Improving morale in any workplace is important, and building a more creative environment is one way you can focus on what matters: employee engagement.
In part one of this series, we talked about how things like ceiling height and cuteness can have significant effects on creativity and employee happiness. We also talked about how, like most creative writing teachers love to say, decorating your office is about, “showing, not telling” what your company’s mission is.
Let’s dive right into part two and cover four more tips for building a creativity-inducing environment at your office.
5. Say Farewell to Clutter
You’ve probably heard this before, so we won’t drill over your head about it: get rid of the piles of papers you don’t need. Remove the empty cardboard boxes that are lying around the office. Recycle the folders you don’t need and gather the extra pens that are strewn about your desk into a mug. Keep what you need; get rid of what you don’t.
This does wonders for improving morale in the workplace. You’ll thank us for it later.
6. Get Amazing Office Furniture
The kind of furniture you place around your office can drastically affect employee production and morale. One office may have employees sitting on crates as a symbol of the modest beginnings of the company, while another may invest in pricier ergonomic kneeling chairs to put employee wellness at its forefront.
Every company is different, but here are some interesting facts on creativity-inducing furniture:
One study that shows rounded furniture evokes stronger feelings of ‘pleasure’ than furniture with sharp corners. The resulting comfort is conducive for creative ideas.
Another study concludes that standing desks are not ideal for creative people because it results in a sense of urgency, while sitting allows the mind to wander.
While sitting may promote creativity, you have to sit up straight in order to feel confident, powerful and happy enough to come up with new ideas and implement them. So it’s probably worth investing in those pricier ergonomic chair options for your employees to stimulate the rights side of their brains.
Also, don’t forget to invest in furniture for the common areas: this will encourage employees to gather and exchange ideas in impromptu meetings.
7. Exposure to Natural Light
It’s all about la lumiere naturelle.
Exposure to natural light can significantly affect employees’ health by affecting mood, alertness and even metabolism. Natural light can be used as a form of, “underestimated and uncontrolled light therapy for bipolar depression,” according to a study by Benedetti in 2001.
Long exposure to dim or artificial light in a workplace — or anywhere — can lead to sleepiness and long-term stress. Natural light helps us stay relaxed and alert, boosting our creativity and improving morale in the process.
8. Incorporate Plants around the Office
Desk plants are proven to help employees better concentrate on tasks and prevent fatigue.
A study conducted by psychologists at Exeter University proved that office plants can increase employee productivity by 15%. One reason office plants can help happiness and productivity is, naturally, they help us breath.
Here are some plants that are perfect for the office:
- 12 Best Desk Plants for the Office
- Plants for a healthy office
- Plants that Essentially Grow on Their Own*
In Conclusion: keep it natural.
If there’s one trend we noticed while researching the topic of creativity-inducing work environments, it’s that humans feel most relaxed and creative in natural environments.
Not all offices are meant to promote creativity. If employees are expected to do speedy and accurate accounting work, then having large windows for daydreaming and fun, communal workspaces may not be optimal. But if your goal is to create an environment where employees are encouraged to design, brainstorm marketing campaigns, write articles etc., it might be time to invest in an office plant or two.
Click here to read part one of this series.