Office Space: Where Creativity Thrives

Survey: Creative Execs and Workers Differ on Ideal Work Environment for Ideation

Toronto, ON -- What kind of office setting sparks the most creativity? According to research by staffing firm The Creative Group, managers and employees don’t see eye to eye. When asked what the ideal work environment is for on-the-job innovation, the top response among advertising and marketing executives was an open-concept space. Employees, however, seem to prefer more alone time, with a private office being the most popular option.

“Highly effective workplaces reflect the type of work being done, as well as the work styles of those that occupy them,” said Deborah Bottineau, senior regional manager of The Creative Group. “Office managers should be cognisant of employees’ preferences and try to find an office design that caters to both the needs of the business and their staff. Being accommodating and flexible with layout options can result in happier, more productive and creative employees.”

Advertising and marketing executives and workers were asked, “Which of the following workspace arrangements do you think is most conducive to encouraging creativity?” Their responses:




Open-concept office (unenclosed workspace for multiple people)



Cubicle (semi-enclosed workspace for 1 person)



Shared office (enclosed workspace for 2-3 people)



Private office (enclosed workspace for 1 person)



Remote office (home, coffee shop, etc.)



Don’t know






*Responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding.

The Creative Group offers four ideas for creating a more stimulating work environment:

  1. Construct creativity zones. Designate a few areas in the office for brainstorming and impromptu meetings. Stock each space with industry publications and an easel pad to jot down ideas.
  2. Offer private sanctuaries. While open floor plans can increase collaboration among employees, some projects require greater focus and concentration. Provide stations where individuals can work in solitude without distraction.
  3. Build a mood board. Encourage team members to post content they find intriguing to a common wall where others can draw inspiration. Also invite staff to take photos of anything they might want to reference for future projects.
  4. Think outside the office. Hold team meetings in a nearby park, courtyard or café. A change of scenery is sometimes all it takes to spark the imagination.

About the Research

The surveys were developed by The Creative Group and conducted by an independent research firm. They include responses from more than 400 U.S. advertising and marketing executives, and 1,000 U.S. workers 18 years or older and employed in office environments.

About The Creative Group

The Creative Group (TCG) specializes in connecting interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations talent with the best companies on a project, contract-to-hire and full-time basis. For more information, including job-hunting services, candidate portfolios and TCG’s blog, visit Follow us at and @RobertHalf_CAN on Twitter for additional workplace news and hiring trends.

For further information contact: Naz Araghian, (416) 865-2140, [email protected] 

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