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Five Hacks That Spark Workplace Creativity
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Five Hacks That Spark Workplace Creativity

The workspaces of yesterday will not meet the needs of today. Even though most people think of creativity as a rare and inspired talent, the physical environment plays a vital role. Try to brainstorm and come up with the 'Big Idea' in a crowded space, with loud conversations and telephone sounds. The future of work is creativity and unleashing one's potential to the fullest demands a dynamic workspace.

Ensuring that your company culture is one that prioritizes employee wellbeing is a key way to keep workers driven. We can all agree that a 9 to 5 cubicle life leaves very less room for creativity. For people to come together to innovate, execute and drive the business forward, organizations need to blur the edges of what has traditionally been considered the workplace. Explore these hacks to fuel creativity:

Support multiple postures and work modes

Incorporate spaces that allow people to work in whatever posture works for them - lounging, standing, perching, walking or sitting upright. Similar to a healthy ecosystem in nature that is biodiverse, create a range of spaces that support different types of work that people can choose to work from, regardless of where they fit within the organization's hierarchy. Large team meetings, small group conversations and private moments to focus all support the modern worker's needs. One of the key ways to nurture creativity is to give employees a workplace that provides more effective ways to work.

Introduce Biophilia

Humans seek out connections to nature. They are drawn to places with biophilic design elements found to be building blocks of emotional, cognitive and physical well-being. Expressions of nature can be overt such as bringing in plants, wood or other natural elements, or they may be more nuanced such as patterns within fabric. This has had an impact on how people work and connect to the environment. People are increasingly looking for bespoke experiences at work and when organizations provide external influences, employees are able to express their true potential that sets them apart. (Also Read: 20 Things About Life I Wish I Had Known When I Was 20 Years Old )

Embrace Privacy

Why should leaders be afforded the opportunity to get away from the distractions of the open plan? The desire for openness with the human need for solitude is universal and needs to be addressed. Create spaces that support focused work as well as rejuvenation. According to Steelcase's Engagement and the Global Workplace Report, only 15 percent can concentrate easily and only 13 percent can work in teams without being interrupted. To solve complex problems and generate new ideas, collaboration is necessary but so is privacy. Therefore, there needs to be a balance between private spaces and ideation hubs. Too much interaction and not enough privacy is taking a toll on worker's creativity, engagement and well-being.

Encourage accountability

Entrepreneurs and intrapreneaurs completely disregard the conventional workplace way of working and thinking. These boundary pushing, out of the box and driven workers, need to be empowered in order to fully flourish. 71% strongly agree that being held accountable specifically helps them to innovate. The level to which employees' feels empowered comes directly from the top and eventually trickles down to the rest of the organization. So leaders must promote leadership to encourage organizational creativity.

Technology

When it comes to an organization's most valuable assets, technology is a game changer. Disrupting many business models and driving others to new levels, the influx of latest tech innovations will propel invention and generate more creativity. Now with the advance of IoT and progressive technology such as augmented reality and virtual reality, the way we work in the office in definitely changing. By continuously improving a process or product, creativity is enhanced and technology has contributed in improving many of these.

We've blurred the ways we work and when we work. It's time to blur the edges of what we've traditionally considered the workplace. Spaces that blend all the above disrupters, without compromising performance can inspire new ways of inventing and driving creativity.

This article is written by Praveen Rawal, Managing Director, Steelcase India and Southeast Asia. An MBA in Marketing, he possesses over 20 years of sales and management experience in the Asia Pacific region.

Image courtesy: Thinkstock

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