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Designing A Workspace From a People Lens

Published on May 18, 2021

Teams worldwide are grappling with what to do with their office space now that we’ve experienced either fully remote work or a hybrid model. You might be asking yourself, “Do we save money and ditch the office?” while at the same time worry that your cultural glue might fall apart without a physical space. Or maybe your colleagues enjoy the flexibility a hybrid model offers, but it makes your head spin thinking about how to use your old space in a new way.

In this week’s Innovation Hour, we challenge you to redesign your office space so that it can meet the needs and inspire the people using it: your team and your employees.

What’s Innovation Hour?

Sometimes, it can be easy to fall into a comfortable box at work – you focus on just your work and stay only inside your bubble (ex. HR, tech, research, client outreach, etc.). Obviously, focusing on your work is by no means a bad thing. But when you only think and communicate only on topics within your bubble 40 hours a week, 50 out of 52 weeks a year, it can really stifle a person’s curiosity and creativity.

So we started hosting Innovation Hour, a bi-weekly hour dedicated to our entire team exploring new topics, exercising our innovation muscles, and widening our perspectives. We’ve covered a wide scope of topics: a TED Talk on creative confidence, climate change, living wage, and more. Our Talent, Culture, and Performance Strategy was actually born during an Innovation Hour session!

As we’ve shared what Innovation Hour is with our friends and clients, we’ve been met with resounding excitement and interest. To help you host your own Innovation Hour with your teams, we’ll be sharing prompts and resources to help kick off discussions. We can’t wait to hear where your team’s creativity and passion takes you!

Download the full high-resolution pdf

Innovation Hour: Scenario

There is only one rule: there is no budget. (Don’t worry finance team, this is just to encourage unrestricted ideation!) As a team, redesign your workspace with users at the centre.

Human Centred Design can help you redesign your current workspace so that it meets the needs of the people using it: your team and your employees. A workspace that is designed with people at the centre can increase productivity, innovation, collaboration and camaraderie. It’s important to involve the whole team/organization in the office design to ensure company-wide engagement and ownership over the space.

As a team, redesign your workspace with the users at the centre by:

  • Empathising with the users by asking yourself: Who uses the space? How do they use it? What spaces do they need? What spaces are currently not working?
  • Brainstorm the space by imagining the practical and potentially not-so-practical requests (kombucha on tap or a playroom?) your team crave.
  • Co-creating a visual ‘Dream Board’ – what do the areas of your workspace look like? Smell like? How can your values be represented by the space?

This Innovation Hour on building your dream office setup isn’t meant to break the bank when it comes down to implementation. It’s rather a conversation that reveals what we truly value as a team and allows us to unearth past challenges that got in the way of us being our best. This exercise will allow us to see this time as an opportunity to rethink how we work better together.

Innovation Hour: Tools

Here’s a session framework you can use to help you ideate your dream office space. New to Jam board? Here’s a link to help you master it.

Want to share this Innovation Hour with your team? Download our free interactive high-resolution card with all the session info on it! Interact with the embedded links and resources within the card.

Innovation Hour: Extra reading

Enjoying this week’s topic and want to dive in deeper? Here are some other articles we found interesting and were inspired by:

The Office is not dead. Here’s Why

5 Key Findings from the new Eden Workplace Survey


Samantha Lee
Client Solutions in Communications and Content

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