Meg Osman, CannonDesign’s Executive Director of Corporate/Commercial, has authored and published her first piece for Entrepreneur: Dingy Basements and Cluttered Garages. How Startup Spaces Inspire Workplace Design.

Osman has been selected to regularly contribute articles to Entrepreneur on how workplace design and real estate strategies can empower business goals and growth for emerging companies. In her first post, Osman talks about the unique spaces (garages and basements) where companies like Apple, Under Armour and Amazon were built and how these unintentional creative hubs can influence corporate office design.

Here are two examples pulled from the article:

Flexibility of Choice is a Must

One of the more appealing aspects of these garages and basements is there are no pre-determined rules about how they should be used. The bold thinkers at the core of these companies are able to work as they see fit – they can stand for phone calls, sprawl out on a couch to decompress, hold meetings outside or close all the doors for focused work when they’re really motivated by a new idea. The flexibility and freedom these workplaces afford maximizes creativity simply because there are no set rules or space parameters to work within.

Historically, these ideals haven’t been widely translated to the design of corporate workplaces, since they’ve been dismissed in favor of efficiency and standardization. Not surprisingly, established companies are beginning to reverse this trend by specially creating spaces to encourage entrepreneurial and creative spirits.

Don’t Be Afraid to Make Things Hackable

Another ideal aspect of start-up garages is they can change day to day. They can be arranged to accommodate research one day, and a meeting of minds the next. In addition, couches and chairs can be reorganized to provide private space, when necessary. Companies should seek out workplaces that capture this “anything goes” mentality and incorporate flexibility seating options. These options afford room for your company to grow, change and evolve.

Another cool idea – to incorporate spaces where walls, desks and tables can be written on – provides opportunities to brainstorm on the spot. This function also mimics that iconic startup garage where every piece of paper, napkin or cereal box gets turned into a sketch pad for ideas for the future that accelerate your employees’ creative engines.

Read the full Entrepreneur article online now, and be on the lookout for future pieces from Osman in the future.

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