Designing a Work Environment to Spark Creativity
As a small business owner, you shouldn’t live with an office that drains your energy. With a few simple steps, you can design an office space that sparks your creativity instead of one that gives you the office blues. When creating your office space, consider these ideas:
Incorporate colors that inspire you.
There’s a reason businesses pay close attention to the colors that represent their brand. Colors evoke emotions, and using the knowledge of color theory can help you turn a cookie-cutter office into one created specifically for your personality. Think about what sparks your creativity. Do you need a calm and relaxing space? If so, cool colors like green, blue and purple will strike your fancy. Do you need excitement and passion to create? Your ideal colors will be warm, like red, orange and yellow. Once you’ve chosen your best colors, try these simple design strategies.
- Use flowers to infuse your office with color.
- Paint an accent wall.
- Choose colorful desk accessories, pens or paper to enhance your creative flow.
Build motivation into your office design.
If you find yourself searching for motivation, you’re not alone. Researchers continuously study how motivation works in the brain and what psychological influences keep us motivated. Here are some things they’ve learned so far. For instance, neuropsychologists have identified obstacles that can demotivate us:
- When we perceive our work as something we have to do,
- When our tasks don’t align with our values,
- Or when we doubt our ability to complete a specific task.
Allowing these attitudes to fester challenges our ability to stay creative in our business, but there are things we can do to turn them around. And design can help facilitate that process.
- Create a gallery wall of photos that reminds you why you started your business.
- Make your own wallpaper using words that state your values.
- Frame a decorative list of your achievements to remember that hard work pays off.
Decorate to de-stress.
Stress can be useful or dangerous, depending upon how it’s managed. The weight of an impending deadline can jump-start your creative motor. But the constant pressure of long hours might lead to the type of chronic stress that results in physical or mental illness – like fatigue, irritability, depression or high blood pressure. Healthy stress management is vital to staying creative and fulfilled at work, and there are ways your office design can help facilitate moments of de-stressing.
- Buy a plant. Research has shown plants help lower blood pressure and improve attentiveness and reaction time, among many other benefits. Perhaps the positive vibes stem from plants’ ability to clean our air and facilitate better breathing (also a stress management tool). Here’s a list of plants that have what it takes to survive an office environment.
- Get your desk organized. Clutter has been shown to slow down your brain’s ability to process information – leaving you frustrated. You can decorate and de-clutter with a stylish desk organizer.
- Buy a new lamp. There’s a reason everyone fights for a window office. Natural light is better for our moods and our work. But just in case your office isn’t close to a window, some new lamps help mimic daylight. You can also turn off your overhead lights for a few hours a day and rely on desk lamps with softer light to reduce the effects of fluorescent lighting.
Incorporating all of these ideas at one time might prove overwhelming and perhaps even counterproductive. Start with one or two and see how they enhance your mood. The most crucial step is to design your office with your personality and creative needs in mind!