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Hybrid Work

Creative workplace ideas: how to boost creativity at work


November 1, 2023


November 16, 2023

Creative personalities are a gold mine for success, especially for the future. 260%. This is how much the demand for creative people will grow in the upcoming years 1. Knowing this, coming up with creative workplace ideas is a must.

Every employer dreams about working with a team of employees who are resourceful, problem-solving, and innovative. Yet, certain factors, like design, technology, and equipment, can influence these valuable soft skills. In this article, we discuss ideas, approaches, and solutions to boost creativity at work and make your workforce bloom.

But you first need to understand what triggers a positive and inspiring work environment. Promoting diversity, enabling constant learning, and allowing room for error are, for instance, key approaches to a thriving workplace.

Organizations have a lot to lose when limiting employees with creative minds. People with this personality type have built the most successful companies in the world. A few examples include Walt Disney, Bryan Chesky (Airbnb), and Steve Jobs (Apple), just to name a few. You never know if you might have the next Steve Jobs on your team!

Here are 7 valuable tips for creating a work environment that fosters innovation and creativity. Because hybrid work is now the norm, we also share some hacks to help your staff boost their creative ideas when they work from home.

What characterizes a modern and thriving workplace?

The main pillars of the most positive and innovative work environments 

Creative workplaces go further than other companies in creating work environments that enhance innovation. To do so, they adopt concepts and follow visions to develop these aspects.

For instance, they understand that curiosity and learning are vital components to inspire new ideas and boost initiatives. Yet, they are aware that experiencing failure is inevitable to growth. They also embrace the motto, “If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together.”

Most of the core pillars of thriving workplaces, like the Google office in Zurich or the Selgas Cano Architecture office in Madrid, promote the following practices:

  • collaboration;
  • flexibility;
  • failure culture;
  • diversity;
  • innovation;
  • communication;
  • curiosity;
  • learning and training.

The positive outcomes of creating a thriving workplace

By promoting these aspects, these organizations encourage their teams to let their ideas flow and develop new concepts. But this is not the only advantage. These essential pillars for creativity are also the key ingredients to improve employee experience, well-being, productivity, corporate culture, talent attraction, retention, and growth.

Enhancing creativity in the workplace has a positive snowball effect that companies sometimes miss out on. It is not just about changing your office layout to make it more comfortable and enjoyable for team members. It also involves considering multiple aspects of your work environment and realizing their impact on people’s ability to perform their jobs successfully. The following creative workplace ideas should help give you a start.

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person holding lightbulb
Lightbulb representing innovation and creativity

What are the best creative workplace ideas and solutions to build a thriving work environment?

1. Agile office layout

If you haven’t done it yet, the first step is to design an office space that fulfills employees’ expectations. The way we work has changed. Many of us now work with a hybrid model, coming on-site only occasionally. This new way of working has led to a different use of the physical work setup.

Most workers don’t need or want to sit at a single desk all day while at the office. Instead,  they focus on catching up with their colleagues and working on group projects. How do you respond to this change? Flexibility is key, and an agile workspace layout is your best option.

By implementing a hot desking system and equipping your teams with desk booking software like deskbird, you meet their expectations while facilitating collaboration.

2. Biophilic design

Have you heard about biophilic design? It is the idea of bringing the outside in by adding natural elements to your workspace (organic colors and materials, plants, views of nature, etc.). It might sound like a “nice-to-have” aspect at first, but it is a priority to include in your strategy to create a thriving workplace. But don’t underestimate the power of biophilic design.

Connecting with nature through buildings, architecture, and decoration improves cognitive abilities. In a professional environment, this has a significant impact on employees’ capacity to be creative and resourceful. We highly recommend you read our article on biophilic office design to learn more about it and how to implement it in your office.

3. Diversity

Talking about enhancing a creative workplace involves mentioning the importance of diversity in the workplace. Having a diverse workforce is crucial for the development of innovative ideas.

Teams with employees from different backgrounds, sexes, and ages have a considerable advantage in creativity and problem-solving. Their experiences and ideas make them more resourceful than those with similar characteristics. Not only can they learn from each other, but they can also challenge each other. This is essential for developing original ideas and implementing them successfully.

As a CRE or facility manager, your role is to provide a workspace where everybody is included and can thrive without encountering issues related to their identity. It might involve incorporating collaborative workspaces in the office layout with inclusive equipment and technology so that employees can organize brainstorming sessions that everyone can attend and participate in.

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people working at table
Agile office layout

4. No-work zones

How many of us have been sitting in front of a blank page or screen, endlessly waiting for an idea to pop up? The problem is that creativity doesn’t happen on command. Quite often, it appears when we let our brain wander while doing things that make us feel good. Doing an activity that has nothing to do with what we are supposed to do significantly helps us come up with solutions and new ideas. 

You should consider this when designing your office by including “no-work” areas. In these spaces, people play games, read books, draw, do sports, or anything they like. They are stress-relief zones. Enabling your employees to switch off their brains can have a better impact on their creativity than forcing them to sit in front of a screen until they find the answer to your problem.

5. Digitalization

Technology and innovation are revolutionizing work environments and giving employees new opportunities for more creativity. These digital tools also enable team members to focus on meaningful tasks and leave the repetitive and less significant ones to robots. Therefore, they have more time to invent new concepts, techniques, processes, and ideas. Ultimately, workers become more efficient and productive. 

Moreover, technology empowers them to try unconventional approaches without jeopardizing the company. For example, introducing AI in the workplace allows employees to let the machine test their new ideas, simulate what would happen in real life, and see the potential downsides. Yet, succeeding in transforming your business digitally implies following some rules. You can read our article about why and how to enhance human-centered digital transformation.

6. In-person conferences and webinars

Do you have areas in your office where team members can attend conferences? Do you have the right equipment to enable people who can’t come on-site to follow the events online? Then, you should organize in-person seminars and webinars!

Another method to cultivate creativity is through inspiration. There are many ways to trigger this, such as inviting inspiring guests and holding events that employees can attend. They can learn more about new topics, which can spark new interests and motivate them to develop new skills.

The cherry on top is that these events foster team bonding and positive corporate culture while improving workplace connection.

7. Collective whiteboard 

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, collaboration is one of the critical pillars of most creative workplaces. A great way to nurture creativity through collaboration is to install a collective whiteboard. Similar to a visualization board, everyone can add their ideas. They don’t have to be all-thought and figured out. This is the core purpose of this board. 

You end up with a melting pot of brand-new ideas, and employees can see what their peers have in mind and help each other accomplish their goals. Some might trigger the interest of other colleagues and make them initiate a new team project. People from different departments can start discussing a new concept and work on it together. 

Not only is this great for enhancing creativity, but also for boosting interactions and inclusion. Thanks to technology, your board can be available physically in the office and virtually for your remote staff.

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Team working together
Team collaborating

How can hybrid teams benefit from these creative workplace ideas at home?

Home office space

When working remotely, employees should also be able to create a thriving workspace. Sharing some best practices with them on how to do this will be very helpful. Of course, some of the recommendations above do not apply to a home office space. Yet, some approaches can genuinely help your staff boost their creativity at home, too.

They should dedicate a specific area of their home to work. This space must be comfortable and answer their professional needs to enhance focus, creativity, and productivity. This could involve introducing ergonomic furniture, adding biophilic design, and having remote work technology.

Inspiration and support

You know the importance of nurturing your staff’s creativity, but do your team members realize how important this aspect is and how to boost it? They might also not notice how their environment can impact their mood and, therefore, their work. 

Having a conversation with your team about how to maintain a creative mind is essential. Share the tips mentioned above and support them in focusing on this aspect at home. If they have no idea how to create a dedicated workspace that triggers their motivation and productivity, you can even invite them to discuss it together. 

A great resource to find unlimited creative workplace ideas is Pinterest. This social media/search engine offers endless content to inspire your workers and show them different options for how to build a thriving home office space.

WFH allowance

Investing money in building a creative workplace is fantastic. But what happens when people work from home? If employees work outside of the office 50% of the time, this means that for half of the week, everything is done to boost their creative spirit. But on other days, it needs to be cultivated. 

Moreover, even when team members see the purpose of creating a thriving work environment at home, they might need financial support to do it.  A WFH allowance gives remote workers access to equipment and resources to build optimal conditions for work. This goes from using a high-speed internet connection to having an ergonomic desk and designing a workspace that fuels creativity, well-being, motivation, and productivity.

Hybrid work is the norm. Therefore, considering the home office and the on-site work environment equally is a must. A remote work stipend is a great idea, for example. It enables people to enjoy creative workplace initiatives both at the office and at home.

There is not one rule to make creativity blossom. It requires the combination of multiple factors, such as the working methods you promote in your office (collaboration, culture of failure, constant learning, etc.). The practices and actions you put in place also contribute to developing creative workplace ideas that encourage your staff to be more innovative and resourceful. Your office layout and design play a significant role in fostering this aspect of their identity, for example.

Working with employees with a visionary mindset is becoming more essential as the world of work evolves. Digitalization and artificial intelligence have become a source of worry for many. However, working with these new tools is inevitable to stay competitive and keep growing. But as always, the most successful companies will be the ones with the most creative people among their staff.

We hope this article gives you a starting point to encourage creativity and innovation by building a thriving workplace. Are you considering creating an agile office layout and implementing hot desking in your office as recommended? Request a free demo of the deskbird app to discover how we support hybrid teams and help you optimize your workspace!

1 Creative People (Are Set To) Rule The World, Experlio.

Creative workplace ideas: how to boost creativity at work

Paulyne Sombret

Paulyne is a highly respected expert in hybrid work. She's known for her writing on sustainability in the hybrid office, flexible work models, and employee experience. With a strong background in content and SEO, her work explores the exciting trends and latest news in the world of work.

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