4 Ways to Foster Creativity in the Workplace
At the end of the day, work is work. You clock in and clock out, spending a good chunk of your day and energy on your work. There’s a good chance you spend more time with your coworkers than your actual family, making your workplace a home away from home.
So why not make it more, well, homey?
Whether you’re on the retail floor, running around a pharmacy, or typing away on a desk, adding even a slight personal touch to your work environment can go a long way in making the work week more manageable.
Decorating your workplace doesn’t just mean decorating the walls or hanging an oversized banner of your favorite football team (though it wouldn’t hurt) — it’s all about creating an environment that nurtures healthy productivity, creativity, and even mindfulness.
Though some of these suggestions will need some adjusting depending on your industry, just the mere effort of creating a more lively work environment will do wonders for worker morale.
Your workplace will always benefit from adding a little color. Those blank, off-white walls are just begging to be filled with fun and colorful artwork.
A study conducted by the University of Massachusetts found that adding artwork in the workplace contributed to an overall reduction in stress, increased productivity and creativity, and enhanced morale.
In short, just the mere presence of a painting or a well-framed photograph can help improve workers’ moods and efficiency.
That’s not to say hanging art on the walls is a one-stop cure-all for workplace morale.
However, in the same study, the majority of participants agreed on the importance of artwork in the workplace and that their opinion of the company would change if the art was taken away.
It doesn’t have to be an authentic Monet, but adding meaningful artwork to your wall will make your workplace a little cozier and more pleasant.
Contrary to popular belief, small talk does have a meaningful place in the workplace. It’s more than just watercooler talk about “House of the Dragon” or last night’s game, yet it’s exactly that.
Studies show that light conversation during the work day quietly builds work morale and camaraderie among colleagues.
It’s like a small improv routine: you and another coworker might have no idea of what to talk about, but you’re both waiting to use the break room microwave so you’re stuck for a bit. It’s up to you to make sure the next 90 seconds aren’t an awkward mess.
Small talk keeps you on your toes, making you engage in kinds of conversation that might feel pointless.
However, plunging into the conversational unknown can make you better equipped for future dialogues that hold more weight. It’s basically a rehearsal for the big fight, so spar away.
There is so much value in celebrating the little things. Did you achieve a new personal best in your running routine? Celebrate away (just make sure to get some stretches in)!
Did you successfully stick to that diet like you said you would? Great! Go order that pizza without feeling guilty.
But don’t stop there. Take the celebrations to work, too. Everyone has a birthday, and publicly acknowledging a colleague’s special day (should they be working that day) can give them a meaningful boost in morale.
The same especially goes with work anniversaries. If your workplace is your home away from home, your work anniversary serves as a second birthday. It’s absolutely worth celebrating and shouting out a colleague’s hard work and dedication.
Are these mini-celebrations a landmark event that will define the company for years to come? Hardly.
But these little things will do wonders for employees and add a possibly much-needed light to their day.
Now we get to the overall aesthetic of the workplace itself. This is where you’ll be doing the bulk of your work, where you spend most of your day. Wouldn’t you want this all-important place to be one that radiates positivity and good vibes?
For you office workers, the world is basically your oyster here. Grab those fancy framed photos of your friends and loved ones, bring those favorite books that you’ll probably never reread, and retrieve that old blanket in case it reaches subzero in the morning.
Your office or cubicle literally has your name on it, so might as well make it your own (within certain parameters of course).
Decorate it in a way that’s meaningful to you, reminding yourself that you’re not your job or an upcoming project. That’s what that “Hang in there” poster is for.
If you work in a retail or pharmacy setting, it’s a bit more difficult to add a personal touch. Still, when there’s a will, there’s a way.
The break room is a perfect place to add personality to your workplace. Install a large board on the wall for work announcements, anniversaries, birthdays, and even mindful affirmations.
Set up a small table with multicolored pens and sticky notes so colleagues can leave little messages to shout out a fellow coworker, give general words of wisdom, or other kinds of positive messages.
Shout out birthdays and work anniversaries on your company’s social media feeds, showing the online world that your small business is the place to be.
It’s a little gesture, but it’s the thought that counts. Just giving a good word can make your team closer and more appreciative of one another.
It’s estimated that you spend a third of your life at work, so might as well get comfortable while you’re here.
Creating a healthy and more lively workplace will make the eight-hour marathon of your workday not only more manageable and less mind-numbing, but even enjoyable.
Regardless of the industry, doing this will build a healthier team dynamic and naturally foster more creativity and work efficiency.
So go hang up those posters, get those fancy photo frames out of storage, and chat about the latest Netflix show — the success of your workplace depends on it.