The design of your office can do a lot to foster creativity, so it’s no surprise that successful companies also have fun and liberating work environments. Sadly, many other business owners have office spaces that look like they were built in the '80s. If you want to bring your workplace into the 21st century, here's how you can cultivate a more creative office space that will truly inspire your employees.
1. Cultivate a lively environment
Lively offices can inspire creative thinking and give employees that new perspective they need when they're stuck. In order to cross-pollinate ideas between departments, have office spaces that allow people from different areas to work together. Still, remember that open offices don’t work for everyone, and can sometimes make it harder to get down to work. This is why it’s important to also give your employees extra rooms where they can get away and get down to work.
2. Make it bright and healthy
Creativity comes to a halt when you’re stressed and your mind is in fight-or-flight mode. Spaces that are bright, vibrant, and healthy are much more mentally stimulating and can actually reduce stress. Try adding live plants, plenty of windows, and sunlight to reduce workplace stress and cultivate a creative mindset.
3. Include flexible spaces & common areas
Since most office work now takes place on laptops, you can throw out the old “one desk, one employee” model. Embrace the co-working mindset within your own office and create multiple working environments with a hot desking or desk booking policy. Consider including big tables, smaller desks, couches, standing desks, break out spaces and movable desks to cater to even your most restless employee.
Having a common space can be good for office morale, camaraderie, and productivity. In light of that, many offices are now using communal spaces such as libraries and cafes to make for a more collaborative and enjoyable atmosphere. Planning for the same in your office building may do your team a world of good.
4. Add touches of inspiration
Items such as art pieces, paintings and photos can do a lot to get creative juices flowing. When choosing what to add to your office, think of how each piece will contribute to your company culture and highlight the values you want to bring to light. By simply adding art pieces and other unconventional objects to your office, you’ll help to encourage new ways of thinking.
Consider utilizing your office walls as idea spaces. Nowadays, walls aren’t just something you use to enclose workers in a corporate bubble. They're potential sources for creativity. Reebok has a room where employees can brainstorm the company’s latest designs by writing on the walls. Someone will draw out their suggestion, and co-workers will then make their own changes or suggestions to the design. Because of this collaborative approach, the design is ready for final approval by the end of the week.
5. Reduce clutter or mess
They say a cluttered desk means a cluttered mind, which isn't always the best for creativity. Make sure the elements you’re bringing into your office still promote a feeling of space and openness. By having clean and tidy spaces, you’ll give your workers space to breathe and feel relaxed, which is definitely conducive to creativity.
6. Create a playroom
Some companies include a playroom in their office where their employees can take a break, relax and have fun. Being able to play not only gives you a break from your stressful day, but also provides an open space to take your mind off work and interact with different team members. You’d be surprised what kind of creative ideas can come out of a quick game session or a shared cup of coffee.
7. Have an open door policy
If your managers and head decision-makers have their own offices, institute an open door policy. This will encourage your employees to share their ideas instead of keeping them hidden. Creativity is all about the free-flow of ideas; after all, you never know who is going to have the next revolutionary idea for your company's future.
8. Add a splash of color
Color isn’t just important to your branding. It’s important for your office too. Different colors will actually influence how people feel. For instance, colors like black and red suggest power and dominance, while, colors like orange and blue can stimulate creative thinking. Choose the color scheme of your office wisely or experiment with different colors to set different moods for each room in your office.
Offices Can Encourage Creativity
Creativity is often associated with freedom and openness, and you may feel tempted to let those two things into your office space. However, that doesn’t mean you should let your office be chaotic or unorganized. Once you’ve decided what creative touches you’ll use in your office, you may need an office management software to help you keep track of things.
Having a creative office and company culture will not only improve worker happiness and productivity but will also go a long way towards attracting top talent to your business for years to come.
Article by David Spend, OfficeSpace