If your business is struggling with everything from productivity to innovation, the solution may be more simple reason that you think. According to the Harvard Business Review, the success of innovation and competitiveness relies on an openness to new ideas harnessed from creative energy. Unfortunately, most companies lack an innovation model or culture centered around creating new ideas.
The good news is creativity is like a muscle and can be exercised and conditioned to perform. Work together as a team to collaboratively boost your business’ creativity from the ground up. Here’s how to get started.
Enhance your workspace
The environment your team works in matters. However, don’t confuse lots of decor and eye candy like video games and murals on the walls as the creative touch you need. Simplifying the decor and focusing on incorporating natural woods, a few brightly colored wall hangings and open space to roam and think can foster collaboration and creativity. You could also consider ditching the traditional workspace all together and allow employees to work from home or meet at co-working spaces and coffee shops for meetings.
Create a sense of telepresence
When you work remotely, your team has more opportunity and space to explore their creativity on their own terms. And according to Inc., it can also make them massively more happy and productive.
To keep a virtual team on task, collaborate on projects, and stay in touch; create a sense of telepresence. A virtual office tool like the Virtual Office Desktop from 8×8 integrates a business softphone with options like instant messaging, video calling and web conferencing. You can also use it to stay in touch with co-workers via a private Facebook page, record calls and leave a visual voice mail. This way your team isn’t just creating alone, they’re collaborating virtually and working in the physical space that makes them the most creative whether at home or in a café.
Make project management visual
Managing projects either in an office or virtually can be cumbersome, sap creativity and often involves endless meetings and email chains. In other words, it’s pretty boring and the opposite of creative.
But there are lots of fun and visual tools on the market that can help keep your team productive and creative without staring at text and copy all day. A resource like Trello turns projects into visual cards where you can attach graphics, videos and notes and invite team members to collaborate on it virtually.
Shake up the routine
There is a reason some people call themselves morning people or night owls. They may find they are the most focused, creative and productive during certain periods of the day. It’s no longer necessary for many businesses to bother with traditional 9-to-5 work hours. Instead of dictating the work hours and flow, let your employees decide when they work best. Hold them accountable to their results and quality of their work, and not whether or not they show up by 9:00 a.m.
Throw a party
There is no rule that work can’t be fun with a field trip or party thrown into the mix. Zappos has the employee work culture, not to mention customer satisfaction component, down to a science. They recently started sending shipping containers around the country to host pop-up parties and help customers connect to their brand. It also happened to be a fun outing for employees with free tacos, music and even puppies. Whether you want to include your customer in on the fun or not, you can still host employee-only cocktail hours, an outing to an amusement park or retreat for your team. Whatever you decide to do, get them out of the office and let their creativity soar.