Over the past two years, we’ve seen a significant shift to remote work—presenting new benefits both businesses and employees embraced. The reduced overhead for office space began to save time and money. Even commuters enjoyed little-to-no time on the freeway and a flexible schedule that fit their needs.
Yet an extensive study of Microsoft employees found that remote work caused less interaction between teams. This shift has led employees to work in silos with less collaboration, stunting creativity and innovation.
Why Creativity is Critical
Most people think creativity is only essential in areas of music, art, design – and of course, marketing. But think about it: looking at issues from a new perspective and finding new approaches to solve problems drives business. ANY business. The good news is that if you’ve extended a “work from anywhere” policy, you can still provide a place for IRL collaboration in a coworking space—unique problems create unique solutions. A coworking space offers your team a lot more flexibility and fosters an environment where creativity can thrive. More often than not, we’ve seen teams stuck in a creative slump see the following benefits of embracing the coworking model:
If remote work hurts a team’s creativity, leaders should develop a strategy that encourages connection and collaboration. But that doesn’t mean forcing them to go back to the a traditional, drab or hard-to-get-to office. Instead, organize planning meetings once per quarter with cross-functional teams in a coworking space downtown. You can always find creative ways for groups to interact, whether in-person or at home.
A survey of coworkers found that 82% expanded their networks after joining a coworking space. If you browse the list of member companies at Endeavor, you may find someone to brainstorm with regarding your product or service. Or a CPA or attorney to help with the administrative side of your business. Your team can join in on one of our presentations on business topics, or make connections in the break room over lunch or our bottomless coffee.
3. Downtown Environment
A location downtown is easy and accessible if you need to meet clients, plus inviting them into a bright and professional space helps set you up for a great meeting. It’s also convenient if you want to walk to restaurants or enjoy a happy hour after finishing a big pitch.
4. Designed for Creativity
Beyond providing a space to meet and hash out ideas, an office design can stimulate creativity. Some features of a creative coworking office space include:
- Windows, natural light and high ceilings
- Open floor plan, thoughtfully laid out to maximize both natural light and personal space
- Healthy amenities, such as kitchens, coffee bars, or an onsite health club
- Public spaces, quiet areas, phone booths and conference rooms
- Attractive, colorful, engaging design
- Ergonomic workstations and comfortable chairs in meeting and break rooms
Best Practices for Creative Teams
While the ideal environment is inspiring, it takes more than great decor and building infrastructure to help a team be creative. Here are a few best practices for creative teams to keep in mind:
1. Set Goals
Begin the project by setting clear goals for the outcome. Each individual should also decide what their contribution will be.
2. Plan Frequent Meetings
Have daily digital team huddles, which are brief meetings where participants share what they are working on that day. Schedule regular 1-on-1 meetings with the project leader to keep the project on track.
3. Set Milestones
Identify the project’s milestones, set deadlines, and note who is responsible. Project management software is an excellent place to track this information.
4. Encourage Collaboration
If members of a project team come to the coworking space on the same day, it facilitates brainstorming. They might continue their discussion over lunch or exchange ideas with someone from another company.
5. Change the Scenery
In a traditional office, employees often work all day in a single cubicle or office, staring at a computer screen. That’s hardly an inspiring setup. In Endeavor’s ample coworking space, members can choose to work in shared rooms or quiet spaces, and at standing desks, traditional desks, on a sofa, or in a comfy chair with your feet up. Or all of the above during the course of a single day.
6. Keep Flexible Hours
As long as the work gets done, let employees work when they are most productive. One person might log off at five and finish emails after the children go to bed. Maybe a team of earlier risers prefers to meet at the coworking space at 8:30 AM. No matter their preference, the right leader can create a system that works for everyone.
Driving Creativity in Coworking Spaces
Remote work is productive, but it can decrease communication between teams. As a leader, you can combat a lack of creative and innovative problem-solving by reimagining how you look at the “office” experience. It’s time to help your employees get inspired! If you want to learn how a coworking space can improve your team’s output, reach out to the Endeavor team today.