Creating an Innovative Workspace: Part 1

update your blog cartoonI know – I’ve neglected my blog. I feel bad, but I’ve been trying to balance my work and life lately, and my blog was something that had to be put on hold for a bit. That said, I’m back!

I’ve been involved in some recent meetings at work that reminded me of a time at AOL when we were encouraged to ‘innovate’. Those were some good times. We had great employees, leaders and we still had a great spirit in the office. We were each given $50 to decorate our cubicles, and each team were given space on the floor to go to town on. Our conference rooms became stately libraries, or had posters of stars who had worked with AOL, and there was color everywhere! Everyone seemed really inspired during this time.

One of my former AOL colleagues styling in one of my hatsI really went all out on my cubicle and brought in mats, posters and a hamper FULL of toys – like hats, bats, balls, colored paper and pens. I used these items in meetings that I was involved in to inspire us to think differently. To be more innovative. Think outside the box. It worked. Many new ideas were created during that time. Good ones.

We also started an Innovation Forum where we brought in speakers from around the company to share the latest on Web 2.0, Marketing, Tech etc. over a brown bag lunch. Good times. And then began the layoffs and our ‘innovation’ waned…

I was really excited to start working at my new company. But I was concerned with the sterile office space I’d be inhabiting. I know how I work best and when I’m most productive. I now that some of my best work comes when I’m comfortable, and feeling inspired. The new space? White walls and beige cubicles. No color in site. The view is phenomenal, but is hidden from view for most of the employees by cubicle or office walls.

View from the officeMe? I have an office – so I’m grateful. But it is an interior office, with white walls and big old dark wood traditional office furniture. I can put things on the wall (with permission). I brought in a number of items I felt might help my team, and might create an innovative and creative environment. Coming up in part 2, I’ll share some of these ideas. In the meantime, check out what one of my favorite companies does. Hail MailChimp!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Oh Sonya you are better than me, that’s for sure… My office must take on the look of coffee house and they MUST have legos.. lots of them. I like to take a lego break every now and then… and that’s when the creative lightbulb goes off.. it’s amazing what those bright colors and sizes can do for the brain. As for MailChimp I think I would quit my day job and go work for them… only them.. because they are just too cool for school =).

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