Unlike other tasks at work, it is hard to be creative on demand. Because of this, it can be difficult to inspire creativity in your employees. You may find that one day you have a creative flurry of ideas on your hands, while the next day the creativity has dried up.
While it’s hard to inspire creativity in the workplace, it’s not an impossible task. For cash-rich technology companies such as Apple, Google and Facebook, they look at everything including the architecture of their offices. Hiring award-winning architects, these companies have attempted to reinvent the workplace by creating creative spaces that in no way reflect the traditional office setup of fluorescent lighting, cubicles and vast unimaginative conference rooms.
At Google’s London headquarters for instance, they have workspaces that pay homage to such things as the traditional British pub and an elderly relative’s lounge, and outside areas in the form of garden roof terraces offering stunning views of the city. While meeting spaces are filled with giant semi-circle sofas adorned with pillows and surrounded by arty and inspirational books and boardrooms are filled with quirky floral imagery. And of course, all areas feature full Wi-Fi coverage allowing employees to continue to work wherever they may be.
But with Google, it’s not just the offices that are designed to encourage creativity in employees; they actually have people whose sole job it is to keep employees happy and maintain productivity. While you may not have the budget for this or indeed to dramatically change the interior of your office, there are a number of ways in which you can inspire creativity in the workplace. Here we take a look at a few of those:
– By looking at your surroundings
While you may not have the budgets that Google have when it comes to interior design in your office, there are changes that you can make. Look at your surroundings and where you and your employees are working, day in, day out. Are there changes that could be made? While we are not talking eccentric Google-style changes, there are changes that you can make. Consider creating comfortable break-out areas, painting drab walls inspiring colours and injecting the personality of your business into your office environment. Don’t settle for dull, grey and uniform surroundings; look at what can be done differently, look at things that will get your employees thinking.
– At the recruitment stage
Of course creativity should start right from the recruitment process. When recruiting for new employees, don’t just look at the qualifications they have and what they have done in terms of previous experience, look at them more closely and look at how they work in your team. There’s no point in having a team that doesn’t gel and inspire each other with creativity. Consider using recruitment software to quickly and accurately select new employees that will fit perfectly into your team.
– With music
People rarely like to work in silence, so allowing music in the office can be an excellent way of inspiring creativity. If you think about it, everyone from artists to authors to sports stars are inspired to success by music. Emulate this in your office by allowing background music. The kind of music you play is ultimately up to you and the tastes of your employees. Be sure to have an open forum on what is played though so that the music is to everyone’s taste. While if you are looking for the best type of music to play, various studies have been conducted. Generally, classical, jazz, electronic music and rock are noted to be best for encouraging creativity.
– With smell
It may sound simple but smell should be a big focus in your office. Avoid clean and clinical smells and start experimenting with interesting fragrances until you find the one that gets your employees thinking.
– With breakout areas
Take a lead from Google and perhaps introduce breakout areas complete with inspiring art hanging on the walls, interesting books on the coffee table and just generally things that aren’t directly connected with day to day work. Perhaps avoid the clichés of ping pong tables and table football however as these can often distract people more than they inspire people.