Innovation at Work: Our Top 10 Stories of the Decade

360 dug through our archives to surface the 10 best reads from the decade.

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A lot can happen in 10 years. The world’s economy emerged from a global financial crisis. The Internet of Things exploded. Mobile apps took over. And things like cryptocurrency, virtual reality and 3D printing became common parts of our lexicon.

Yet, in the last decade, many things have also remained the same. Organizations have ramped up a drive for innovation and growth. The need to be flexible and adaptable to market changes continues to grow. And, while we’ve always understood how important employees are to a thriving business, a record-low unemployment rate has elevated the conversation surrounding how to create a great employee experience. (Also, our love for Woody and Buzz Lightyear remains steady. Toy Story 3 topped $1 billion in 2010 and Toy Story 4 bested $1 billion again in 2019.)

As we look back on the past 10 years, we wanted to share our top 10 stories about innovation at work that are still incredibly relevant today.

#10 Inside Innovation

360 Magazine. Inside Innovation

The speed and complexity of change keeps accelerating which makes “Inside Innovation” as relevant today as it was in January 2018. This story shares how workplace design can jumpstart innovation by creating spaces that help people experiment, take risks and learn.

#9 The Office Renaissance
Jenny Round Low

“The office didn’t go away but it’s evolving into something fundamentally different.” This nod to “The Office Renaissance” went to print in 2016. Before and after floorplans show how making a change in your workplace can inspire and motivate people by addressing how they feel, think and move.

#8 Wellbeing: A Bottom Line Issue

360 Issue 67

The Steelcase Design Studio put wellbeing at the core of its design implications for 2020. “Wellbeing: A Bottom Line Issue” was also on the cover of our 360 Magazine in 2014. The story delves into global research about the positive drivers of wellbeing as well as the six dimensions of wellbeing in the workplace — all still very top-of-mind today.

#7 Think Better

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How do our brains work at work? In 2015, “Think Better” shared three key findings from neuroscience that have important implications for how people perform at work. This one is worth another read. We’re still trying to pay attention, stay focused and avoid distractions at work.

#6 Reinventing La-Z-Boy in New Headquarters

La-Z-Boy Case Study

Over the years, it’s been fun to peek inside forward-thinking organizations to understand how they use place as a catalyst for change. One of our favorites is La-Z-Boy which reinvented its headquarters to improve communication, collaboration and support changing work processes.

#5 Creative Shift

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Organizations continue to seek ways to innovate and grow, and figuring out how to enhance and scale creativity is a key component. The “Creative Shift” research published in 2017 explores the creative process and how the physical environment can support all of its stages.

#4 The Privacy Crisis

360 Magazine

Published in 2014, “The Privacy Crisis” trumpets a theme that ended up being carried all the way through to our #1 story: While togetherness at work is vital for value creation, in excess it’s a killer.

#3 The Global Report: Engagement and the Global Workplace

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Steelcase in partnership with global research firm Ipsos became the first to prove a correlation between engagement and satisfaction with the workplace in 2015. Global engagement levels still remain low today and this research in 20 countries delves into how the workplace can help.

#2 Do All Open Plan Offices Kill Collaboration?

Answer Beam; Open Office

Published about a year-and-a-half ago, this response to research from the Harvard Business School feels as topical today as it did then. In fact, this story helped launch a newly-released five-part podcast series on the future of the open office. (Listen: Open Office Truth)

#1 New Work. New Rules.

new work new rules

A recent addition to the 360 library, “New Work. New Rules.” tackles how teamwork has changed — becoming fast-paced, iterative and interdependent. This article digs into how the workplace needs to adapt to give these high-performance teams what they need to excel.

We’re getting ready to release our next round of workplace research in 2020. Stay in touch by signing up below.


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