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Space matters: how physical environments can enhance creativity and innovation in our digital world

Posted on by from Changeboard

Kursty Groves-Knight, founder of Headspace, presents at Changeboard's Future Talent Conference 2015.

How can you use your physical space as a tool and amplifier in your business? Firstly, take a closer look at your employees: “Spaces aren’t creative, people are,” was Groves-Knight’s key message.

“Our physical environment affects how we feel, how we are and it also brings people together – so why are we not bringing this fundamental principle into the workplace?” she asked.

“Our physical environment affects how we feel, how we are and it also brings people together – so why are we not bringing this fundamental principle into the workplace?”


In a study by the University of Exeter, Groves-Knight examined an agile workspace against an enriched one. Just adding plants, art and colourful surroundings drove up productivity by 17%. A further study showed organisations that empowered employees to take part in the design of their workspace saw this figure nearly double, to 32%.

One emerging trend is activity-based working, which Groves-Knight agrees is a great concept but stresses is not a “cut and paste exercise”.

She summarised with three key takeaways: Firstly, think about how to make your workspace effective; secondly, empower people through their environment, giving them the opportunity to take a role in its creation; and finally, evolve, keep the spaces changing and
moving because, like people, technology and business, they should be dynamic.

What should a creative space look like? “You decide. It’s what’s unique to your people and organisation,” she said.

Watch Kursty's full presentation

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Catch up on all the speakers presentations from Future Talent Conference 2015

  • Jim Carrick-Birtwell, CEO of Changeboard & Plotr: Welcome to Future Talent Conference 2015
  • Gurnek Bains, author & co-founder, YSC: What does globalisation mean for leadership culture?
  • Clare Moncrieff, executive advisor, CEB: Reinventing HR: Harnessing the potential of key talent segments
  • Hayley Tatum, senior VP of people, Asda: Shaping a multi-generational workforce for the digital age
  • Piers Linney, co-CEO of Outsourcery: Awakening diversity in the digital age
  • Kursty Groves-Knight, founder, Headspace: Space Matters: How physical environment can enhance creativity & innovation in our digital world
  • Alain de Botton, philosopher and author: Developing a mindset for change  
  • Peter Cheese, CEO, CIPD: Megatrends for HR
  • Robert Bolton, partner, KPMG: Decoding the HR dilemma
  • Alan Watkins, founder & CEO, Complete Coherence: What planet are you on? Tech-driven human development
  • Christine Deputy, group HRD, Aviva & Atif Sheikh, CEO & partner, Business 3.0: Creating a new Aviva
  • Porteur Keene, executive chairman at Changeboard: Closing Future Talent 2015
Sarah Clark

By Sarah Clark

Changeboard

Online features editor at Changeboard

Changeboard

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