What is creativity? Creativity is the use of imagination or original ideas to create something and is extremely important in any work environment. Our world has changed and the workplace looks very different than it did just a couple of years ago when the majority of us commuted to and from the office every day. Many people have transitioned to remote working, while others are practicing a hybrid model of in-office and at-home. Creativity in the workplace has many benefits to both employers and employees. 

Employers are looking for team members who make their company the best out there, whether it be corporate banking, retail, marketing, or logistics. Creativity is essential for innovation and problem solving, which all companies aspire to bring out of their team members. It’s important to think outside the box, especially when there are budget constraints or new complications arise. Increased creativity means finding new solutions that improve productivity for everyone. Creativity is questioning the way things are done and coming up with new ways to make things better and more efficient. Companies who foster creativity amongst their employees see various positive outcomes for the individual as well. It can encourage collaboration, improve company culture, reduce absenteeism, and allow employees to feel more job satisfaction. 

Each company and its employees has a different objective and in some positions it can be difficult to see how to spark creative juices. We’re here to offer you some creative ideas to inspire creativity whether you’re in the office, at-home, or a combination of both. Encouraging creativity can mean so many things. Why not sign up for craft classes such as etching glass, needle felting, or try making a macrame keychain. We have compiled a list of many ways to increase creativity in the workplace, which can be crucial for employee and company growth. 

1.Inspire creativity through office spaces and design.

We all feel better and more productive when the space we are working in is comfortable and inspiring. If you are working in a traditional office, you can make the environment aesthetically pleasing so employees feel at ease. Use colors that reflect the mood of your company. Put up pictures on the wall or display artwork that gets people thinking and questioning. Make sure there is plenty of lighting and you can even throw in some interesting light fixtures. Nature is calming, so bringing in trees, plants, or flowers is not only nice to look at, but it also puts more oxygen into the atmosphere. You can even make a macrame plant hanger and put up those luscious beauties! Whether your employees are working from the office or at-home, encourage your employees to put up pictures, inspirational quotes, decorations, or artwork in their personal space. Take some time to do a show-and-tell your office space, to learn more about your co-workers and what’s important to them. For those employees who are working remotely, give them a budget to purchase what they need to make their home office as inspiring as can be. Regardless of where your employees are working, one of the most important ways to foster creativity is to make the physical workspace an inspiring design.

2.Promote creativity with a diverse and inclusive team environment.

A great way to foster creativity in the workplace is to hire a diverse team. When you create an environment that has representation from various walks of life, not only are you going to stimulate interesting conversations, your employees are going to have unique ways of interpreting and solving problems. People view the world differently depending on their background and culture, and when people share ideas, it permits us to question our own beliefs and think more creatively. In addition to having a diverse team, it’s also important to promote an inclusive environment. Employees should feel valued and respected in the workplace. Inclusive environments require mutual respect, clear communication, productive relationships, explicit understanding about expectations and critical self-reflection. When employees are allowed to express themselves freely, creativity in the workplace will soar. Cultivate an environment that rewards creative thinking and freedom of expression.

3.Encourage creativity through team-building activities.

Team-building activities can help foster creativity by encouraging participation, helping employees feel connected, allowing participants to feel more in control, and presenting a creative environment to work together and get to know each other. If you are able to meet up in person there are all types of activities you can do together to promote creativity. You can go on a walk in nature, do a scavenger hunt, find an escape room, do arts and crafts or have a potluck. If you have remote employees or a hybrid model, here are some virtual team building ideas to bring your employees closer together.If you are looking for something unique and stimulating for your team building activity, CraftJam offers some incredible private and corporate event ideas to offer your staff. You can also check out the workshop catalog with countless ideas to revitalize your employees creativity. By engaging your employees in inspiring team building activities, you are fostering an environment that promotes creativity and growth. Not only are CraftJam’s online craft classes a fun way to get creative, they also deliver science-based retention, wellness, and performance tools for organizations. These workshops improve mental health, attract and retain talent, strengthen relationships, and improve team performance. Engaging your staff in team building activities is a sure way to promote creativity.

4.Foster creativity by using digital tools.

Regardless if you are working in an office or at-home, many companies use some type of a team chat app such as Slack, WhatsApp, Teams, or Webex. You can use these tools to promote creativity. How, you might ask? You can create a channel for music where people can share artists, songs, or albums. Everyone likes music and it’s a great way to expand your horizons and get to know something new. Music can also make people more creative and put people in a great workflow – pun intended. In addition to music, you could also have a channel to discuss podcasts, movies, shows, plays, events, etc, but be careful not to say too much and warn people about spoiler alerts! And last, but no least, you could create a channel for positive vibes to share jokes, stories, or anything inspiring. An engaging work environment where there are places for open expression is a breeding ground for creativity and generating thoughts.

5.Nurture creativity through knowledge sharing and feedback.

There are so many talented and knowledgeable people in every company. Why not tap into those known and unknown skills and spread the wealth in the workplace. Ask your employees how they think they could help their fellow colleagues and then let them share what they know. Do you have an excel expert on site, a marketing guru, a video editing machine, or a fitness enthusiast? If someone has a particular skill, let them teach a class, give a workshop, or lead a meditation session. Not only will it give employees confidence and purpose, it will inspire creativity among those who are learning from the expert. Feedback is also an important aspect in any job. Everyone wants to know what they are doing well and how they can improve. Most companies give their employees some type of performance review, but it’s also equally important for employees to be able to provide feedback about their experiences at work. Promoting an environment with an open door policy makes everyone feel more welcome and comfortable expressing their ideas and opinions. Some people aren’t comfortable with providing direct feedback, so it’s a good idea to offer a way for people to make suggestions and comments anonymously, as many people wish to share their ideas privately. Listening to feedback is a stepping stone for companies to act on good ideas that employees may offer.

6.Elevate creativity with self-reflection.

As humans, life can be hard, and fun, and messy, and great, and insert any adjective here and it will probably fit the human experience. It’s so easy to get caught up in our day to day lives that we don’t stop and reflect on just what it is that we’re doing. This is particularly true in the workspace. Employees become so focused on their next project, or closing a deal, or meeting a deadline, that they forget about the significance of what they are achieving. Encourage employees to check-in with themselves weekly and allow some time for self-reflection. When we recognize our purpose within the company and know why we are important, it is motivating and makes us feel fulfilled. A great exercise is to have employees write a short paragraph or checklist of what they accomplished during the week. It’s a great habit for inspiration and promoting creativity. It’s also just as important to share company achievements with your staff and let them know their part in the success.

There are so many ways you can inspire creativity in the workplace! Creativity is thinking outside the box and coming up with new ways to confront a problem. Fostering curious and creative minds in the work setting is a way to make sure that your company remains competitive and ahead of the pack. Now it’s time to take action and encourage your employees to stay creative and inspired!