Whatever industry you’re in, you’re in the job of creating. Sure, some businesses are more creative than others, but whatever it is that your company does, it’s creative. You’re trying to find solutions to problems, and, in any case, you need to have ideas in order to make sure that your business is always moving forward.
However, when you look at some offices, you see that they’re not set up whatsoever to inspire creativity. They’re bland, grey, and boring. We’re usually only dimly aware of how much our surroundings affect us, but it is, for sure, the case. If you’re working in an environment that limits your mind, then you’re only holding your business back.
Instead, you should aim to create a workplace that feeds the creative process.
Here are 20 QUICK tips for making your office inspire more creativity:
- Create a comfortable and inviting space. People are more likely to be creative when they feel comfortable and relaxed. Make sure your office is well-lit, has comfortable furniture, and is free of distractions.
- Incorporate natural light. Natural light has been shown to improve mood and productivity, both of which are essential for creativity. If possible, let as much natural light into your office as possible.
- Add plants. Plants have been shown to improve air quality and reduce stress, both of which can contribute to a more creative environment.
- Use color. Color can have a big impact on mood and productivity. Choose colors that you find stimulating and inspiring.
- Display art. Art can help to create a more visually appealing and stimulating environment. Choose art that you find inspiring and that reflects your company’s culture.
- Provide comfortable seating. People are more likely to be creative when they are comfortable. Make sure your office has comfortable seating options for both sitting and standing.
- Encourage collaboration. Collaboration is essential for creativity. Make sure your office has spaces where people can gather and share ideas.
- Provide access to resources. People need access to the resources they need in order to be creative. Make sure your office has a well-stocked library, as well as access to computers, printers, and other tools.
- Encourage play. Play is a great way to stimulate creativity. Make sure your office has spaces where people can relax and let their imaginations run wild.
- Offer snacks and drinks. People need to be fueled in order to be creative. Make sure your office has a well-stocked kitchen with snacks and drinks available.
- Take breaks. People need to take breaks in order to stay focused and creative. Make sure your office has a policy that encourages people to take breaks throughout the day.
- Celebrate successes. When people feel appreciated for their creativity, they are more likely to be creative in the future. Make sure to celebrate successes, both big and small.
- Provide feedback. Feedback is essential for growth and development. Make sure to provide feedback to your employees on their creative work.
- Allow mistakes. Mistakes are a part of the creative process. Make sure your employees feel comfortable making mistakes and learning from them.
- Be patient. Creativity takes time. Don’t expect your employees to be creative all the time. Be patient and supportive of their creative process.
- Encourage risk-taking. Creativity often requires risk-taking. Make sure your employees feel comfortable taking risks and trying new things.
- Be open-minded. Creativity requires an open mind. Make sure you are open to new ideas and perspectives.
- Be supportive. Creativity is often messy and unpredictable. Make sure you are supportive of your employees’ creative process, even when it doesn’t go according to plan.
- Be positive. A positive attitude can go a long way in fostering creativity. Make sure you create a positive and supportive work environment.
- Have fun! Creativity is more likely to happen when people are having fun. Make sure your office is a place where people can relax, let their imaginations run wild, and have fun.
Below, we take a look at a few tried and tested methods that’ll make your office a more creative space, none of which are difficult to enact. Make the changes, and open up your company’s creative possibilities.
Light and Bright
There are some people who work well in a dark, enclosed place, but they’re usually just writers who need to go deep into their mind. There’s a time and space for shutting yourself away, but an office environment is not one of them. Instead, look at creating a light and bright space. It’s much easier to think big when you’ve got natural sun rays filling your working area. And just an aside, this usually works to boost productivity too.
Splashes of Color
Take a look around most offices, and you’ll find the same old shades of grey on the walls. It’s the most obvious choice, but it’s far from the best. If you’re trying to inspire some creativity into your team, then it’s much better to have splashes of color rather than a grey wall. You could begin with a colorful base, say light blue or something similar, and then add a few designs. You don’t need to go overboard — just something that feeds the mind with more than just bland colors.
On the Walls
As well as the color of the walls, you’ll also want to look at hanging up some more creative wall art up there too. Works of art such as landscape photographs or paintings can offer a subtle yet powerful touch of creativity to your workplace. You’ll want to make sure that they’re in general keeping with the theme of your company, but beyond that, there are few rules. Whether it’s an abstract painting or a photograph of a beautiful view, there’s nothing that’ll inspire creativity such as a work of quality art.
Make Things Grow
We’re beginning to understand more and more about the positive impact that nature has on the human mind. It elevates our spirit, makes us happy, and feeds the creative process. There’s a reason why so many artists spend so much time in nature. Of course, when you’re located in a downtown area it’s difficult to fully replicate the sensation of walking through a thriving forest, but there are other ways you can get your nature fill. One of the best ways is to initiate a workplace vegetable garden. If you’ve got even a slither of outdoor space, it’s possible to grow some vegetables. If not, you can get special indoor systems. At the very least, you’ll want to fill the office with a few plants. Plants and growth are things where it can be difficult to see how it’s impacting the creative process, but don’t overthink it — the magic is working underneath the surface.
One of the main obstacles to creativity is that, while the ideas might be fermenting in the mind, there aren’t too many places to put those ideas into practice. A worker’s normal desk will become stagnant if they’re working there for too long. At some point, the creative mind just dries up — and it’ll only kick in again with a change of scene. So why not look at giving your workers an alternative place to let their ideas come together? You can set up a creative corner where individuals and groups can work on an idea that’s kicking around their head. If you have space and the budget, look at making this space a little more adventurous than the regular office space. Bright colors, comfortable chairs, and anything else that feeds into the creative process will be well-received.
Sleek and Modern
If you’re in a position to makeover your office, then look at incorporating a sleek and modern design to your space. Creative is always cutting edge; it’s about pushing forward and doing something that hasn’t been done before. While you don’t need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to your office (unless you really want to…), there is follow in following modern designs. If nothing else, it’ll get you and your workers into the mindset of thinking that this isn’t a place where the old and traditional rules have a stronghold, but where the new world is shaped.
Add the Fun
We think of work as, well, work, but really, it should be fun. Think about the processes that are involved in both. Work is pushing buttons and taking care of the practical side of things. Fun is a creative process where you’re fiddling around until you find the answer. While there are some limitations on how much play you can bring into the actual work process, there are ways to incorporate fun into the workplace. You’d be surprised by just how much a game of table tennis, for example, can bring out a creative way of thinking. Anything that gets the mind working and the body moving will be effective.
Feed the Senses
We’re not brute machines that should just power through work. We’re animals, and that means that we’re responsive to natural signals. In your office, you can make the most of these by adding a scent diffuser that emits smells that have been known to boost creativity. Lemon, for example, has been shown in studies to aid concentration. Lavender has been shown to reduce stress. Tangerine lifts our mood, and gets us into a more playful state. Like the plant situation, all of these essential oils won’t make a noticeable, instantaneous different — but they are working under the surface.
One of the biggest changes you can make to your office is to change your layout. When we first set up our desks and chairs, we often just take a look at what looks the best/what’s the most practical. But these two things might not work best with what’s most creative. As such, take a look at mixing things up. It’ll depend on the type of space you have, and also the kind of creative work you’re trying to achieve (for example, group creativity or individual endeavor). Even if you can’t come up with one formation that sets itself up for creative, it’s always a good idea to just change the position anyway. It wakes up the cells when things change.
A Well-Stocked Kitchen
Let’s remind ourselves again that we’re just animals. We need a few essential ingredients in order to be at our creative best, including sunlight, life, and, yes, sustenance. So take a look at your kitchen, and look at making a few subtle improvements. For starters, there’s a big difference between a regular coffee machine and one that makes an outstanding brew. One underrated addition is a smoothie making station, with ingredients that boost work set up for use.
Take the above advice, and your work will be a creative powerhouse!