Back in the day, an office was a very dull place: wall to wall cubicles with a desk, a computer, filing cabinets, a phone and not much more. When we think about the traditional office set up, it is hard to imagine how people collaborated with one another during the working day or, frankly, if they did at all. As humans, we already have a lot of insecurities that can stop us from thinking our ideas are worth being heard, it is not like we need any more barriers when it comes to people interacting with colleagues at work. This segregational model of four physical walls surrounding one’s private thoughts and ideas can, no doubt, prevent a person from feeling confident to share them with the people and the world outside that space.

As technology advanced, old paradigms started to become obsolete in the business world. Companies started to pay more attention to the fact that the way their organisations are set can affect the way that their teams work. The Design Thinking mindset is becoming more welcomed and common in workplaces all across Australia, with business expecting that their employees are more flexible, think faster, are more creative and collaborate in order to become more productive as a team.

Such change doesn’t happen by chance, though. It takes work to reshape the status quo.

Managers are facing a modern-age paradox: as technology keeps progressing and the demands are higher and require people to work faster, how is it possible to keep a human-centred approach to business decisions? How to keep employees motivated, connected and feeling like they have a voice?

Culture matters. The average person spends eight hours a day at work – which is one-third of a day (and the other third, well, they spend sleeping) – so their office becomes, if not for anything else, for mathematics, their second home. When people feel comfortable at their workspace, when they get along with their co-workers, when they enjoy the chair they sit on all day long and look forward to the refreshments they are offered or the group activities they are invited to after work, they work better. If culture is so important to team efficiency, it is only logical that a physical space that allows integration and collaboration will also help a business to see results.

On the other hand, success isn’t just about teamwork and collaboration; people perform a lot better and are most creative when they are given autonomy and freedom. Contradictory? Not really, it seems that the key to a successful creatively-driven office is found in a mixed bag of alone time, great environment, approachable colleagues and a safe space to share without being criticised.

The great thing about Design Thinking is that it can be applied not only to resolve complex work-related problems but it can also be used to reshape the physical space and the culture of a workplace. It has the power of allowing the people who work for a company to recreate their realities and to have a space where they feel motivated, inspired and challenged to innovate.

If innovation is technology that adds value to someone’s life, a company that adds value to their employees’ place of work is bound to inspire innovation.

If you’d like to start an innovation journey in your company, you can check out our in-house course offering as well as download for free our Design Thinking toolkit by clicking here.

If you’d like to see what are the upcoming courses in your region, visit our website.

If you have a special project and would like to use Echos’ consultancy services, you can send us an email.

Rani Ghazzaoui Luke

Rani is a writer and actor based in Sydney, Australia. She is Content Strategist at Echos – Innovation Lab.

Prior to joining Echos, she worked in full-service advertising agencies as a copywriter, moved onto writing for Broadcast Media and landed on Digital Media, working first as a Digital Producer and later as a Digital Account Manager. Most recently, she was Lead Client Solutions Manager for GumGum Inc, an ad tech company specialised in Artificial Intelligence.

Rani is a highly curious individual that believes creativity and innovation are the most important tools to propel any person or business forward.

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