According to data from the Office for National Statistics, the number of people working from home doubled in 2020 to 8.4 million employees.
This led to a number of challenges to business as usual, including making it harder for employees to be creative. In fact, one study found that working from home led to a 15% decline in the ability of employees to be able to meet and brainstorm.
Now, as many businesses begin a new normal of hybrid working – a mix of working from the office and remotely – employers are wondering what can be done to unleash more creativity in the workforce. Particularly as creativity is the top skill companies need, according to research by LinkedIn.
Let’s take a look at the steps you can take to help encourage creative thinking from anywhere.
Schedule informal calls
Although your staff might not be together geographically, fostering a sense of community and collaboration will help keen everyone connected. Informal video calls are a great way to achieve this as they provide a safe space for everyone to feel at ease and be comfortable to share ideas. Keeping these sessions light-hearted and fun will help to lower the tension, release stress, and let the creativity flow.
Utilise new technology
Technology made working from home easier as it facilitated our ability to stay in touch and hold creative calls. As well as video conferencing software such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet, communication tools such as Slack and Miro let teams work together and get creative from anywhere. To maximise creativity among your team, ensure your business is utilising the best technology to support collaboration.
Try something different
Sometimes, assigning time to get creative can stifle creativity as it can feel forced. That’s why we recommend scheduling sessions where your team can take a break, switch off, and try something new. Liberating them from having to be creative can often have the opposite effect. Take virtual yoga for example. Research has shown that yoga helps foster creative energy as it encourages mindfulness and free thinking. Plus, virtual yoga classes are great for team building and helping generate a positive mindset.
Encourage team building
People are more likely to let their creative juices flow if they’re around people they feel comfortable with. That’s where team building exercises and days out come into their own. When team members bond, they find it easier to communicate and less judged when they put forward ideas. In other words, putting time aside for team building can help make people see things from a different perspective and encourage them to contribute, which helps everyone to be more creative.
It’s important to remember that creativity doesn’t stick to a 9-to-5 schedule. Some creative people work better in the morning, others late at night. Some have their best ideas in the shower, others whilst running in the rain. That’s why giving your team flexibility around when and where they work can free them up to get creative when it suits them to be most creative.
What has your business done to foster creativity in a hybrid working environment? Share your top tips with us here.