Entrepreneurship requires ingenuity — whether you are designing company websites or solving new IT problems — and every workspace is either encouraging, or stifling, that creative process. From corporate workspaces to home offices, inspiration can be intentionally crafted in any environment.
Here are the best ways to inspire creativity at every level.
Designing an Inspiring HQ
When gathering employees to a central location every day, you want that space to breathe life into your team, not suck it out of them.
Set aside some space where employees can get away from their desks and share ideas, and then equip that space to help them: comfortable seating, extra outlets, whiteboards – whatever your employees need for the work they are doing. Additionally, try to allow for various lighting options. Bright light is conducive to analytical thinking, and sometimes necessary for teamwork, but a 2013 Journal of Environmental Psychology study showed that dimmer lighting encourages creative thinking.
Let People Decorate
If your team members have their own defined workspace, let them make it their own. In addition to identifying more with your brand or organization, a 2010 Journal of Experimental Psychology study demonstrated that workers who were given freedom to decorate and arrange their offices were up to 32 percent more productive than those who were not. For example, at the Cartoon Network offices in Atlanta, GA each employee’s cubicle is custom decorated.
How to Make “The” Office, “My” Office
Maybe you’re looking at your own home-away-from home, with freedom granted, and you don’t know where to start. Not every trend in interior design or decorating necessarily encourages creativity. If you want to inspire creative office views, here are a couple of things you can do.
Bring the Outdoors, Indoors
You probably don’t have much control over whether or not your office space has ample windows, or what kind of view is outside of the windows, but if your scenery lacks green space, get a plant. There is no shortage of scientific studies backing this up. According to the Association of Psychological Science, plants in your office can increase productivity and your general happiness. Other studies suggest a little flora can improve your attention span, and even reduce stress (Source: Journal of Environmental Psychology; NCBI). Lack of a green thumb? Not an excuse. Here is a list of 15 indoor plants that are very hard to kill.
Feng Shui Your Office
Whether or not you subscribe to the spiritual principles of the ancient Chinese art of feng shui, bringing the advice into your office can at least provide some direction and clarity. Here are some feng shui practices you can take to work: a) Commanding position: Place your desk as far from the door as possible, and make sure there is something strong behind you (like a wall instead of a window). If there is a window behind you, mask it with art or a plant; b) Align yourself: Make sure you are not facing out the door when you are at your desk; c) Place your computer: Put your computer in the north or west area of your office for enhanced creativity. Can’t hurt to try, right? And if you rid the space of negative energy in the process, all the better!
Home Sweet Office
Some of us work from home because we want to, and others work from home because our businesses are just getting off the ground. Either way, your home office can be a creative asset with just a couple basic considerations.
Define the Space
Don’t sit in bed and work. Set up a desk and office space — even if it’s a small one — and collect the tools and materials you need nearby. Your brain will more efficiently switch into creative work-mode when you set the scene.
Don’t Stress About Clutter
Feng shui would tell you to keep your desk clear at all times, but a 2013 University of Minnesota study found that “disorder produces creativity.” Who knew!? Just look at Mark Twain’s desk: If anyone (teammates or spouses, included) gives you a hard time about it, simply quote Albert Einstein, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”
Imagination is needed in every industry from accounting to landscape design, CAD software development, retail and more. Whether you’re creating space for your employees, or nurturing your own, take the time to set up an environment that will draw the very best out of you.
For even more inspiration and insight, take the time to join us for Entrepreneurship That’s Built to Last, on Friday, June 20th, 2014. Erica Nicole – Founder and CEO of YFS Magazine, an accomplished serial entrepreneur, and an acclaimed entrepreneurship expert – will join a panel of five other experts to help you reach your audience, grow your business, and manage the work/life balance to build your dream.
The Grasshopper Team loves sharing tips, tricks, advice, and how-tos with entrepreneurs around the world. We’re always here to answer questions or just chat.
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