An image of seating and a desk in an office.

Creating an office space for creativity to thrive

By Ben Walker on 14 June 2018

As you’ve probably heard, we recently moved into our lovely new office in Leith, Edinburgh. Now we’ve settled in, it’s become super clear to us all how important our office space is for nurturing our creativity and also facilitating collaborative work in the team.

When we were on the hunt for a new office, we knew it had to fit certain criteria. There’s something about the ‘feel’ of a place as soon as you step inside. And our new office certainly had that. All we had to do was put our own stamp on it.

We were interested to learn about salutogenic design – a term coined by sociologist Aaron Antonovsky – which simply means designing a space for wellness. Apparently office space itself can have an effect on physical and mental fatigue, awareness, memory cognition, depression, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal health. It makes sense – when you’re stressed, it’s difficult if not impossible to be creative.

Taking care of the environmental factors

Light, noise and temperature are some of the most important factors to consider when creating a productive office space. If you’ve ever worked in an office without much light, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about. Luckily, our new office has nice big windows, allowing plenty of that rare Scottish sunshine to flood in.

One study in American schools found that daylight in the classroom improved test scores by up to 26%. There’s no denying that access to daylight can drastically affect our circadian rhythm and make a big difference in how we feel at different times of the day. And for the gloomy days, there’s always coffee.

With our new office, we paid attention to potential environmental stresses like noise and temperature. We created a special meeting booth, where our team and clients could close the doors and have an uninterrupted meeting, without outside noise distracting them. It’s comfortable too: in fact, most people don’t want to leave! Creating a space for interaction has helped us feel more connected and engaged with each other and our clients.

In the office decor, we’ve tried to incorporate natural materials. We love plants and the good news is plants have a calming effect on those around them. Just being near plants can apparently improve concentration and reduce stress levels. That’s why our new office has an almost tropical feel to it thanks to the vast amount of foliage present.

We believe our office space should be an extension of the work we do – not a barrier to it. We shouldn’t have to make things work in spite of the space, but instead, the space should facilitate our very best work. And with our new office, we reckon we’re onto something pretty good.

Feel free to pop in for a cuppa, the kettle’s always on!

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