Procurement · 29 July 2016

Four tips to help inspire creativity in your office

Google headquarters are notoriously "creative"
Google’s headquarters are notoriously “quirky”

The office of today is a world away from the cubicled creativity vacuums of the twentieth century.

While a “quirky” office may not be for everyone, there are many ways in which you can boost creativity – everything from thoughtful design tweaks to working policy could help.

Keep creativity in mind with office design

There are all sorts of ways you can design an office to help foster creativity. Some might choose to attack it directly, providing different zones to suit different tasks in the workplace.

Quiet working areas, soundproof solo-working booths, standing desks or even more-quirky ‘creative areas’ can all potentially help. Google are perhaps the best example of this – although the jury is still out as to whether their iconic slides, ‘Granny Flats’ and ‘Lala Libraries’ are impressive novelties or genuinely beneficial.

A more indirect way would be to consider ‘office branding’ – where you assess everything from company values to colour schemes, and try to reflect these in your office design. This way you create a more subtly inspiring place to work, where everyone can live and breathe your company.

Get out of the office – Part One

One for employers and employees alike: It may seem counterproductive, but a great way to boost creativity and productivity in the office, is for people to get out of the office. A change of scenery can work wonders – this is just an extension of the ‘zoning’ idea above. For example, why not try a walking meeting? It could both boost your creativity and your health!

The most obvious choice though is at lunchtime. Whether it’s a trip to a café or simply taking your lunch out to enjoy in the sun, getting out of the office on your breaks can be a real creativity booster. Even a five-minute walk can help. If you need a little bit of inspiration, we’ve also got some advice on the best lunch spots in London – so whether you’re based in Soho or Shoreditch – there will be a place recommended for you.

Get out of the office – Part Two

Another way in which you can inspire creativity is to encourage flexible working. Don’t just take our word for it research last year showed a (small) majority of HR experts believe flexible working is a key way to keep everyone thinking innovatively. Once again, you can provide employees with a change of scenery, which is often stimulating, and also offers them a different environment, one that is perhaps better suited to certain tasks.

Employee rights concerning flexible working are becoming increasingly facilitating – so it pays to know your stuff: Employees who have been working for a company for more than 26 weeks have the right to request flexible working. Their employer then has three months in which to give it appropriate consideration and respond.

Share your space

One final way to boost creativity is to rent out your spare desks. In addition to the financial benefits (desks can be let out for several hundred pounds per month in popular locations), new faces can also boost the buzz in your office. You never know, they might even be able to contribute some ideas – or even skills – your business requires. It is co-working after all.

Of course it isn’t for everyone, so make sure your potential desk-renters aren’t competitors and that you think you will work together. Also ensure you’re happy to share your secure networks. However, for many, office sharing (alongside, or instead of, a number of the other ideas on this list) could be just the thing to transform your office into a more creative place.

Read Peter’s five tips on how to boost workplace productivity over the summer months.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Peter Ames is the head of strategy for Office Genie, the first desk space marketplace in the UK – under the umbrella of Genie Ventures (a digital marketing and e-commerce company). The site is responsible for letting out millions of pounds worth of space to the country's small businesses and freelancers.

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