Skip to Main Content

6 Simple Steps to Create an Office that Inspires Creativity

Whether you’re working from home or running a larger office, it’s always important to make creativity a centerpiece of any workplace culture. In this article, we go over a few steps you can take to ensure that a sense of wonder and play are fully integrated into your office every day.

As important as productivity is in the office, it means almost nothing if there’s a lack of new and inspiring ideas. That’s why building an office space that’s conducive to both efficiency and creativity is one of the fine lines that all workplaces have to walk in order to optimize results—while workers should always focused on the task at hand, it’s also important that they have the time and space they need to challenge the status quo and follow their impulse. Here, we include a simple list of steps that innovative businesses all over the world are taking to foster a sense of creative freedom in their offices. It’s possible to incorporate these core concepts into any office, whether you’re overseeing a large office or working from the solitude of home:

Adorn your space

Even though the Covid-19 epidemic has in some respects calmed down, many of us continue to work remotely. For those of us that do, it’s vital that our workspaces challenge us to think in new and different ways. To do that, try to paint your walls an exciting color, or hang some art you live in a place where you can see it. When you need to take a second to remove yourself from your work, a glance at something that brings you joy will remind you why you work in the first place. And for those of us who are back to sharing an office with others, this kind of personal decoration will set an exciting precedent for the people around you—if you can be creative in designing your workspace, so can they.

Create communal spaces

We’ve all read and heard about the ways in which cubicles can make people feel isolated from their co-workers: movies where the main character longs to talk to someone on the other side of the floor but doesn’t know how, books in which office workers feel their lives slipping away from them, and TV shows about water cooler dynamics all hold a central place in American pop culture. By literally walling us off from each other, the architecture of cubicle office spaces can stifle the kind of cross-pollination needed to develop new ideas. Today, as the cultural stagnation of Covid-19 slowly thaws, it’s becoming clear that idea generation is largely dependent on the feedback and encouragement we get from our peers—without that kind of support, it’s hard to know what is possible.
That’s why building a communal space is so critical for cultivating creativity in the workplace. By having a central space in which people from different departments can come together and talk freely about their work, exciting and unexpected results will be generated in the office. When an engineer sits next to a content generator, for instance, their convergence of ideas could give way to an entirely unique perspective about the company and the work at hand.
Though they’re singularly important to a generative workplace, communal spaces can take any number of forms: a long conference table in the middle of an open room, a lounge space where people can freely sit and socialize, and a Zoom room in which employees can share a “cocktail hour” are all viable homes for boundary-defying discussions. The key to each of these spaces is a literal sense of openness, which should be reflected in the expansiveness of the conversation. By offering a counterpoint to the confines of the traditional workplace, employees are given the chance to embrace and expand on their dreams.

Provide creative tools

Just as a painter would be nothing without brushes, a pallet and canvas, office workers need to have tools if they are to follow their creative impulses. Though it may sound crazy, having markers and crayons readily accessible around your traditional or home office can do a lot to foster new ideas, even if they’re only rarely used. In fact, the mere presence of these objects serves to remind workers (or you!) that creative thought and expression are valued, thus shifting the workplace paradigm in a more trailblazing direction.

Allow for personal expression

People only feel comfortable expressing new ideas if they feel like they can truly be themselves in the presence of others. If employees have the chance to furnish or decorate their workspaces, a clear precedent will be set that could extend to other facets of the workplace. What’s more, a budget as small as $50 devoted to each worker’s personalization of their space will let them know that creativity and individuality are not just tolerated in the workplace—they’re valuable assets. With a bit of money to sculpt their space, workers will have everything they need to start feeling comfortable in their own skin while they’re at work. This, in turn, will lead to the kind of office-wide creative freedom to which every company aspires.
If, on the other hand, you’re working from home, taking the time to make your office space feel comfortable and homey will give you the permission you need to think freely throughout the workday. Though you may want to create a clear work/play division in the context of your home, you shouldn’t be afraid to include some objects that bring you a sense of wonderment while you’re trying to focus on the task at hand.

Integrate Nature

A sterile or clinical work environment will almost inevitably make people feel restricted to a small range of possibilities. By maximizing natural light in the space, featuring a wide and healthy array of plants, and encouraging regular walks outside, you’ll foster a more holistic workplace in which people are frequently reminded of their humanity. Rather than seeing themselves as cogs in a machine that are expected to perform in a rigid and predictable fashion, employees are given a constant reminder that they are living, breathing beings whose bodies and minds are in constant flux—their work, they’ll soon discover, can (and in many ways should) reflect this organic dynamism. And if you’re working from home, it’s just as important to integrate this kind of holistic practice into your everyday routine—without it, you’ll have trouble thinking outside the box, both literally and metaphorically.

Hold office-wide events

Some of the most exciting ideas to emerge from successful companies were originally conceived and refined during “Hackathons.” These company-wide events are specifically designed to give employees the chance to push the envelope by putting company resources behind their newest ideas for a period of time, typically between 24 and 72 hours. And though some highly popular projects such as GroupMe have come directly out of Hackathons, what’s most important is that employees are given the chance to devise and develop new ideas in the context of work. These kinds of events send a clear message to employees—their creativity is valued, and they should take pride in their original ideas. And even though a Hackathon may not be up your company’s alley, there are plenty of equivalent events that feed into the central mission of the company wile bringing a sense of joy and adventure to all participants. The possibilities are endless!

Whether you work from home or run a conventional office space, there are so many ways to cultivate a sense of creativity in your office. As with all forms of creative expression, though, the emergence of this kind of thought requires some degree of effort and intentionality. So we recommend you take some time to decide which of our solutions you want to apply to your daily work life before going out and putting them into practice. Once you’ve figured out how you can be creative, you’ll find yourself opening up to new possibilities.

On new furniture, exclusive sales and more.

Thank You!