Google Garage’s Success Mirrored at OpenGrounds

October 9, 2013

Google is known in the corporate world for being bold and daring in its research and operations. Remember the time it played with the idea of floating data centers at sea? You get the point.
Its latest foray in out-of-the-box thinking aims to create an environment that enhances creativity and helps foster the kind of inter-departmental collaboration that Google seeks. The prospect of space affecting creativity and work efficiency is not a new one. Companies have beenexperimenting with this concept for decades.

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What is the right formula for engineering workspaces that promote—and do not hinder—creativity and collaboration?

Well, in the words of Google employees, it is literally about the way the space is organized and how quickly one group can make it their own.

At Google Garage, among other characteristics of the space, all tables have wheels— which makes them completely versatile and mobile.

Similarly at OpenGrounds, Bill Shermandesigned the space to be as flexible as possible to meet peoples’ needs, no matter how diverse of unconventional they may be. The space accommodates roundtable conversations, one-on-one meetings, movie screenings, performances, and more.

Moreover, small details like the constant availability of electric plugs makes it much easier to work anywhere in the space without having to constrain yourself to a wall socket. That, coupled with the white-board walls and touch- screen computers make it easier to work on a myriad of projects without having to drastically readjust the space you are working in. Instead, you will find that the space complements the work you are doing, by providing the tools needed to brainstorm, analyze and come up with ideas.Google’s Frederik Pfert says,

“environment influences human behavior.”

While places like OpenGrounds and Google Garage are experimental in the sense that their trajectory is still being tested, people are already using them as a springboard to not only to talk about ideas but to collaborate on their execution.

So if you want to encourage creativity, and wild ideas, and moonshot thinking, you should create that exact environment that helps you achieve that” Pfert further says. OpenGrounds salutes Google for its forward-thinking capabilities and for inspiring other companies to re-think the way their spaces are organized to better suit a world where collaboration is at the heart of innovation.

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