5 Ways to Spark Creativity in the Workplace

Company Culture, Workplace

By Tridia Tshimanga:

Honestly, when are you most likely to get your best ideas? Is it when you’re just sitting at your desk waiting for an answer to appear out of thin air? Or is it when you’re doing something off-task like walking around the office or talking to your co-workers? Chances are, it’s not the first option.

Developing new and innovative ideas while creating new methods to perform day-to-day tasks can be challenging at times. So, how can you improve it? Encouraging an open space fueled by creativity and engagement encourages employees to reach beyond their talents and perform to the best of their abilities. Not only does it allow others to tap into their creative process, but it also allows employees to explore new growth development and unlock opportunities that’ll drive business to the top. In the words of the late Vincent Van Gogh, “Great things are not done by impulse, but a series of small things.”

Are you ready to spark creativity in your workplace? Well, let’s get to it!

Create a fun team environment

A team environment that consists of collaboration, high performance and fun is necessary for any innovative teamwork. No one wants to work in an environment that is stressful or has too serious of a mindset. On average, 81% of employees state that they are working in a “fun” environment. Employees who are allowed to venture out, work together with other co-workers and wander throughout their workplace to see what other things are going on will allow for ideas and inspiration to flow freely.

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Maybe it’s time to incorporate fun activities throughout the day. Incorporate team bonding activities, take a group picnic or bring in bagels and donuts on a Friday morning. Great measures don’t have to be taken to make this work. A fun and positive work environment not only relaxes you but it puts you in a state to be your most creative self. The possibilities for creating a fun environment are endless.

Spice up your office decor

Blank white walls, hard office chairs, and a dead plant aren’t ideal inspiration when it comes to fueling creativity. Get in tune with your quirky side! I’m not saying your whole interior has to bleed neon yellow and electric blue but infuse art pieces, designs and any colors that work for you.

In fact, green and blue hues, dim lighting and ambient noise are all shown to improve creative performance. Set the tone for your company and bring everyone together through design. Create an environment that everyone feels comfortable in and more open to express themselves.

Take risks and be ok with failure

Cultivate an office that rewards continuous, creative risk-taking. In some cases, employees are too scared or nervous to branch out from the norm to provide new solutions and ideas for fear of failure or of making mistakes. How else are you going to allow for discussions, feedback, and brainstorms to occur?

The risk is an inherent part of encouraging creativity and seeking out innovation to enhance your company. Even when attempts fail, with the right mindset, you can learn valuable lessons that will help you to succeed in the future.

Allow flexible work schedules

So you still need to meet deadlines and hit productivity, but there isn’t just one way to accomplish this. Sometimes, a change of scenery can get the creative juices flowing. Today, it is becoming more and more common for organizations to allow their employees the freedom to meet their deadlines in whatever way works best for them through a flexible work policy.

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Let go of the traditional 9-5 workday and allow employees to come into work when they are rested and at their best. About 78% of employees stated that flexible work arrangements made them more productive. Don’t forget to set clear expectations of your flexible work policy at the get-go, that way everyone is on board and knows what is expected. Additionally, you’ll see a plethora of new developmental skills that allow for employees to bring out an increased sense of creativity.

Offer a space for knowledge sharing

From going to conferences to attending training workshops, there’s no shortage of talent and intelligence when it comes to your team. Encourage everyone to share what they know, to improve performance and knowledge sharing.

Who knows, maybe you could discover a new interest or passion or even a new resource that will help develop your skills in your position. The end goal should be to encourage others to share what they know with their team members. Ensure that there’s a platform for people to engage in different knowledge exchanges to increase creativity, leadership, and development.

While there’s no real recipe for creating the most ideal work environment, there are always proactive steps to take to ensure that ideas are welcome and creativity is encouraged and valued throughout the workplace. Cut the excuses and get going to make your office the most creative safe space it can be. The more creativity that’s supported and encouraged, the more it will become an essential part of your company culture.

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