If you were to meet and ask a selection of business leaders if they would like their workforce to be more creative, you’d likely be hard pushed to find many that are forward thinking shying away from the prospect. From generating new ideas for getting products and services to market, to improving current processes and procedures to reduce costs and improve efficiencies – that new creative idea could be the ticket to giving your company the competitive edge you’ve been striving for.
When we talk about creativity in the workplace, and how the office can become a destination that encourages and fosters innovation, we have more than once been told ‘we don’t want an office like Google’. It’s a common misconception that if you want workers to think and work creatively your office design must by wacky or extreme, but that isn’t the case.
A workplace doesn’t work creatively by simply adding inspiring quotes to the walls and by encouraging your workers to think outside of the box. A creative workforce is achieved by creating an office ‘eco-system’ that combines spaces equipped with the right tools, access to technology and a culture that is supportive and demonstrates the value that comes from creative thinking.
72% of workers say that they believe that their future success is dependent on their ability to be creative*, however, what is concerning is according to a recent Microsoft commissioned study 70% of leaders believe that they are providing what employees need in order to collaborate effectively**, yet meeting spaces commonly lack an eco-system of tools that support this.
From solving pressing problems, to bringing innovative ideas to life, creativity could be the key to unlocking the success of your business. Here are our tips for encouraging creativity in your office.
Empower your people
Completing tasks a certain way because ‘that’s just how it’s always been done’ encourages workers to become stuck in a rut, and bogged down by routine. Innovations come about when people have the freedom to think clearly and the confidence to share their thoughts with others. Encourage your workers to challenge how things are done and ask ‘is there a better way to do this?’. Additionally, give them the platform needed to share these ideas with senior management.
Space to think clearly
Give workers choice and control over how, and where they work by providing access to a range of spaces according to the requirements of their current task. From informal meeting spaces, to spaces to focus, the best innovations are founded away from the traditional desk environment.
Display your ideas visually
When sharing ideas, it’s beneficial to be able to show our thought process with the help of visual displays. Likewise, when collaborating and brainstorming ideas in groups, recording ideas and information clearly for all to see helps to support our thought process, and enables us to see things more clearly. Brainstorming notes can be displayed traditionally on whiteboards and writing walls, or in a more effective way on an interactive touch screen, where various digital elements and documents can be viewed at the same time.
Shift to a creative culture
A culture change won’t happen overnight, it’s a transition that will only occur once your people are given access to supportive spaces, integrated with appropriate technology. While there may be some reluctance at first, with unease towards new creative ways of working, in time the changes will become a habit, and creativity will sit at the core of your business.