It’s not magic – the workplace needs motivation, teamwork, and diverse thinking to help inspire innovation. But how can we create this environment? With some thought and dedication, a happy, healthy work culture is possible by relying on the intersection of people, place, and productivity.


Encourage curiosity. Curiosity of processes that keep the business running, curiosity of big strategies, curiosity of nit-picky details. Encourage learning, and create the resources to support it. These interests form the backbone of the workplace, building a culture of stimulation instead of stagnation.

Even for the highest performers, feedback and motivation can help show support and redefine goals. Giving compliments for good work actually makes a big impact, since the simplest gestures are often the most effective. On the other hand, it’s equally important to have discussions about areas for development. A study from Workboard found that 72 percent of employees think their performance would improve with more feedback. Frequent updates and open, honest conversations are the gateway to further improvement and growth, as these can help promote long-term empowerment as well.


We are only as capable as our space allows. The use of different work modes throughout the day can support the vastly different ways our brains function, helping us flow from collaboration, to focused work, to collaboration again. Resident zones compartmentalize daily tasks for the get-it-done workers, while social zones create an environment of fluidity for the workday. Nomadic zones keep mobile workers connected, while resource zones inform through personalized work tools. Instead of creating a one-size-fits-all model, the dedication to empowering employees through space creates a culture that shines.

Resilient workspaces are also key to powering the fast rate of change needed in businesses today. We have to be more adaptable than ever, and our space can help. Creating an agile environment that supports change rather than resists it gives us the tools to power the global workplace and function effectively on a day-to-day level.

 “The myth of the lone genius achieving one eureka after another in a closed room is a cartoonish, outdated cliché.” (Steelcase)


Or rather productivity to a point. Let’s encourage fewer, more intentional hours instead of sacrificing our souls to the 24-hour workday. Researchers have found that overwork negatively impacts communication skills and rational judgment. Holistic empowerment includes time off as much as it does time in, as healthy habits are needed to help build a healthy mind.

In fact, the constant stream of information in the office means our brains need a way to prioritize and focus. Controlled attention, or anything requiring the use of analyzing and planning, is a massive energy guzzler, and we have to find mental strategies to cope. In finding ways to regenerate and refocus our energy, we are more likely to work well when we need to.

“The most successful organizations are now turning their attention to employee wellbeing as a way to gain emotional, financial and competitive advantage.” –Tom Rath (Steelcase)


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