Your office design can help kindle employee creativity. Here are three pointers from Scott Wyatt of NBBJ architects of Seattle, which has designed offices for Google, Reebok, and the Gates Foundation.
1. Go natural.
Employees are more creative (and less stressed) when they can look up from their work and see trees and natural light. Even if you're in a city, try to give everyone window views. Or at least buy your poor employees some plants.
2. Think Paris.
The ideal office layout? A system of quiet side streets and grand boulevards like the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Employees have quiet to think, but they're still forced to mingle with--and bounce ideas off of--their co-workers.
3. Raise the roof.
If you want to promote blue-sky thinking, you should increase employee headroom at the office. Studies suggest that higher ceilings in the workplace encourage abstract, conceptual thinking.