Office Decorating Ideas to Kickstart Employee Creativity
- Elea Almazora
- 3 Min Read
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. You need creative thinking in your company if you want to compete. Creative thinking sparks discussion that helps generate exciting new product ideas. It can help solve issues before they become big problems, and even uncover new opportunities for growth.
One simple and effective way to get creativity flowing is to set up your office environment to encourage it. But where do you even start?
Here are 10 easy, low-cost decorating tips that’ll energize your office. Let’s get started.
#1. Let employees bring personal items.
Why not let your employees decorate for you? It’s cheap and easy for the company, and folks will love the opportunity to put their mark on their surroundings. Have them line their desks with their favorite action figures, or give them permission to set up a mini coffee bar.
Allowing them to bring personal items lets them know their perspectives are valued. It’ll make them happier and more open to sharing their ideas. This fosters a more collaborative culture, too.
#2. Designate zones for certain activities.
Contrary to popular belief, some restrictions help people be more creative. Raw creativity can go haywire, which is why artists have routines and designated spaces for work.
It’s worth applying this principle to your workplace. Have zones for private idea generation (example: a reading area with couches), communal brainstorming (example: a chatting area by the water cooler), and the like.
#3. Take the cubicle out of the equation.
While we’re on the subject of sharing ideas, why not consider sharing desks among employees, too? After all, everyone uses laptops and tablets. Many employees find dull, gray cubicles depressing. Desk sharing, and even letting your people work throughout the office, gives your space more flexibility. It’ll inspire more agile thinking while encouraging free collaboration.
#4. Make use of natural light and greenery.
Let sunlight in through your office’s windows. Natural light puts people in a good mood, which boosts creativity. A view of a park is also known to improve employee attention spans. But if you don’t have a view of greenery, don’t worry. Having succulents or other low-maintenance plants in the office works even better. They generate oxygen, helping folks breathe better and think clearly.
#5. Set up an idea corner.
Sometimes, creative people need to step away from the challenges they’re trying to crack before they get their “eureka!” moment.
You can help them by setting up a corner dedicated to idea generation. You can fill it with books, have a brainstorming board (with a different theme every week), or a dream board where everyone can post their outlandish wish lists for the company.
#6. Raise the roof.
If it’s within your budget, consider getting higher ceilings for your workplace.
A 2007 study has shown that higher ceilings lead to better abstract thinking. That’s likely because they give your brain more visual space to explore. Lower ceilings tend to make some people feel trapped. That’s not only bad for morale, it’s bad for creativity, too.
#7. Give your employees a nap area.
This may seem counterintuitive. After all, shouldn’t people be working at work? But giving your employees permission to take naps during office hours can do wonders for their creative abilities. Not only does it prevent fatigue and improve memory, it’s also known to help the brain organize information in new and surprising ways.
So set up a quiet space with hammocks and mats, and let people have their cat naps.
#8. Silence is for the library.
A lot of folks think that focused work requires complete silence, like in a library. But it’s hard to share ideas when you do things this way. And trading ideas is essential to coming up with innovative solutions.
So let your employees get a little louder. Give them space to roll their chairs around for impromptu chats, or set up small side tables where they can share notes and debate an issue.
#9. Give teams the freedom to choose how to be creative.
Creativity is not a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. In the same organization, you likely have people who are artistic, people who are analytical, and folks that fall in between.
If you want to maximize all the creative energy at your disposal, try giving everyone the resources they need to create. Stock up on multi-colored pens, provide access to the right software, and more.
#10. Create a suggestion box or host an idea lottery.
A suggestion box can give shy employees a sense of anonymity. This could make them feel more comfortable sharing their ideas for improving the company. You can also incentivize the sharing of suggestions by running a lottery. Treat each idea like a ticket, and raffle out prizes every month.
No matter which of these ideas you choose to implement in your workspace, there’s one concept that connects them all: employee freedom. Hire good people, and give them the freedom to take cognitive leaps and intellectual risks. That way, they’ll be more likely to come up with new ideas for your company.
Isn’t that a fantastic return on investment for a couple of beanbags and some aloe vera plants?
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