According to Google about one-third of human life, around 40 hours per week, is spent working. That’s a big chunk of of your time to be somewhere other than your home.
I never really understood why the standard workplace that we spend so much of our time in has traditionally been so sterile, bland and lacking in any of the friendliness that so many of us have in our homes.
I think, of all places of work, we creatives take the cake in making a solid effort of adding some loving and personality to our places of work. Whether it’s affordable or within our startup budgets is neither here nor there, aesthetics is in our blood and somehow becomes a high priority in the list of must-haves that get a business off the ground.
No matter what advice we are given on how to set up and run a studio the importance of space and our teams surroundings have, and always will be, high on our list of priorities. I believe it does make a difference in the business, how it runs and operates, how the team functions and interacts with each other, how projects are created and generated on a day to day.
We’ve experienced this first hand in the various studios we’ve had and have learnt a few things along the way about what is important when finding a space. These five tips made a huge difference so keep them in mind:
Location – be more connected by being disconnected
We are extremely lucky these days that business in general, not just the creative industry, is increasingly adopting the remote working movement. Technology has enabled us to work where we want (provided quality of internet plays nice with us!).
This was part of the reason we made the big leap to move the studio from the heart of Sydney’s CBD to the beautiful Northern Beaches in Manly. A combination of feeling the heaviness and bustle of a corporate and crowded city, plus the desire to be closer to the ocean, made heading north so appealing.
By moving we’ve discovered the importance of the studio’s external surroundings. It’s all well and good to create a beautiful space on the inside, but the beauty of the outside spaces for the morning coffee run, the lunchtime ocean dip and the evening ocean breeze when heading home all impact on how we create and complement the overall experience of the studio.
Natural Light – an energy source like no other
Not long ago we began outgrowing our little studio and found ourselves lured to a new space with beautiful floors, fancy lighting, open space, huge amounts of storage, and a good combination of new renovations with some touches of old charm. We moved in very proud of our find, thinking it was a hidden gem. Little did we know that we were missing the one ingredient that is most important in a space – Natural Light.
As simple and obvious as it sounds, the lack of natural light in a space was noticeable beyond belief. The heaviness of only artificial light was hugely felt by the team, you could almost see the energy being sucked out of everyone.
We had to move, so we did. And the change in energy was instantaneous and amazing. The new space hosted beautiful open windows flooding the space with natural light, and lifted the energy of the team and, surprisingly, the work we were producing.
New directions within the studio, creative internal initiatives and general project work seemed to come flooding out of us, almost as though we had just returned from a two month vacation in the Maldives!
Spaces to go – for solo socialites
We are a unique breed, us creatives. We generally yearn to have familiar minds around us that speak our language, complain about the world’s lack of appreciation of negative space and to vent our frustration that Lobster is the new Comic Sans. On the other hand we like our solitude, the insociable vortex that we slip into when on a roll with a concept that can’t be disrupted. Don’t come near us and take us out of that self absorbed bubble we create!
To accommodate these wonderful personality traits of the team providing spaces to go when working are important. A place to be able to remove yourself from the group in a comfortable way without causing a weird awkwardness is a must. Providing different spots to move about throughout the day helps mix up the day as well as the way you create.
Space to work, space to talk, space to think and a space to chill.
Keeping it human
The team, children of the team, visitors, clients. All of these are human right, so why shouldn’t the space we spend a third of our time in be human also? More often than not we meet with our clients either at their location or over a screen, so the focus of our space is not so much a ‘professional’ or ‘sleek’ look but more of a comfortable and homely approach.
Lining the walls with an array of amazing artwork by our designers, fun toys and gifts from friends of the studio and travels along the way, loads of plants that are tended to by one of our designers aka The Crazy Plant Lady and books galore! We have a very tactile and involving environment.
All in all, after experimenting with a various locations and studios, it is safe to say the energy of a space can hugely affect the work that is produced there. From working long hours on a deadline, to hosting workshops, to having after work drinks, the space needs to work for all of these things – and most of all, the ‘humans’ that are part of them.