The Creative Office

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Zoom, Teams, Skype. Whatever you’re using, we’re sure you’ve encountered the odd frozen colleague, a dropped internet connection, or a difficult-to-hear discussion over the past few months. We’re all adapting to the ‘new normal’ and, whilst there are many perks to working from home (a five second commute topping our list), there are a number of pitfalls – and perhaps one of the most detrimental is the impact all these virtual meetings are having upon our creativity. 
In the past a typical office may have meant a space filled with rows of desks, blank walls and a drab canteen, many organizations have acted upon these studies, creating interiors curated for people – breakout rooms, zonal spacing, acoustic privacy are much more than buzzwords, they are integral to employee productivity, happiness and wellbeing. As one of the UK’s leading office textile manufacturers, we’ve worked with interior designers and architects across the globe in creating workplaces that do exactly this – spaces that stimulate, excite and inspire employees
Indeed, one of the most famous examples of the power of the creative, collaborative workplace comes from all the way back in 1986 when Steve Jobs – then CEO of Pixar – designed the organization’s new building; placing the space’s only toilets, cafĂ© and post boxes in its center. As Jobs explained in 2001, the reasoning behind his design decision was simple, “We wanted to find a way to force people to come together, to create a lot of arbitrary collisions of people.” And, as the Independent’s Archie Bland comments, “It worked. Something remarkable started to happen. […] Pixar’s employees started to bump into each other. They shot the breeze. Sometimes, the chatter would yield something useful, and one of the participants would head back to her desk with a new idea.”
 
There can possibly be no better testament to the power of the creative workplace than the financial return achieved by Pixar; in 2006, the company was sold to Disney for $7.4bn. Steve Jobs had paid just $10m only two decades before.