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How the Right Workplace Technology Promotes Innovation

By  October 11, 2017

Think you don’t need creative spaces? Think again.

In March of this year, Steelcase and Microsoft announced their collaborative partnership in developing Creative Spaces. Five spaces in total, these micro-work environments span the gamut of color, size and function. They are intended to meet the workplace’s need for technology-enabled spaces that promote innovation and collaboration. But if your work isn’t inherently creative, there’s a chance you may have overlooked the announcement about this partnership. But are Creative Spaces just for creative people?

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“I think people get hung up on the word ‘creative,’” said Trent Gooding, VP of Technology at Custer. “Because when people hear creative, they think about paintbrushes or design software. Maybe you don’t use those specific tools at work, but that doesn’t mean you’re not applying innovative thinking to uncover solutions. It’s that drive for creative innovation in every industry that Steelcase and Microsoft are tapping into with Creative Spaces.”

So whether you’re an accountant, a business analyst, a realtor, recruiter, or otherwise, the need for creative-problem solving makes Creative Spaces relevant to your line of work.

The impact of a technology-enabled workplace

Sometimes creative problem-solving requires collaboration. Other times it requires quiet time. Most of us spend time switching from one of these modes to the other—from phone calls and meetings to working quietly at our desk or in a private space. Wherever we’re working and no matter with whom, workplace technology has come to play a central role in our work.

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Creative Spaces host different types of technology. With Microsoft solutions as an example, these include the wall-mounted Microsoft Surface Hub in the Duo Studio or the personal Microsoft Surface Pro in the Respite Room. While Microsoft’s technology is a key element in Creative Spaces, these environments also serve as thought-starters for how technology can promote innovation and collaboration in the workplace.

“Creative Spaces help us understand the impact of a technology-powered workplace,” said Gooding. “Tools like collaboration software or video-conferencing platforms connect people and information to help organizations innovate. When we think of furniture, technology, and space as inseparable components of the work environment, we ready ourselves for a future that is connected and even more digital than today.”

Technology solutions for collaboration and innovation

The right workplace technology can enable the creative problem-solving, innovation, and growth that organizations seek for the present and future. For example, a wall-mounted display allows information to be shared visibly so everyone in a meeting room can see and interact with it. No more huddling around others’ screens or printing off multiple documents for everyone to view: the content is all accessible from the large display. This type of content-sharing can be either wired or wireless depending on your desired functionality. And with added AV integration, these displays can connect people via video-conferencing and audio-conferencing as well.

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Another example of technology-enabled innovation is the use of interactive displays and whiteboards.  Rather than emailing back and forth to find an answer, interactive displays draw people together to draft the right solution. These displays and whiteboards allow workers to generate ideas and content together, which can then be shared digitally to keep the flow of information going once the meeting is done.

For organizations wanting to adapt to the changing landscape of work, it can be easy to set such a goal but difficult to visualize how. To understand the power of a technology-enabled workplace, there’s nothing like seeing it to believe it.

“Anyone interested in exploring creative spaces, workplace technology, and tools for innovation can stop by Custer,” said Gooding. “We’re excited about our own adoption of technology and can offer the tools to make it possible for your organization, too.”

To schedule a showroom tour of Custer, click here.

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