If you’re planning an office revamp, the way you plan and decorate your space can have a huge impact on the level of creativity it encourages. From the colour of the walls to the view, even the soundtrack playing can help or hinder the flow of creativity. Here are some pointers to help get those creative juices flowing:
Opt for higher ceilings
According to a study by Meyers-Levy and Zhu, higher ceilings are associated with feelings of freedom and a more abstract and relational thinking style. This means that higher ceilings are more conducive to creative thinking. If you think how low ceilings can sometimes feel oppressive, it’s perhaps not surprising that low ceiling heights may hinder creative processes.
Go for dim lighting
Interestingly, research has also shown that dim lighting is supportive of creative thinking and ideas-generation, whereas brighter lighting is better for analytical and evaluative thinking. Installing reactive lighting that can be dimmed on demand is a good way to ensure your workplace can be adapted to different types of task.
Introduce natural and interesting surroundings
We’ve covered Biophilia previously in this blog – the embracing of nature in interior design. Nature not only stimulates creativity but also aids productivity and emotional wellbeing. It’s not a new concept – the Romantic poets were extolling the healing qualities of nature back in the 1800s. More recently, a research study found that immersing a group of people in nature for three days resulted in boosting their creative problem-solving by 50 percent.
Installing windows with views on to natural surroundings can work wonders for restoring the mind and promoting creativity. If your workplace is located in a city-centre however, finding a picturesque view of nature might be easier said than done. In this instance, just having a view of some trees or interesting architecture can be an alternative way of breaking up the cityscape. Dotting plants around your office is an easy way to introduce nature too, or you could go one step further and install a living wall. You can even rent plants if you aren’t so green-fingered!
Choose your colours carefully
The colour of your environment can also have a big impact on your creativity. Studies have shown that the colour blue has the most beneficial influence on creative thinking, with green also being conducive for creative activities. In contrast, red has been found to be better for tasks that require attention to detail.
Ditch the tidy desk policy
Although many offices are designed as minimalist, orderly spaces, it’s often suggested that a messy environment is more conducive to being creative. As Einstein himself said, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, then what are we to think of an empty desk?”
In a study by researchers at Northwestern University, they discovered that people in messy rooms drew more creativity and were quicker at solving creative problems. The implication is that the current trend for hotdesking, whereby employees can hop on to an empty desk when needed rather than have a permanent space, may be damaging to creativity. By not having your own desk, you are denying employees their own personal space and a desk where they can make a mess and get creative. So, before you moan about someone’s untidiness, perhaps they’re just being creative…
Select your soundtrack
The findings of one study show that moderate ambient noise of around 70 dB helps to boost creativity. This is perhaps why many people choose to do their work sat in a coffee shop, where the gentle hubbub surrounding them helps stimulate their creativity. If you don’t fancy dragging your laptop down to the nearest Starbucks, you can always create your own ambience with an app such as Hipstersound or Coffitivity where you can choose from a Parisian coffee shop or a Brazilian bistro to be the soundtrack to your working day.
If you’re looking for a design & build company to turn your workplace into a hive of creativity, contact Apollo Interiors to discuss your needs.