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Like it or not, your workspace is a place that you spend a great deal of time using—especially if you work from home. As such, it should be a place that not only inspires you to be more productive but allows you to pursue creative ways to solve work-related problems. Unfortunately, when constructing a home office space most people tend to emulate traditional office building standards like cubicles or separate, uninspiring offices for each employee. However, this arrangement is not always conducive to collaboration inspiration, or thinking outside the box, even in the traditional office setting.
This is why more small offices and large corporations are embracing the idea of creating workspaces that inspire people to be creative and interact with each other in positive ways. More and more business owners are beginning to understand that creative workspaces are not restricted to traditional creatives like artists and writers. Every industry, from academia to accounting and engineering, relies on creativity to spur productivity and problem solving. So, how can you ensure your own workspace inspires the same?
How Can I Make My Home Office More Productive or Creative?
Your home office is one of the most important spaces that inspire creativity within your home. As such, it’s time to throw out the old idea that your home office should exist as a room with bland white paint and bright fluorescent lighting and embrace it as a place where you feel happy and creative. Once you create something that is uniquely your own, you’ll see an increase in your creative flow as well as your productivity.
There are many ways to implement a creative workspace at home, so no two people’s home office will—or should—look the same. Still, we’ve found that starting with some creative workspace ideas can help you make your workspace truly your own. Consider the following additions to your space.
Scientific evidence abounds that suggests plants are a great addition to any workspace. Research has shown that exposure to plant life may increase memory, decrease anxiety levels, and boost moods. They may also increase productivity and creativity—people surrounded by plants and other natural elements are estimated to be 15% more creative than those without.
For many people, plants are the perfect addition to a creative workspace. There are many different plants out there capable of supplying almost any aesthetic benefit, and it is not hard to find just the right ones for your preference, setting, and level of natural light. A bonus is that you can grow the plants in pots that add even more interest to the décor of your workspace.
Art is another go-to for many people who are setting up creative workspaces. However, others are intimidated by art or don’t feel they know what acceptable art is or how to choose the right pieces. The first step is to remind yourself that the right art for you is whatever appeals to your style and makes you feel happy and creative. Fortunately, art doesn’t have to be expensive or from well-known artists. In fact, some of the best art comes at affordable prices from local artists, who often create unique art featuring your own community.
Other sources of art that you may not have thought of can include vinyl album covers of your favorite musician or group. Even art made from your favorite movies or tv shows can add to the vibe of your home office. In addition, you may be surprised at the wide variety of unique art that is available on Etsy to fit any taste and interest.
Photographs of Friends and Family
Because we live in a time where our photographs are created digitally and stored exclusively on mobile devices, in the cloud, or on social media, there has been a relative decrease in some of the most personal workspace décor available. Unfortunately, these trends have led to fewer and fewer pictures of friends and family members on office desks and walls, which truly takes a personal element out of the workspace.
When you are arranging your personal workspace to inspire creativity, nothing beats your own favorite photographs. Make time to print a few photographs or consider taking them to a printer that can print several—or even help you create a fun, unique product such as a collage or photo grouping. Feeling surrounded by fun images of your favorite people can help increase your productivity and get the creativity flowing.
An accent wall is one of the most tried-and-true creative office workspace ideas. Accent walls are walls that are painted or decorated in a different way that makes them stand out from more traditional parts of the office. This idea has been embraced by the interior design industry, and your home workspace is the perfect place to put this idea into practice.
When designing an accent wall for your home workspace, do not feel limited by what colors you should choose. Some people find that metallic paints jump start their creativity, others like energizing yellows and reds, while others appreciate serene greens and blues. Shelves, textured items such as fabric or tiles, or even brick and stone features can all be added to make an accent wall your own. Want a more interactive design? Try a chalk wall!
When it comes to a home office, one aspect many people overlook is the lighting. However, comfortable lighting can make all the difference between creative productivity and feeling trapped in a cubicle. The days of cold, harsh fluorescent lighting are over—it’s time to customize your home office lighting to meet your needs. In fact, it’s possible to get creative with your lighting, incorporating holiday lights, lava lamps, or even chandeliers in your home workspace.
The level of light in your workspace matters, as well. Depending on your line of work and personal preference, you may want soft lighting or brighter sources. Whichever you prefer, keep in mind that a recent study suggests that dimming the lights can promote creativity. Unless you require bright lighting to visualize important projects, when you want to get creative, perhaps it is time to turn the lights down and not up.
People have known for thousands of years that the sight and sound of water can be relaxing and bring on moods of insightfulness and reflection. Running water can also have a soothing effect on the mind and help bring on new ideas. Now, it’s possible to bring this concept into your home office and inspire creativity there. There are, in fact, many small water features created for inside spaces, leaving you with the task of choosing one that fits perfectly with the aesthetics of your workspace. These may include miniature fountains, small waterfalls, or even a fish tank.
Bonus tip! In Feng Shui water represents free flowing of ideas and communication. If you deal with a lot of different people, having a water fountain or a fish bowl on your desk will help your interactions with them. Water elements should be placed in the north corner of an office to promote concentration, focus, and intelligence.
Is Your Workspace Inhibiting Creativity?
These tips work together to point out the one reason your current workspace is inhibiting creativity instead of inspiring it—it is a workspace that you simply don’t feel comfortable in. If you’re not surrounded by things that are pleasing to you or feel trapped in a place where the lighting that hurts your eyes, your mind is focused on your discomfort. This focus can inhibit you from being free to explore new and innovative ideas.
Whether you are working in a home office or in an exterior workplace, make sure your creative workspace design is something you have truly made your own. For most people in corporate offices and at home, that includes addressing their own desks. To start, ask yourself:
“How can I make my desk a more creative space?”
Setting up a custom desk can be the key to unlocking your creativity. You may want to consider the aesthetic of the desk itself and switch up the materials if your work environment allows. Perhaps a big, wood mahogany desk is preferable to a modern, glass workstation. You can even order custom parts and put together a desk yourself in many office environments. Then, simply incorporate the elements listed above to create a one-of-a-kind, personal oasis in any office setting.
How Can Office Design Promote Creativity?
If you’re working within a traditional office setting, you might not have control over much beyond your own office or workspace area. Fortunately, when it comes to designing and implementing ways to encourage creativity withing an office setting, many businesses getting onboard. Corporations are finding that when they move away from more traditional office layouts, the productivity of their employees increases, as well as their happiness and well-being.
Below are some creative office workspace ideas that can boost creativity for the whole team.
A popular idea being embraced by some companies is an office setup known as “hot desking.” This design relies on the concept that no one has an assigned desk. Instead, there are open workspaces where everyone is free to set up and move around as they please. This is an especially popular setup for businesses who have people working remotely as much as they are in the office, as it saves on space. The open atmosphere also encourages collaboration among colleagues, as people can sit next to each other and get up and move around as needed. Even workplaces without remote workers may consider hot desking.
To get around the fact that employees still need to have a personal space, some companies have created locker systems. This way, employees still have a space to keep personal items despite the lack of assigned seating. Of course, the drawback is that you will need to keep your personalized creative elements in your home office or locker instead of the shared space. However, many offices that use hot desking are also beginning to incorporate plants, water, and creative lighting to boost creativity.
Open Office Space
In some industries, the idea that a quiet workspace leads to increased productivity might be a flawed one. When an office space feels unwelcoming and discourages employee interactions, no collaboration happens. Further, a lack of camaraderie between coworkers can severely impact productivity and creativity.
Many companies have designed open space workplaces where people feel more at home, welcomed, and free to chat with one other. In addition, many people feel they have more privacy when working in an open work environment that is a bit louder than a traditional office setting. They can discuss ideas with colleagues without feeling they are being listened in upon, or that they are annoying other people who are trying to work.
Exciting Breakout Rooms
Recently, breakout rooms became re-popularized as a component of virtual meetings, which allowed people to break off into virtual break out rooms. Companies are now starting to implement creative breakout rooms in their physical workplaces. Less formal than traditional office settings, employers can take any of the qualities of a creative workspace listed above and add them to a breakout room. The décor of these rooms can reflect the culture and values of your company, or even host innovative features like snack bars, foosball, chess, video games, or even a pool table.
The furniture in the breakout can also be made to fit the purpose and style of these rooms. Some companies have barstools and a lunch bar for casual snacks or beverages. Others might have hammocks or comfortable chairs, not unlike a lounge. Creativity comes from all forms of settings, and many employers have found that including a breakout room can help employees achieve higher levels of innovative thinking.
Boost Your Creativity with a Personalized Workspace
Whether you work from home or in an office building, setting up the right kind of workspace will help boost idea generation, creativity, and productivity. As a result, taking the time now to redesign your workspace can result in significant payoff down the road.
No one feels motivated in a cluttered, sad space. The key is being comfortable in your workspace and allowing it to reflect the good vibes, inspiration and other personal touches that are important to you.