Workplace creativity is most commonly associated with the creative industries, those involved in design, invention and the arts, but absolutely every business can benefit from a workforce that knows how to think and work in creative ways.
Creative thinking helps individuals find solutions to business problems, whether it be coming up with a new product, overcoming a strategic issue or developing efficient ways to manage a heavy workload.
But how can a business encourage and untap the creative potential of its employees?
Well, scientific research shows that one of the most subtle and effective ways to enhance creativity in the workplace is to give employees a colourful environment to work in.
The study, conducted by professors at the University of British Columbia Business School, found that although a colourful environment in general was beneficial in sparking creative thinking, red and blue specifically were the most effective.
Red was shown to enhance attention to detail, making individuals more alert, focussed and cautious which is great for handling complex tasks and decision making.
Blue seemed better suited to employees whose performance relied on cool, calm and creative thinking, which is ideal for those in a fast-paced business or when dealing with strategic or creative tasks like marketing and design.
However, their findings stress the importance of colour balance and harmony; sticking employees in a completely blue environment can be depressing while a strictly red one can contribute to stress.
So how can you achieve the right tone for your office and get the best from your employees?
Rather than go all out to cram an office with colour, it’s best to add splashes of it here and there with furniture and accessories.
Here are a just few ways that you can incorporate colour into your office and maximise creativity:
Partitions are easy to install and by using them to divide workstations or departmental zones, you can tailor the colours to suit the tasks employees within them are expected to carry out.
Ergonomic chairs give you the opportunity to add colour to an office and assure employee comfort at the same time. You can use them to create a uniform look throughout your various work spaces, or mix and match them for a fun, contemporary feel.
Office cabinets, pedestals, shelves or lockers serve a functional purpose but that doesn’t mean they have to be dull. Giving employees access to colourful storage will contribute to a clutter free and potentially more creative office.
If you don’t want the expense of changing your office equipment or furniture, artwork is a simple way of introducing colour.
Drab walls can easily be brightened up with ready-made or bespoke prints, paintings or inspirational photography. Opt for something abstract or thought-provoking to generate conversation and trigger creative ideas.
For more information or advice, contact the friendly, workspace design and equipment specialists at Planscape, who will don their colourful thinking caps and help you plan and kit out your new, colourful and creative offices.