Does your boss encourage creativity in the workplace? More companies than ever are giving their workforce the freedom to be creative. Gone are the days when the boss knew everything and their way was the only way. A boss who communicates well with employees, is willing to explore new ideas and is able to take feedback on board is likely to run a much more successful company than a boss who is set in their ways and unable or simply refuses to think outside the box.
We have come up with a handful of ways to improve creativity in the office ….
Brainstorming isn’t something new. It happens in almost every office at some point. Brainstorming in the traditional sense doesn’t come easy to everyone, in fact it can make people nervous and self-conscious and actually block creativity. One individual may have an excellent idea but be unsure of how to follow it through so rather than put forward an incomplete idea, they might scrap it all together.
One way to ensure every idea is put forward and heard is by asking colleagues to spend some time alone to write their ideas on post it notes, no matter how small or silly or incomplete the idea might seem at the time. Each idea can then be put up on the board to be properly discussed and expanded on as a team via the usual flipchart or whiteboard method, removing some of the pressure from individuals.
Not every idea will be successful but when given the freedom to be creative, employees might be less fearful of failure and focus their energy on working together to explore alternative ideas and solutions until they are successful.
Mix Business With Pleasure
Most people like to keep work and home life separate which is completely understandable. We all need time to switch off and enjoy life. But what do you do if you’re chilling out at home or having the time of your life on holiday with your family and you have a cracking idea for a work project? Your creative flow was a little flat during last week’s brainstorming session and now the ideas are coming thick and fast.
Do you forget it for now and hope you remember the details when you return to work?
Why not embrace it? Spend a couple of minutes jotting down a few notes in a notebook or on a tablet or you could record them onto a dictaphone. It’s a minute of your time and you’ll be glad you did when you return to work fresh faced and rearing to go.
Inspiration can strike at any time and for many of us it happens when we’re away from the office, having fun….. So that’s why the boss keeps sending us away for fun team building activity days!
Make the Office a Home from Home
Spending 8 hours a day, five days a week in the same small space can easily dampen our mood if it’s not a space we feel happy in. An uplifting environment is far more likely to bring out our creative side.
Personalise your desk to make it feel more homely. A photo of loved ones, a personalised mouse mat or a low maintenance plant can work wonders when you’re snowed under with work and home time feels a lifetime away.
Take part in dress down Fridays. These days are not there so people can slob around the office waiting for the weekend. Chances are, when you feel comfortable in your clothes and are given the freedom to express your own style and individuality, you will be more confident, more productive and more creative.
You could try a splash of colour around the office. Green is said to be an optimistic colour and helps inspire creativity and lift our spirits so how about some green desk accessories? Blue is a calming colour so why not soothe yourself and keep a clear head with some blue furniture here and there or some comfy blue desk chairs?
Open a window and let in some fresh air and natural light. A stuffy room is likely to make you feel tired and unproductive.
If you only ever discuss ideas with colleagues from your own department you are missing out on seeing things from a whole new perspective. Likeminded people tend to come up with similar ideas and similar solutions to problems. Involving colleagues from different departments gives your team a broader range of useful skills and experiences to draw from and enables you to work through a project with eyes on every angle.
What methods do you use to improve creativity in the office?
Previously on The Euroffice Blog…