March 16, 2020

Where the Magic Happens – Innovation Hubs for Forward-Thinking Businesses

From the 1980’s “cubicle farms” to today’s low-wall cubicles and open floor plans, office spaces have significantly changed over the years. In a continuing effort to create efficiency, better communication, and more collaboration, businesses look to the latest trends in workspace design. Innovative businesses search for solutions to keep their teams invigorated and creative, coming up with new solutions for their customers. Yet, open floor plans come with their own set of issues, including noise and lack of privacy which can inhibit both teams and individuals. To solve this, some businesses have created spaces for project teamwork where employees can explore new ideas away from the day-to-day office space. Enter, innovation hubs.

What is an innovation hub?

An innovation hub is a space within an office used to invoke creativity and collaboration among employees. Gensler Research Institute’s 2019 Workspace Survey showed innovation hubs as the workplace amenity that offered the highest effectiveness and experience impact, coming in higher than spaces such as work cafes, outdoor workspaces, breakrooms/lounges, or cafeterias. There are no rules when it comes to designing an innovation hub. These spaces usually include features that are open, unique, and, at times, unorthodox. From floor to ceiling, innovation hubs are custom designed to fit the goal of the company, whether to produce fresh ideas faster or solve problems with creative solutions.

Ready to build your innovation hub? Consider starting with floor choice. You can set this space apart by creating a whole new look, separate from the design of the office, or you can incorporate a much needed flooring change throughout your entire corporate space. Either way, the ideal flooring for an innovation hub will provide specific benefits to help you best achieve the space’s purpose.

Let’s talk about Noise

Acoustic floors, also known as sound-dampening floors, create a quiet space for brainstorming new ideas. Acoustic floors take innovation hubs a step further by muting outside office noises. This feature contributes to employee productivity and concentration. Some businesses choose to install acoustic wall panels and suspended ceiling treatments (also known as hanging sound baffles), which can work as both a solution and a design element. Sometimes people find music soothing and helpful in offices or innovation hubs. Acoustic materials can make invited noise like music or talking less distracting within the space, this is especially so in rooms where conference calls take place. The sound of your space is an important factor in productivity.

Everyone Works Differently, but Everyone Desires Comfort

Sometimes, innovation means physical activity. For some, their best work comes from standing at a board working through a problem, walking around the space or literally thinking on one’s feet. Ergonomic flooring systems allow for comfort underfoot, decreasing the fatigue that can come from a long day standing. Installing an ergonomic flooring system gives employees the ability to work freely through your hub or office without putting a strain on their bodies.

Find Inspiration in Your Surroundings

Innovation hubs are designed to spark creativity. Your floor can be inspiring too! From color to texture to finish, it’s up to you. Colors evoke different emotions, so choose a color that best sets the mood of your space. Blue is often associated with trust so it may assist to set a cooperative mood; a white or light room will feel more spacious, which may give a team a more open and creative feeling; green brings people closer to nature, making them feel more balanced and focused.

Color isn’t just about mood, it can also reinforce your company’s brand. Yes, your floor can have a custom brand color or include your company logo right in the center of your hub or lobby. Custom patterns and artistic designs are within possibility too.

Did you know you can incorporate brand identity items right into your floor? For instance, labels or bottle caps for a beverage company or records or CDs for a music industry office. Locked within a thick resin flooring, this seamless flooring really makes a statement while providing a comfortable, easy-to-clean surface.

Other options include subtle, urban, or sophisticated looks. Office spaces can take their inspiration from nature, so instead of a cool technical look, you can take a turn toward nature and bring the outdoors indoors with plants, natural light, murals and artwork, and natural flooring options like cork or seamless resinous flooring with river rock aggregate.

There are so many options to creating the office spaces that will serve your company’s innovative vision as well as benefit your employees mentally and physically. With the right design, you’re sure to impress your visitors too!


Liquid Elements Artfully Poured Floors for Work Environments
Liquid Elements offers decorative flooring systems that can be custom designed for your space. Watch our video highlighting our project for Campari America’s North American headquarters in New York City.

Liquid Elements is a brand of Stonhard. Our products can breathe new life into any space, intended for any use. Our architectural/engineering representatives will guide you in finding the best product to perform and last for the long-term, while meeting your design requirements, including custom colors, blends, patterns, and logos.