There are many challenges in any given workplace. You can’t effectively manage a team of people without a bit of strategic planning, which requires you to invest some time, effort and money. With some jobs it’s just about making sure that everyone is getting to work on time and doing their job instead of procrastinating. Then you have workplaces where creativity is a big factor, and keeping productivity up can get a bit trickier. If someone is tired, lethargic, distracted or burnt out they can’t really focus their creative energy into different projects and get things done quickly. When concentration is down good ideas don’t get pitched as often, people struggle with finding effective solutions quickly and things can often come to a screeching halt for a good part of the day. This is why you need simple and effective ways of boosting creativity in the office.
1. Give everyone enough space
Offices can be a bit crowded and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. When you’ve got everyone close to each other they can bounce ideas back and forth more readily and communicate effectively with teammates. It’s when it gets a little bit too crowded that things can get out of hand. The last thing you need is people tripping over cables, knocking over equipment and squeezing through furniture.
You can make good use of space even in a fairly small office, with a bit of creative interior design. Move a few things around, maybe get a different kind of desk and make enough space for everyone to be able to move around freely. Putting too many people at the same desk can cause a lot of problems, so it’s best to spend some time on creating the most effective floor plan.
2. Allow a certain level of workstation customization
To be as productive as we can we all need things to be just right, so as to minimize distractions and unnecessary movements. A dull, grey office with very little décor, where every desk is the same, is not exactly the best creative environment. Creative people need a bit of color and a more relaxed and friendly atmosphere – feeling more at home and relaxed can really help get the creative juices flowing. The office doesn’t have to look like a playground, but every employee should have a decent level of freedom when it comes to setting up and decorating their workstations. That way everyone can keep their mind calm and stay as effective as they possibly can.
3. Encourage brainstorming sessions and a free flow of ideas
When creative tasks are involved, it takes good communication to make things work. Logic dictates that five brains are better than one. Where one person may get stuck on a problem for hours another might be able to come up with a solution within minutes, and yet another might have already had plenty of experience with similar problems and has several effective solutions ready to go. This is why it often only takes a quick consultation or a good brainstorming session to make huge leaps forward. You should encourage your employees to work together and develop a more personal bond, so that they can feel comfortable enough with each other to speak up and offer advice or even constructive criticism. There are no bad ideas during a brain storm, only good ideas and attempts at a good idea – no one should feel embarrassed to try something new, and no one should criticize their teammates for throwing something a little strange out there. Instead of boring team-building exercises you can throw an office party on the weekend to develop a sense of community between team members.
4. Make sure there’s plenty of fresh air
A stuffy room that is too hot, cold or humid won’t inspire your employees to do too much work. Those who need to constantly think of new solutions to ever-changing problems or come up with unique design feature won’t be very productive if their focus constantly shifts to how uncomfortable they feel. Stale air also lacks oxygen which can make people drowsy and sluggish. A decent HVAC system is incredibly important for improving air quality in the office, but you need to schedule regular maintenance to ensure that everything is working right. You need to ensure that the environment in your office is comfortable enough to allow people to keep working hard for hours on end without feeling uncomfortable or lethargic.
5. Provide enough light
Another key component of a great work environment is proper lighting. Having access to large windows allows you to get plenty of natural sunlight, which is an excellent solution, but not everyone has this option. Even if you do there will be times when you need good artificial lighting. Sitting around in a dark room is not only detrimental to your employees’ eyesight, but it can also cause headaches and make people sleepy. You need to make sure that you have relatively strong lights, preferably LED lighting. You can also provide table lamps to add a more focused light source to every workstation. With all this in place your employees can change the level of lighting depending on their needs and stay fully awake and concentrated on their job.
6. Invest in a cool rec room
Relaxing and letting the brain cool of is as much a part of the creative process as brainstorming sessions and hours spent at the computer. Unless you want people to burn out and have a huge productivity drop, you’ll need to allow your employees to have a bit of fun on their breaks. You don’t need a full blown rec room – if you don’t have a big budget you can go around the office and collect small donations that go towards buying a pinball machine, game console or a number of small things that would make the office a whole lot more fun.
When all is said and done, making sure that your employees stay creative and focused is all about creating great working conditions and making sure that there is plenty of respect and effective communication between teammates.