How to Find Inspiration with Flexible Working and Innovative New Spaces

By Ann Harris on November 18, 2016

More and more, organisations are moving away from the stereotypical office cubical environment, to a more freer moving, flexible style of working. Why is this? At first glance, it would seem working predominantly in an office would increase productivity and efficiency as you’re always in a work environment.

This isn’t the case however, and increasingly employees are requesting a more relaxed approach to flexible working, and you can see why! A study by Regus found that 63% of managers (2500 took part in a survey) found a direct link between flexible working and increases in revenue.

Here’s 5 reasons why flexible working and innovative new spaces help you to find inspiration, and be more productive:

Coffee Culture. Working in cafes is possibly one of the best ways to find motivation and inspiration. The coffee itself gives you a boost, but the surroundings are what’s really important. The clothes people wear, their facial features, their accent, or even someone’s man bun. ‘People watching’ can create that lightbulb moment that helps you realise the missing link you were looking for. The ending to the novel you’ve been writing, the concluding paragraph to your essay for school or university, or the key slides for your presentation. Taking just 5 minutes to watch your surroundings will really make some ideas clear. JK Rowling famously took her typewriter to Edinburgh cafes when writing the Harry Potter series, and if she isn’t a great advocate for café working then I don’t know who is!

The Open Air. Stress is key disrupter of motivation, productivity and inspiration. Find some open air, maybe a local park, or the beach (if you live near one) and you’ll find calm which in turn creates a clear, focused mind. When I walk my dog, I find that ideas constantly flow through my head, whether it be for work, or my home and social life. If you have a dog, please find time to walk him/her during the working hours if you are struggling to find that key idea you’re looking for.

History. Visiting historical sites can be just what is needed to unlock the chest of ideas in your head. I recently went to Stowe House to have a wander and then have a creative marketing meeting. After spending twenty minutes looking at the stunning architecture and beautiful grounds, I found that ideas came thick and fast in the meeting afterwards.

Home Office. For every hard working hour of work you do, you should give your mind a 5/10 minute break so you’re refreshed for your next hour or next lengthy task. Working at home allows you to do this. After a long work related task like a conference call or writing a proposal, spend 5 minutes to tidy the house, empty and/or fill the dishwasher, hang your washing on the line. These small breaks will make all the difference.

Other offices. Why not work from another office (if there is one) within the organisation you are a part of. Listen to some fresh and interesting ideas from other people who work in other areas of the business. External perspectives can often offer some brilliant insights.

A last note on flexible working for organisations. My dad was telling me a story about a colleague of his. She was headhunted to work for a large organisation. In her interview, she stressed the importance of flexible working, which they kindly agreed to, and she took the job. However, a few weeks into her role, she realised that her definition of flexible working was very different to the organisation’s. They gave her a trolley to move her desktop computer around on! She left only a month or so later…

Organisations need to adopt a flexible working environment, as high performing workers see it as essential to boosting their own performance and efficiency.