity zones. Designate office areas where informal meetings or spontaneous brainstorming sessions can occur. Equip each room with industry publications and a white board to jot down ideas.

  • Offer private sanctuaries. While open floor plans can increase collaboration and communication among employees, some projects require greater concentration and solitude. Provide stations where employees can work without distraction.

  • Let there be light. Maximize opportunities to benefit from natural daylight. Position desks near windows so workers can have external views. In locations where this isn’t possible, ensure sufficient ambient and task lighting are in place.

  • Install an idea wall. Give your employees an opportunity to share their suggestions in a creative way. Transform the wall of a communal area — the lounge or cafeteria, for example — into a blank canvas for spontaneous scribbling.

  • Change of environment. Hold staff or team meetings in unusual places such as a nearby courtyard, park or caf.

HOW TO REACH: The Creative Group, www.creativegroup.com