The Essential Spark

Share this post

Even if your business card doesn’t read “sculptor” or “novelist,” creativity is probably one of the most important traits in your work life.

On an organizational level, creativity is how companies innovate and stay ahead of rapid changes in industry. Agile companies that harness employee creativity tend to be more successful than those that get stuck in one way of doing things.

Creativity helps individuals problem-solve effectively. Thinking creatively is also a great way to stay engaged in your work. And expressing your creativity is linked to better physical and mental health.

Organizations can work hard to hire creative people, but setting up a culture where people feel free to engage in that creativity is equally important. Here are a few ways to support creativity in your company:

Foster an open and nonjudgmental organization. It’s great when employees are encouraged to bring new ideas and solutions to the table. But it’s even better when it’s clear that those ideas are being taken seriously. When employees know their ideas are valued, they are likely to keep contributing them.

Create communication channels between departments. Sometimes the best solutions come from outside the box—that is, the box of your own department. Outsiders often have a broader perspective on an issue than those who are deep inside the day-to-day details.

Design the office space to support creative work. Creativity can be the result of individual effort or collaboration. Having spaces where workers can go for privacy or to work together helps set the stage for new strategies.

How do you keep your own personal creativity sharp when the stress of everyday life threatens to wear you down?

Cultivate your interests. Unlike other resources, using your creativity doesn’t tend to deplete your reserves of it—just the opposite! So whether you knit, bake, paint, craft, or write, make time to enjoy the pursuits that nourish you.

Unplug and go outside. Given all of the other positive aspects of being in the outdoors, it’s not exactly a surprise that studies have shown that natural settings enhance creativity. Why? Researchers think it may have to do with the fact that when we spend time in nature, we usually disconnect from our ubiquitous technology.

Give yourself some downtime. Have you ever noticed that sometimes the solution to a problem that has been vexing you comes after you turn your attention to other things? Giving yourself a little time during the workday to just veg out and daydream can give your creativity a reboot.

Keep up on your health habits. It’s hard to be creative when you’re fatigued and your brain isn’t well-nourished. Get enough sleep every night, eat a healthy diet high in fruits and veggies, and move your body regularly.

Be curious. Taking an interest in ideas, people, and the world around you helps keep you connected. By staying actively engaged, you’ll absorb new ways of thinking and keep your creative juices flowing.

Miriam Wolf is the editor of The FruitGuys Magazine newsletter.
 

 

Subscribe to the WEEKLY BITE

* indicates required

 

Recent WorkLife articles:

Massage for migraines
August 2, 2018
Free online professional skills development can produce (big B) Benefits
July 31, 2018
Why bottle filling stations are better than bottled water
July 3, 2018
The dangers of presenteeism
June 26, 2018
Team chat apps take over the office
June 7, 2018
Getting out of the office can strengthen your team
May 29, 2018
All they want is a little r-e-s-p-e-c-t
May 24, 2018
Creating a mom-friendly office
May 17, 2018
5 tips for managing remote workers effectively
May 8, 2018
Declutter, clean, and decorate your way to a more productive workspace
May 1, 2018

More recent articles:

Tips on training for runners of any level
September 7, 2018
Food:
Winter and summer oranges
August 23, 2018
Farmer suicide is a public health threat and could hurt our food supply
August 14, 2018
Food:
How to make vegetarian sushi at home
August 7, 2018
Enjoy this prized Sonoma County apple—and help support the farmers who grow it
July 26, 2018
How to keep your favorite fruit fresh through the summer heat
July 19, 2018
Simple ways to keep your skin safe
July 17, 2018
Food:
Sink your teeth into summer stone fruit
July 10, 2018
Everything you need to stay safe from ticks
July 5, 2018
Zero Balancing may be the best bodywork you’ve never heard of
July 3, 2018

About Us

Our online magazine offers a taste of workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. It features recipes for easy, delicious work meals and tips on quick office workouts. It's also an opportunity to learn about our GoodWorks program, which helps those in need in our communities and supports small, sustainable farms.