Cultivate Creativity in the Workplace
June 25th, 2018
Creativity and productivity work hand-in-hand when it comes to a successful business. And while both aspects are essential elements in any workplace, they require complementary, yet differing approaches. Productivity can be achieved through methods of organization and time-management. Creativity, on the other hand, is a bit more abstract. We can’t force our creative muscles to work for us ~ instead we must cultivate an environment that inspires a free-flow of ideas. So whether you’re a small business owner, or part of a major corporation, check out these five simple aspects of a thriving, creative workplace. Create Flexible Office Hours Workplace autonomy plays a major role when it comes to inspiring creativity. When employees feel they have control over their schedules and environment, it not only leads to greater productivity, but creates mental space for imagination. So when possible, loosen the reins on the typical 9-to-5 office hours in favor of a more versatile structure. Allow employees to work remotely and encourage use of paid vacation. Creating flexible schedules gives your workers the mental freedom to avoid burnout and curate their workday toward their personal strengths. Design an Inspiring Workspace Creativity is directly influenced by environment. So if you want your employees to be on top of their innovation-game, ditch the cubicles. Crafting an open-concept office lends well to team-building, collaboration, and imagination. Other tips: Utilize brighter color-schemes and decorations for an uplifting vibe. Opt for natural light to help with that afternoon energy-slump. And look for ways to incorporate a greater sensory experience in your workplace (like adding music, or an essential oil diffuser)... Oh, and don’t forget the snacks! Encourage Brainstorming If you’ve surrounded yourself with a quality team, it’s likely that they already have innovative ideas on how to improve your company. However, without a system in place, you may never hear these new, creative concepts. As a leader, implementing an open door policy for new ideas is key to a thriving environment. While you certainly don’t have to act on every proposal, taking the time to truly hear your employees’ thoughts will help curate long-term creativity in the workplace. Host Events Community plays a major role in cultivating creativity, so invest in your office community. Take the time to get to know the people you work with and what they need to succeed on an individual level. By optimizing on each person’s potential, you’ll benefit the group at large. Then, seek out professional development and team-building exercises based on these needs. Not only will you establish a more cohesive group, each person will grow in their knowledge and skill-set. And this act of learning will in turn, keep them inspired. Take Breaks In a city built on hustle, it can be challenging to allow time for rest. Yet it’s been proven that regular breaks are essential for productivity and creativity. The key, however, is to make the most of your downtime. While scrolling through instagram can certainly constitute as a break, encourage your team to take active-rests. Go for a walk, play ping-pong, listen to music, or simply step outside for 15-minutes. These short breaks work as a mental reset button, and are a necessary component for cultivating a creative space.