Creativity and productivity go hand and hand. Without an appropriate balance of the two, you might find that your workplace happenings come to an impasse. No one is quite sure how to innovate and grow when not enough is being done, and there are roadblocks that only creativity can solve.
Part of advancing creativity and productivity comes from conversation, but an equally important part is the environment. If brilliant minds are left in a plain white room without any tools, they’ll eventually come up with something great, but it’s bound to take them much longer. If you want to set minds free, you need to give them the proper pasture to roam.
Here are 7 things you can try implementing in your office to improve employee productivity and creativity:
1. Decorate for Success
Consider the trope of shower ideas. You’re in your own bathroom, decorated the way you want it and surrounded by your favorite comforts. You love the smells of your soaps and shampoos, and you’re in a fortress of relaxation. Suddenly, great thoughts start popping into your head. You’ve become a visionary before you could lather, rinse, and repeat.
You can duplicate that effect in your work environment by encouraging your employees to decorate and embellish their workspaces with objects that bring them comfort and promote their relaxation. Allow them to build their own fortresses where they feel free to think and create.
2. Paint the Office
White goes with everything, and it doesn’t break the lease. Your workplace probably has a lot of plain white walls. This is where color psychology comes into play. A lot of people perceive white to be cold and sterile. It makes a room look bigger, but it makes a mind feel smaller.
Green stimulates the mind. Anecdotal evidence that it can reduce stress, and even promote reading speed and efficiency. People report feeling both soothed and stimulated by purple. Some people say red makes them feel charged and energetic. Paint your walls, and let the colors set the tone.
3. Ditch the Clutter
The amount of time it takes to do the work is contingent on a lot of things – including how long it takes you to get your materials and set them up. Time is a crucial part of productivity. If you have to spend an eternity looking through drawers and stepping around boxes, that’s an eternity of productivity you’re missing out on.
Make sure you throw something out or donate it when you no longer need it. For important things you need to keep, you can inexpensively source community storage on sites like Spacer. A lot of businesses find community storage to be a little more convenient than a storage unit, mostly because they don’t need to travel a long distance if they need immediate access.
4. Create an Ideal Meeting Space
A whiteboard, a chalkboard wall, a box of random written ideas. Whatever it takes, you need to facilitate as much communication at your meetings as possible. Sitting stiffly at a large table is appropriate for formal meetings, but brainstorming sessions need a looser structure to create a better flow.
Encourage people to move around, write notes, draw diagrams and examples, and pitch some absurd, half-baked ideas. Someone else at the table may be able to finish baking it, and who knows what may come of that? If you encourage people to let their hair down, they’ll be less intimidated by the concept of spitballing innovative concepts.
5. Give Your Employees Freedom
Empowering employees to explore unique angles allows them to find natural creativity and innovative skills. Everyone requires a certain level of management, but the employees who don’t need someone over their shoulder at all times should be given a little more space to breathe. People take trust seriously, and the more empowered your employees are, the more trusted they’ll feel.
If they’re less bound to a rigid set of rules, they’ll be less likely to second-guess themselves. They may try new methods to solve old problems. They may bring some of their passions into the workplace. Some of the things they try won’t work, but that’s a natural part of the process – innovation and creativity always result from trial and error.
6. Celebrate Together
Burnout is when you have a severe decrease in creativity and productivity. It happens when your employees are overwhelmed by the stress and the monotony of repetitive work without any respite. Employees who don’t have things to feel hopeful, optimistic, or cheerful about are more likely to experience the effects of burnout.
Make sure you’re celebrating victories, no matter how small. Your employees will appreciate the fact that they’re accomplishing something, rather than merely going on to work another day. You’re keeping the environment positive, even when things are stressful. This prevents an aura of oppression that might stifle your top performers.
7. Incorporate Creativity Into Company Culture
Culture has an impact on the vibe and interactions of a workplace. If your foundation rests on creativity and innovation, you’re inviting it in for the ground up. Emphasizing and rewarding creativity is a strong motivator. You’ll inspire the best in the people you already have working for you and promote their continual growth.
Make sure to take time to recognize employee creativity and encourage employees to come up with new and unique approaches to challenges. Do your best to make your culture one that motivates people to think outside of the box and rewards remarkable ideas.
If you’re all set to build a creative and productive workplace, there are three things you need to do to get the ball rolling. Taking the right type of action is easier than you may think.
Come up with a design and décor theme that reflects the kind of creativity you want in your workplace.
Pursue strategies to improve free-flowing and open communication that will boost productivity and innovative ideas.
Strengthen the core aspects of your company culture that reflect positivity and forward thinking.
You can always take suggestions from your employees regarding how they feel you can make your workplace more productive and creative. They may be stumbling over obstacles that you aren’t aware of, and if you can simplify their lives by optimizing their processes, you’ll greatly enhance any effort you make to promote positive change.
Emma Lewis is a loving mother, a devoted wife and a part of the team supporting Spacer – a company helping you find storage space whenever you need it. Emma is also a staunch supporter of the sharing economy and often mentions its benefits.