Innovation and creativity are two things that are necessary in order for teams to operate well in the workspace. Especially, when they are involved in collaboration, brainstorming, and ideation, innovation is critical to your success.
You would think that innovation would falter when people transitioned to working online, and sometimes while working remotely people can feel disinterested or uninvolved in their workplace. When they manage to integrate the proper collaboration tools, however, they find that working from home actually sparks innovation.
In this article we will discuss the 3 ways that work from home manages to spark innovation in the workplace. If you are interested in learning more about online collaboration, make sure to check out our blog where we talk about whiteboarding, innovation, and much more.
Work From Home Innovations
After work from home became an extended reality, organizations everywhere realized that in order for them to remain efficient under their new circumstances they needed to quickly pivot to online workspaces. Remote workspaces are very different from our traditional work environments but they provide some unique abilities that enable people to innovate and collaborate with great success. Here are the three biggest ways work from home sparks innovation.
You never get to choose when innovation strikes. It could be anytime or anywhere, and the flexibility of work from home means that you are never too far away to remember, jot down, or communicate an idea.
Having the ability to access your workspace and the documents you’re working on, especially if these are collaborative boards, is a massive upside that working from home generates. This is not replicated in traditional workplaces, and work from home provides the generating force behind this innovative capability.
For example, if you are trying to consider some knowledge or takeaways from your last whiteboarding session, remote workspaces allow you to directly access these boards and the information they hold. Instead of having to dig through your notes or look through old pictures to find the specific contribution that you’re searching for, you can simply access the source material directly. The flexibility to access these boards and keep the knowledge they hold is massive to innovation and is all no further than a click away.
Another use case for having flexible knowledge is that when you complete a collaborative activity, most likely you are hoping to carry that knowledge forward into the rest of your practice. Whether it is an individual change you make daily or a piece of information you seek to integrate into your future work, this knowledge will never go forgotten with the flexible possibilities of work from home.
In order to succeed in sustainable innovation, you must be able to align your knowledge and takeaways with the rest of your team, and you all have to commit to the integration of this knowledge. In order to integrate the important understanding your team shares, it’s incredibly helpful to be able to have constant access to your source material. Work from home enables this flexibility, and through these new possibilities, is able to catalyze innovation.
Remote workspaces create an environment where you can communicate and collaborate with creators from all over the world in various diverse fields. This accessibility is a big change from operating in traditional workplaces, where it is much harder to collaborate with people outside your circle.
It is commonly known that the best innovation occurs when people with different mindsets, experiences, and opinions are able to collaborate and combine their ideas together. When this happens, you are able to create something brilliant that lies outside either party’s regular sphere of thought.
The wide accessibility of work from home opportunities means that you can collaborate and create innovative solutions with people you wouldn’t normally be able to work closely with.
Given that the most radical innovation comes directly from the competition of ideas and when opposite minds come together, you could say work from home provides a better platform than ever for this innovation to occur.
Allowing people to gather from different parts of the world makes the ability to collaborate and work with people outside your circle much easier, and since so many people are using remote workspaces it is closer to the norm than it has ever been before. This ability to work across borders and collaborate with people around the world ignites innovation everywhere, enabling people everywhere to collaborate on issues previously out of reach.
Accessibility doesn’t just impact where you can produce innovation from, but when you can. Thanks to the constant accessibility of work from home and the lack of a physical meeting space, teams are able to hold important meetings with shorter notice and gain higher attendance at them.
This means that people can more regularly contribute in sessions that they might not otherwise be able to be present at. This increased rate of contribution helps promote innovative capabilities for the entire team and provides a consistent diversity of thought.
Work from home has many upsides that spark innovation, but none more than their accessibility. Allowing people to collaborate across the globe and access their meetings whenever necessary means that there is always a great diversity of thought, something that is critical for innovation.
It may seem counterproductive given we have identified coming together with diverse thinking patterns to be where the most fueled innovation occurs, but we also understand grinding out ideas isn’t always the right path. Innovation occurs in many different ways and there is no one simple method to get to your end goal.
One of the difficulties with innovation can be roadblocks, and how you overcome them. Sometimes it takes a new approach to an old situation, a different framework, or a different task altogether. Sometimes, however, it takes a complete lack of tasks for you to clear your mind and approach your task from a new angle, or a birds-eye view. Remote workspaces make it easier than ever to distance yourself from your possible roadblocks and re-approach them with new opportunities and an open mind.
Especially when working in person, you may feel a lot of pressure to think of a brilliant idea on the spot, or not leave your session until you have the perfect idea. While this is the ideal scenario, innovative ideas don’t always work like that. They come and go, and sometimes you need some distance in order to readjust your mindset, think about your roadblock, and attack it from a different angle.
Innovation is not just about ideation, it’s about the circumstances that surround it as well. One of these circumstances is your ability to readjust and reposition yourself to be in a good place to reevaluate your roadblocks and ideas. The distance that is inherent to work from home ends up being a great factor in providing that space and is a good reason why innovation succeeds through work from home.
Work from home has brought many different tools and perspectives to our lives, and through its many possibilities has been able to catalyze innovation as well. Here is a recap of the three ways work from home sparks innovation.
- Flexibility: Work from home allows you to access your boards and your knowledge whenever you need, making a workspace with persisting innovation.
- Accessibility: Operating in remote workspaces allows you to collaborate with people across the world and connect with your team more often. Diverse thought is at the core of innovation, and accessibility provides global diversity.
- Distance: Work from home separates you from your workspace, which can be important when reapproaching your roadblocks.