How to Build a Creative Office without Breaking the Bank
When looking online for some great ways to get creativity flowing in your office, it’s easy to get quickly inspired, but it’s also easy to get frustrated at how much it looks like creativity will cost you these days.
The Internet is full of high-resolution photo collections of the world’s coolest office spaces and descriptions of how those designs foster creativity from their employees. But not everyone can afford smoked glass walls, commissioned artwork, and the eye of an avant-garde architect. How are managers “trapped” in a standard office supposed to inspire their employees?
It’s not as hard, or as expensive, as you might believe. All your employees need from you is the freedom to choose how to be creative.
Jesse Friedman at Smashing Magazine describes how creative leadership, not light fixtures and LED walls, can go a long way toward inspiring happy and productive workers. Friedman’s only requirement is having the right people on board.
If you have the right people on your team, they shouldn’t need to be managed — they need leadership. They need someone to pull them to an answer, not push them. If you trust your team, they’ll come through for you. However, they’ll do a much better job of it if they enjoy their work and are trusted to work openly when they want to.
Once your teams have been given the freedom to be creative, they’re going to need a reason to keep being creative. Hongkiat.com’s Michael Poh points out the obvious: Creativity certainly must be rewarded. But he also mentions something that is often left out of countless recommendations for inspiring creativity; the actual implementation of the ideas that come from that creativity can mean just as much to an employee as any financial reward.
Poh recommends allowing employees the option to be anonymously and confidentially creative. Creative types are often assumed to be extroverted personalities who are eager to share their ideas with the rest of the world, but this is not always the case.
There’s never going to be a single path to fostering a creative environment, but it’s nice to see some alternatives to spending a fortune on an office space that will undoubtedly one day be out of fashion—something that will never happen to happy and empowered employees.