Profitability relies on a level of innovation. This means something different to each organization, but when upper management continuously tells staff to innovate so they can grow the bottom line, innovation falls flat.
Innovation is not successful unless the thought process is forced to change. In order to change a thought process, the environment must change. When people are working in a stagnate environment, their employer can expect stagnant work to be generated. Ideas of the future require thinking outside the box and a recalibration of how the brain works when it arrives at work. New habits need to be formed and the brain needs to be challenged to break the everyday think cycle that leads to a meteochore product.
Research has shown that an open and collaborative work environment leads to greater efficiencies, workplace satisfaction, innovation and reduced overhead costs. The environment effects mood and can be manipulated to drive results. Through the Cisco workplace study, we are able to see how changing human influences impact product output. By examining spatial needs and reassessing how people work best, Cisco introduced a pilot program that would take them further than they have been in the past.
Changing the environment is a proven way to break the think cycle and give innovation a jump start in your organization. IBM conducted a study that revealed a 20% increase in productivity rates within organizations that introduced a flexible workplace program. By making changes in the workplace, a person’s interaction within a space begins to influence all aspects of their being.
Cisco, like most other corporate facilities realized that assigned workspace was only used thirtyfive percent of the time. Understanding potential cost savings that can be absorbed through real estate compression, Cisco made a change for the better.
“Nobody would consider building a manufacturing facility that they intended to use just one-third of the time,” says Mark Golan, Cisco vice president for WPR. “And yet that’s what we routinely do with workspace. We realized that assigning resources based on utilization would significantly reduce Cisco real estate costs.”
Cisco and IBM were able to rethink the workplace and introduce a new way to reprogram human behavior and break the think cycle, freeing employees to focus on innovation.