Designing a space for Creativity – natural light, plants, warm colours, background noise, diverse stimulus
Creativity is becoming more and more important in the workplace. With competition between companies always increasing, and technology replacing many traditional work tasks, creativity has become a highly valued employee skill. Mistakingly, people often think that creativity is something that you’re either born with or not. However, research shows that genetics is only responsible for approximately 30% of creativity, meaning that creativity is a moldable still that you can learn and increase with the right tools and resources.
One easy way of boosting your creativity is to design your office space using research-based, creativity boosting techniques. We’ve done this at our coworking space because many of our freelancers, consultants, startups and students need to think creatively on a daily basis. Here’s our top 3 tips on how to design your office space for creativity.
Natural light and greenery
Research shows that being exposed to natural light and greenery, such as indoor plants, can improve your wellbeing and creativity by 15%. When we were first designing the office space at Herd, this was one of our biggest challenges. We didn’t have many windows and we had lots of corners and corridors that got zero natural light. In order to lighten our space, we lightened the paint on both our walls and floor which meant that the sunlight we did have better reflected into the dark corners. We also removed the tinting from our windows, as well as added hanging, wall-mounted and pot plants everywhere we could.
Warm colours, such as red, orange and yellow, have been shown to increase workers’ sense of energy and happiness. Yellow in particular, has been shown to improve workers’ creativity however it’s advised to be used sparingly, otherwise it can evoke agitation. At Herd, our brand colours are navy and yellow and we chose these strategically so that we could use yellow to accent our office space. Not only do the yellow chairs and cushions brighten the space, but they also subtly boost coworkers’ creative juices.
It may seem counterintuitive, but research shows that the right amount of ambient background noise actually increases your creativity. Equating to the noise of a busy cafe, 70 decibels of background noise is “just enough of a distraction to force people to think more imaginatively, without breaking their focus so completely that they can’t think at all.” For us at Herd, having a silent workspace is eerie and we try to balance this by playing music softly in the background. It’s not as noisy as a cafe, but it’s just enough for the awkward silence to be gone and for people to still be able to concentrate and get their work done.
Finally, diverse stimuli has been shown to boost creativity. Diverse stimuli is a fancy way of saying changing the visuals around you – for example the things you keep on your desk or in your bookshelf. Changing the stimuli around you increases your creativity as these new and different objects evoke new and different thoughts in your brain. We do this ar Herd with our community gallery. Every 6 to 8 weeks we showcase a different artist’s work meaning that our members are subjected to different visual stimuli every time we switch artwork. This rotating gallery not only boosts creativity, but it also gives our local artists a platform to showcase their amazing work.
Designing your office space for creativity can be as simple yet have incredible effects. If you’d like to see how we’ve designed our space, or if you’d like some help to design yours, hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org