How to Create a Creative Environment

Ken-Lear-Creativity

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A successful workplace is one where ideas flow forth freely and fearlessly. Creativity turns an average office into a breeding ground for the out-of-the-box thinking that solves problems and drives success. Sometimes establishing your workplace as a den of creativity—full of rapid-fire brainstorming and ingenious solutions to problems—can be challenging, with formality and uniformity so common in business. But with little changes here and there, creativity can be made possible.

The following tips will help turn your workplace into a creative environment and unleash the untapped potential of your workforce.

1. Keep the noise down, but not off

Ambient background noise is ideal for creative a creative environment. If there is loud music or other distracting noise, it takes over our senses; however, silence is not always good for creativity, either.

Ideally, there should be some ambient noise in the workspace. Low-volume music or other sounds encourage our brains to work harder to process the noise and the task at hand. This takes our minds to new levels of creativity.

2. Lighting and temperature

If possible, keep the lighting in your office low. Low levels of light bring out more creative ideas, so turn down the fluorescent lights and try a few lamps instead. On the same note, exposure to natural light will help improve the mood of employees. Keep both these things in mind when deciding how to light the office.

As for temperature, try to avoid extremes. It’s difficult to accommodate every person in the office, finding a (mostly) happy medium is usually possible. Try settling on a temperature that’s not too cold and not too hot, as either extreme will distract and keep employees’ energy focused on discomfort, not creativity.

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3. Encourage creativity

This suggestion is perhaps the most important. Each day, encourage employees and coworkers to take part in brainstorming sessions or other creativity exercises. If they’re encouraged to be creative, employees will be more likely to present novel ideas that can take your organization to the next level.

Be encouraging and not critical of ideas, and invite any and all suggestions. Not every idea is good, but every idea gets you closer to one that is the gamechanger. Thank employees for their suggestions—even if you don’t plan on taking them—and keep the flow moving. With the freedom to be creative, your workforce can take the organization from good to great.

These small changes in atmosphere and culture can go a long way. Emulate the work environments of ad agencies or tech firms that thrive on creativity. It’s easy to shut down ideas and maintain the status quo, but great companies reward and encourage creativity.

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