Creativity is, for many reasons, seen as the bastion of the modern workplace. Without creativity, innovation cannot happen; productivity is lower; collaboration is reduced. Despite this, workplace trends in 2018 and working styles are often completely evasive of opportunities to create – chasing the yield of facts and figures as success has transformed our workspaces into robotic, cold and uninviting areas.
To conceive creativity is to create freedom and space. Creativity can only happen when employees are given space and time to explore, and the workspace can be the perfect location for this to happen – after all, creativity can only be born out of its surroundings.
According to the Welcoming Workplace Study by the Royal College of Art/EPSRC, there are four easy ways to cultivate and support creativity in the workplace:
1. Good lighting
Appropriate, strong and clear lighting is essential in aiding focus and concentration for any individual or team in the workplace.
2. Visual furniture
Like a modern version of a classic pin board, furniture that allows employees to pin up ideas, graphics, imagery and inspiration can be extremely beneficial.
3. Mixed-use spaces
Working space should ideally have a mix of themes and uses, like ‘caves’ to focus in, and ‘commons’ to share and socialise in. Quiet spaces should always be separate from social areas, and may require different décor or furniture.
4. Distance is key
Where feasible, the location of quieter areas used for intense focus should be as far as possible from areas of high-footfall, like kitchens, print hubs, meeting rooms or entrances.
Of course, when it comes to creativity, the sky is the limit, so nobody should be afraid of experimenting with the workspace, and seeing if new ways to spark creativity can be identified. The overall goal should be to let employees know that their minds are valued, and that creative thinking and collaboration are very much welcome in your workplace – confidence often needs to be instilled to allow people to get their creative juices flowing.