How to Boost Creativity in the Workplace

Creativity is not limited. Often more than not there are people from various industries who insist they are “not creative” and that is usually followed up with the notion that they are “not artistic.” Surely they do go hand in hand. However in the broad spectrum of “the workplace,” creativity is useful in any industry and is not whatsoever limited to just art. Creativity is where ideas come about and then are crafted into something productive. No matter the type of workplace you are coming from, there are a few suggested ways of how to boost creativity in the workplace.

Add color to your office.

Imagine a dentist’s office. Immediate anxiety, right? If your working environment looks similar, consider adding some color, graphics, and warm colors. An office that consists of charts, numbers and white space restricts the mind and its creative capabilities. With the addition of color, people naturally thrive and are inspired by the atmosphere. 

Workplace Creativity

Wall decals are a simple and effective way to add a creative spark to the office.

Take a look at the emotions associated with the colors below and consider adding accents of different colors to your office space.

  • Red- Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, and determination as well as passion, desire, and love. It is a very emotionally intense color. It enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raises blood pressure. It has very high visibility, which is why stop signs, stoplights, and fire equipment are usually painted red. In heraldry, red is used to indicate courage. It is a color found in many national flags. It brings text and images to the foreground. Use it as an accent color to stimulate people to make quick decisions.
  • Orange- Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, the sunshine, and the tropics. It represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation. To the human eye, orange is a very hot color, so it gives the sensation of heat. It increases oxygen supply to the brain, produces an invigorating effect, and stimulates mental activity.
  • Green- Green is the color of nature. It symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility. It has strong emotional correspondence with safety. Dark green is also commonly associated with money. Green has great healing power. It is the most restful color for the human eye.
  • Blue- Blue is the color of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven.

It is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect. It is strongly associated with tranquility and calmness. In heraldry, blue is used to symbolize piety and sincerity.

Think Outside the Box

Use the “Hot Seat” method.

There are plenty of people who are disgusted by the thought of being attached to the same desk and chair every day. Let’s finally fix this. Employees are going to work better when they are comfortable and can sit (or even stand) somewhere that will help them be more productive. When people are having a mental block or need a change of scenery it is nice to have the option of moving to a different spot. Whether that is sitting at the conference table, sitting outside, pulling a chair up to a bookshelf or even sitting on the floor. People naturally thrive in environments that make them feel comfortable.

Make time for brainstorming.

This is where the magic happens- when one idea blossoms into the award-winner. Set aside time each day or week for everyone to come together and brainstorm. This is the time for people to voice ideas, opinions and general thoughts. To take advantage of this brainstorming opportunity, employees can catch up on each other’s projects and progress. With input and discussion, ideas are often unleashed that would have maybe been overlooked and can now be put into motion.

Be critical.

If people are not constructively critical of each other’s work, then that certain project may be missing out on its full potential. Throughout a project or assignment, it’s useful to schedule critiques or spontaneously initiate them if the individual working on the project is stuck. Some people are hesitant to give critiques to their peers and some take criticism to the heart, but it is an extremely useful tool when developing an idea or project. People who participate in critiques expose their work to numerous pairs of eyes, skill-sets, and backgrounds that can pick out details that were overlooked and suggest alternative ideas that will push the project in a positive direction.

Create a safe environment for questions.

Remember when you were in the third grade and every single kid’s hand was raised high and proud? Then as you approach higher levels of education, those hands slowly started to lose confidence and then eventually there were no more curious questions or answers for the teacher’s questions. After being told “no” for numerous years of education, and when kids discover embarrassment, the hands go down. So, naturally, the average person becomes nervous when they have a question and sit silently.

For people who are in leadership positions – it is important to not only encourage people to ask questions and voice their ideas but to avoid saying the big “no.” Even if the thought is absolutely absurd, it is important to take a moment to ponder it. Either work off of the idea and morph it into a realistic opportunity or try saying something such as “That is interesting, what brought you to that?” instead of initially writing it off. When employees develop this confidence to voice their ideas and questions, the team will develop as a whole.

Jacqui Holiday Headshot

Jacqui Holiday is a Digital Marketing Intern at Sparq Designs, a digital marketing agency in Pittsburgh. Learn more about her, here. If you have questions about our intern experience, contact the  Sparq team today.

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Q&A with Jacqui Holiday

Get to know one of Sparq’s fall interns, Jacqui Holiday! 

Q: Where do you attend school and what are you studying there?
A:I am attending Westminster College. I primarily study Media Art & Design and always include marketing & social media classes in my schedule as well.

Q: What’s your dream job?
A: My dream job would be creating trailers for movies. I love going to the movie theatre… just to watch the trailers! If Hollywood doesn’t pick me up then I would love to be a travel blogger/photographer. Getting paid to not only travel but share my experiences in those places would be awesome.

Q: At which store would you like to max-out your credit card?
A: I could definitely max-out my credit card at REI, especially when they have their “garage sales”. I’d head straight for Patagonia, North Face, then the wool socks. In that order.

Jacqui Holiday

Fall Intern Jacqui Holiday

Q: Which storybook/cartoon character do you relate to?
A: That’s a tough one- I’m not sure who I relate to the most, but my all-time favorite character is Sodapop from The Outsiders. “He has a finely drawn, sensitive face that somehow manages to be reckless and thoughtful at the same time. His eyes are dark brown— lively, dancing, recklessly laughing eyes that can be gentle and sympathetic one moment and blazing with anger the next. He has Dad’s eyes, but Soda is one of a kind. He can get drunk in a drag race or dancing without ever getting near alcohol. In our neighborhood it’s rare to find a kid who doesn’t drink once in a while. But Soda never touches a drop— he doesn’t need to. He gets drunk on just plain living. And he understands everybody.”

Q: What’s your favorite part of the digital marketing industry?
A: I love the fast-paced creative atmosphere. The different projects are so diverse so there’s never a dull moment. I like how the industry has a foundation of idea generation, and from there you can run with those ideas and execute them with any visual tool so there’s never a straight line you have to walk on. Living and working “out of the box” is a dream come true.

Q: What was your favorite TV show when growing up?
A: It’s a toss-up between Full House and That 70’s Show. I definitely spent way too much time watching those after school instead of doing my homework.

Q: Do you have any strange phobias/fears?
A: I don’t think I have any “strange” fears but I am deathly afraid of heights. Last summer I went to the top of the Eiffel Tower AND looked down, so I’ve put in my time. No more heights.

Q: What is the best thing you’ve crossed off your bucket list?
A: Last summer I spent a month in Europe. I traveled through seven different countries! I did, however, definitely catch the travel bug while I was there so my bucket list has just about doubled since then. I can’t wait to go back for more European adventures.

Q: NSYNC or Backstreet Boys?
A: NSYNC- I still have their Christmas album in my Itunes!

Q: How do you take your coffee?
A: I’ve actually come a long way with my coffee. I used to have to use an absurd amount of creamer, and just the other day I had my first cup of straight black. However my ideal cup of coffee would be Seattle’s Best with a splash of Hazelnut creamer.

Q: What is your favorite part of interning at Sparq?
A: Interning at Sparq has kicked off the first chapter of my life where I actually look forward to Monday mornings. It’s hard to pick just one favorite thing, but it’s a wonderful feeling to be in a place where your passion can truly come out. I love creativity and the impact it has on the world, and it’s awesome to be in an environment where everyone’s talents, ideas and creative vibes can thrive.

At Sparq Designs we thrive on our ability to create and foster relationships; relationships between brands and consumers, and the relationships between our clients and ourselves. Internships are one of the most valuable experiences a student can gain during their undergraduate studies. While classroom work is important, real experience can help get your foot in the door when you enter the workforce. Learn about internship opportunities at Sparq Designs here.