When the mind is free from restrictions, it becomes free to let creativity flow. If you want to create a workplace environment that has an increased productivity level from all employees, you need to focus on improving the open mindedness in the office. Sounds basic, but it’s true. People with multiple restrictions weighing them down lose their spark of creativity and that can cultivate a workplace environment where negativity and lack of innovation reigns supreme. Most people would rather work in an environment where management sees the value in finding ways to improve that, so that everyone can become more productive and work to their optimal potential each day. That definitely makes for a more gratifying work experience. Consider some of the following ideas when trying to improve the creativity in your office.
1. Cultivate a Playful Atmosphere
Having fun really is everything. Of course, businesses need to make money in order to profit and continue to grow. However, when management realizes that adding fun activities to the workplace will go a long way toward inspiring creativity, they’ll definitely see an increase in the company productivity level. When a playful atmosphere is cultivated, employees actually want to come to work on Monday. They don’t dread Sunday nights when the weekend is over. These employees know that when they come in to work, they will be part of a fun workplace environment where creativity is encouraged and valued.
Zappos is an online shoe and clothing shop that has the right idea when it comes to cultivating a playful atmosphere. The management realizes that by allowing their employees to have fun, it sparks their creativity. When they are given room to create, then their productivity level drastically increases. It’s a win-win situation for everyone! For example, employees are permitted to create a “home away from home” at their workstations. They can decorate the area with photos of family and friends or bring in fun toys and use colorful decorations on the walls of their offices or cubicles. Additionally, they are permitted to express their individuality in regard to their clothing and hair styles. Employees can dress casually with jeans, shorts and t-shirts and even come to work with pink hair! Finally, every quarter, management schedules a company-wide meeting to discuss updates and give presentations. However, the event is filled with fun activities and employees are given the chance to participate in a talent show where they can play an instrument, sing or dance.
2. Integrate Diverse Team Dynamics
When you’re in a romantic relationship, would you rather be with someone who has a different personality and unique ideas? Or would you rather be with someone who is similar to your personality and thinking? If you decided to be with an individual who is different than you, that can create spice in your relationship. True, you’ll have to compromise, but that factor will help you grow and develop as a person. If you’re with a person who is so similar to you, both of you will get along better, but things can get boring really fast. This same idea pertains to your employees in the workplace.
If you want to improve office creativity, it is important for you to integrate diverse team dynamics. For example, if everyone in your office has similar personalities, with the same experiences and parallel cultural backgrounds, it will be more difficult to cultivate a more creative vision. However, when you can integrate a diverse team where employees have differing personalities and come from varying cultures, as well as divergent workplace experiences—creativity will thrive. When these employees work to their optimal potential in the workplace, they are able to challenge each other to embrace their uniqueness. When problematic situations arise, your team members will be better able to find creative solutions by channeling knowledge from their diverse experiences. They will automatically be able to deliberate differently than each other and improve the entire creativity level in the office.
3. Encourage Social Relationships
Another way for management to improve office creativity is to encourage employees to form social relationships in the workplace. Obviously, these social interactions should never interfere with actual workplace productivity. However, a smart manager knows that any way to motivate their employees to be productive in the workplace begins with cultivating their abilities to have original and unique ideas. Employees need to be able to actually talk to each other and engage in genuine ways during the work day. Management, who implements strict rules for never allowing their employees to socialize, will not improve the productivity in the workplace.
Consider some of the following ways to encourage social relationships in the workplace. For starters, don’t be so strict if you hear employees joking, talking or laughing with each other over their cubicle work stations. Yes, there should always be a balance and employees who abuse the system need to be reprimanded. However, social relationships are forbidden, employees won’t be able to break free and clear their minds. Create an area in the workplace, such as a break room or employee lounge where individuals are permitted to go to eat lunch and take breaks there, while developing relationships with coworkers. Dropbox has created innovative ideas to improve office creativity such as offering free breakfast, lunch, drinks and snacks in their break room. They also have a fully equipped music studio, along with game rooms that have ping pong tables where they hold gaming tournaments. On Fridays, they also offer Whiskey Fridays. These social innovations have cultivated bonding experiences for employees, which then lead to improved office creativity.
4. Cultivate Effective Innovation
Another way to improve office creativity is to cultivate effective innovation techniques. If your employees cannot brainstorm in an effective manner, their imagination and ideas may be hindered. As a manager, you should implement a strategy where innovation becomes a team effort. When your employees know that you are serious about the innovation process, they will be able to work in a symbiotic fashion with other team members in an effective manner.
For example, Jimi Smoot, Founder and CEO of the software platform Prosperio has designated a specific area in his office called an Innovation Pad. Basically, all employees who are participating in team projects can utilize this area specifically for brainstorming and innovative thinking. Managers can learn from Mr. Smoot as he encouraged all employees to leave their egos and career ranks at the door and encouraged all team members to think outside the box. Which resulted in the cultivation of innovation, leading to a more creative workplace.
As a manager, cultivating creative individuals in the office is vital if you want to increase your productivity level and be competitive in the business world. This can be done by cultivating a fun workplace atmosphere in the office. Integrating team dynamics in regard to creating the best teams for project completion will also spark their imagination. Managers should encourage social relationships where employees are permitted to form genuine friendships with colleagues in the workplace. By Cultivating effective innovation, all your employees will work together for the best possible and original results.
What have you implemented in your office so that you could improve the creativity in the workplace? How well did your methods work? Let us know in the comments section below.