The Sound of CoWorking Encourages Creativity

The Sound of CoWorking Encourages Creativity

When you converge entrepreneurs, creatives and innovators in one space you are bound to generate a buzz of cross-disciplinary chat.


A recent study has proven that these collaborative conversations are not only inspiring for the participants involved, but a benefit for listeners too.
The research found that a moderate level of background noise actually triggers the brain to think abstractly, and generate creative ideas.


So if you want to think outside the box, buzzing coworking office spaces like Gravity is the optimal environment for your innovative ideas to come to life.

A team of researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, recently tested the effects of varying levels of noise on participants’ creative thinking skills. Their results, published in The Journal of Consumer Research, found that a level of ambient noise (70 decibels) which is typical of a bustling coffee shop, enhanced performance compared with the relative quiet of 50 decibels, or the high volume noise of 85 decibels, roughly the noise level generated by a blender.

Experiment:

The Noise
The scientists blended a combination of cafeteria chatter, roadside traffic, and distant construction sounds to create a soundtrack of constantly varying background noise.

This digital soundtrack was plugged into two stereophonic speakers while participants were completing the task.
The volume of the speakers was adjusted as needed to generate low (50 dB), moderate (70 dB), and high (85 dB) levels of noise.

The Test Group:

Sixty undergraduate students participated in the experiment in groups of no more than four people per session.
Each group of participants was randomly assigned to the high, moderate, or low-noise conditions. 
Next they completed an idea-generation task, which asked them to generate as many creative ideas as they could think of for a new kind of a mattress and type them into the computer.

The Test:

A total of 122 unique ideas were identified out of all 211 ideas. 
Next, 12 independent judges, rated how creative they thought each of the 122 unique ideas were.

Results:

Participants in the moderate-noise condition generated ideas that were more creative than those generated in either the low-noise condition or the high-noise condition.
Interestingly, no difference was observed between high and low-noise conditions, so trying to think creatively in a library would give the same results as trying to come up with a unique idea in the middle of a busy construction site.

What this means for Gravity:

While a low level of noise is good for sharpening your focus it can prevent you from thinking in the abstract.
We’ve zoned our space so that there are areas more conducive to conversation and collaboration, and other areas more geared toward quiet and focus.
Our flexible workspace allows you to collaborate, cooperate, retreat and re-energise: work solo or integrate as you need all within a polished, professional and welcoming environment.

To read the study in its entirety log on: http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/665048

We’d love for you to come and experience the buzz of our space.

Contact Damian on [email protected] to book a tour or a free trial.