7 Ways to Boost Creativity in the Workplace

A man holding a lit light bulb.

The best workplaces are creative incubators where new ideas are as common as paper clips. If your office isn’t teeming with innovative ideas, it’s time to evaluate why that is and remedy the situation as quickly as possible.

In this article, we’ll show you why creativity in the workplace is beneficial and how to boost creativity in seven different ways. Let’s get started!

The Benefits of Creativity in the Workplace

So why should you work to improve creativity? Is it really worth the extra effort? We think so! When you learn how to boost creativity, you’ll experience the following two benefits:

1. Greater Productivity

Every professional, if given the choice, would choose to get more done in less time. Productivity is the holy grail of modern business, it seems. But productivity apps and best-practices can only take you so far. Once you’ve downloaded the top tools and optimized your workflow, is there any other way to improve productivity? Yes, there is: foster creativity.

Creativity leads to greater productivity because it opens the door to new ideas and keeps professionals engaged in their work — both of which help us get more done in less time.

2. Better Work Environment

Also, a creative work environment, in most cases, is a better work environment. Studies prove that a creative atmosphere can relieve stress, a major contributing factor to burnout.

Creativity can also spark team collaboration, which typically leads to better work relationships and more job satisfaction. This is important since employee turnover is an expensive problem. It can cost up to 213% of a departing staffers annual salary to replace them.

How to Be More Creative at Work

Creativity can boost your productivity and produce a work environment that’s less stressful and more collaborative. But how do you actually become more creative? We have seven tips for you. Follow them and watch your creativity soar!

1. Prioritize Creativity

It will be incredibly difficult to become more creative if you don’t prioritize it. Without making a conscious effort to boost creativity, you’ll likely fall back into the uncreative habits and workflows you’ve developed over the years.

So, before you do anything else, commit to boosting creativity in the workplace and implementing the rest of the tips outlined in this article.

2. Optimize Your Work Environment

Now that we have that out of the way, we can dive into more tangible personal and team creativity tips. First up: optimize your work environment.

You may not realize it but where you work has a profound impact on how creative you can be. Pay special attention to the cleanliness of your workstation, the sites and sounds that surround it, and the general temperature and airflow of your office.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these:

Cleanliness

Some people operate well when surrounded by clutter. But most of us don’t. Unless you’re one of the few that thrive in chaotic environments, we suggest implementing a clean desk policy.

A clean desk will improve creativity in multiple ways. For one, you’ll be able to find things and information much quicker, which means you’ll be able to spend more time brainstorming new and innovative ideas and less time searching for that “one marketing graph.”

A clean work environment can also lead to better focus and less stress. When you’re able to focus on the task at hand without worrying about extraneous details, creativity will thrive.

Sight and Sound

The things you see while working can also have a profound effect on your creativity levels. Why do you think Google is known for having such colorful and design-friendly office spaces? They’re not trying to be quirky. They are strategically promoting creativity in the workplace.

The right sounds can boost creativity too. Treat your ears to one of the following types of music and enjoy the boost they afford you:

  • Classical Music: This genre of music often leads to less stress and better performance in those that listen to it while working.
  • Nature Music: When we say “nature music” we’re talking about the sound of waves crashing or birds chirping, which can boost cognitive function and concentration.
  • Cinematic Music: The soundtrack to your favorite movie can make the work you’re doing feel more exciting and inspire you to become more creative.
  • Video Game Music: The music crafted for video games is made to boost concentration. Listening to it while working will help boost creativity.

We should note that, in most circumstances, lyric-less music is the best option. That way you don’t become distracted by the words and can focus all of your creative energy on your work.

Temperature and Airflow

Lastly, the temperature and airflow of your work environment can affect creativity levels as well. When you’re comfortable, you’ll likely come up with better ideas and be able to put them into action more efficiently.

Unfortunately, if you share an office with your co-workers, you probably won’t have complete control over temperature and airflow. But do what you can to get comfortable while working.

3. Start Mind Mapping

According to Mind Mapping, a mind map is “an easy way to brainstorm thoughts organically without worrying about order and structure. It allows you to visually structure your ideas to help with analysis and recall.” Here’s what a mind map looks like:

An example of a mind map.

Source: Mind Mapping

Mind maps allow professionals to brainstorm new ideas and stimulate their creative muscles. Try creating a mind map yourself and see if it helps you generate undiscovered solutions. Better idea: involve a co-worker or two and see what amazing ideas you can come up with together!

4. Embrace Potential Failure

Fear of failure is one of the most lethal killers of creativity. If you’re too afraid to spout out weird or controversial ideas, if you’re too scared to take the occasional risk, you’ll never become as creative as you could be. 

So do yourself and your company a favor and step out of your comfort zone, dare to dream bigger and think weirder. You might be surprised by the amazing ideas you come up with.

Always remember, just about every innovative idea of note sounded crazy in the beginning. That’s why they were so innovative! If you’re willing to let your imagination run wild and accept that some ideas won’t meet with success, you’ll be able to boost creativity to new heights.

5. Always Listen

Roughly 2,000 years ago, a stoic Greek philosopher named Epictetus said “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” This is really good advice if you want to learn how to improve creativity in the workplace.

Be on the lookout for revolutionary ideas, thought processes, and workflows. Listen for ways that you can improve yourself and the work you do.

Great ideas can come from anywhere — your colleagues, a blog post of YouTube video, your favorite TV show, a trip to the grocery store. You never know when inspiration will strike and you’ll have a new idea worth pursuing. But you have to listen to your surroundings to find them.

6. Initiate Collaboration

We briefly touched on it in earlier tips but collaborating with co-workers is a great way to spark creativity in the workplace — especially if you’re committed to listening for new ideas.

Your colleagues have different strengths and preferences than you do and they see the world in a different. When you work together, your differences can provide new viewpoints that neither of you ever thought of before, thus boosting creativity.

For some professionals, collaboration comes naturally. For others, working with your co-workers will seem like a major inconvenience — at least at first. But it you really want to be more creative, collaborating with others is one of the best things you can do. 

7. Have a Hobby

Last but certainly not least, hobbies can also improve creativity. By pursuing your passions outside of work, you keep your brain fresh and active, ready to hit the ground running when you’re back in your office for work.

The kind of hobby you have isn’t nearly as important as just having a hobby. But here are a few of our favorites include exercise, music, reading and writing, yoga, and gardening.

For more information on top hobbies for professionals, read our full blog post on the topic!

Improve Creativity in the Workplace

Creative professionals are often more productive and tend to enjoy their work more due to the positive office environment that creativity helps cultivate. Use the seven tips listed in this article (listed again below for your convenience) to help you become more productive immediately!

  1. Prioritize Creativity
  2. Optimize Your Work Environment
  3. Start Mind Mapping
  4. Embrace Potential Failure
  5. Always Listen
  6. Initiate Collaboration
  7. Have a Hobby

If you’re looking for a creative way to store, organize, and retrieve your company’s media files, try CleanPix. Our tool will help you minimize the time you spend searching for and sending media assets and allow you to put that effort towards more creative activities instead.

Get started with CleanPix today for free!

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