3 Easy Ways to Innovate Your Workspace

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Workspace innovation can be a physical or mental change to a firm’s work environment that improves productivity, efficiency, collaboration, and creativity. It’s not a new idea, and its adoption doesn’t have to be particularly expensive or complicated. In fact, it’s popular with startups with small budgets, because it helps create an attractive work environment that appeals to top talent while containing costs. Additionally, well-known companies that have successfully tried workspace innovation include Google and Zappos. 

If your firm has the right HR team—one that is innovative, resourceful, and up-to-date on current HR trends—workspace innovation adoption can cost little to nothing, but yield high tangible and intangible returns. Here are three simple changes that your firm can try. 

#1: Let People Pick Their Titles 

Stop giving your employees job titles that:

  • don’t match their actual job function or daily responsibilities
  • are too broad, so that no one can tell what they do
  • project less responsibility than they have
  • read like a job description rather than a job title
  • are too long, such as “logical regional manager of internal organizational and quality management.” 

Give your employees some power over their title; it will help them feel that they are a partner in your HR and firm strategy. Best of all, this change is free and easy to implement. 


#2: Relaxation Station 

Clear a room that you don’t use and create a relaxation or fun space for your employees to use during their breaks. There are tons of places to buy inexpensive games, secondhand sofas, vending machines, bookcases (for employee book exchanges), and entertainment centers (for items like Xboxes and DVD players). You could even install chalkboard walls, which can foster organic creativity by encouraging your employees to post their ideas, challenges, or projects. Plus, chalkboard walls are better than white walls because they don’t need a touch-up every few years! 

#3: Adjustable Chairs and Desks 

Studies show that if employees are able to stand and sit during their workday, they have better blood flow, increased productivity, fewer periods of boredom, and more physical activity, all of which lead to happier employees. Adjustable chairs and desks are the way to go! You could even offer your employees a yoga ball instead of a chair. Yoga balls are anywhere from $5 to $10 wholesale, which is much cheaper than a $200 office chair, and increase physical activity and productivity. 

These inexpensive suggestions just scratch the surface of workspace innovation, so don’t stop here. There is a world of strategies and tools to explore!


About the Author

As a blogger, writer, professor, coach, consultant, mentor, intrapreneur, speaker, theorist, brand ambassador, and cultural specialist, Harlem Williams is not your typical human resource professional. She has been in human resource and education management for more than 15 years and has managed the growth, design, and innovation of diverse teams with managers and firms around the world. Harlem holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, focused on international politics, a master’s degree in education, a master’s degree in world and European history, and an MBA focused on international business development. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in human resource at Grenoble Ecole de Management in France. Follow her online @PodBean.

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