Six Ways to Improve Your Office’s Creative Thinking

Key takeaways:

  • Creative thinking is critical for problem-solving in unique situations
  • An inability to adapt and think creatively can cost you clients and referrals
  • There are simple ways to strengthen your office’s creative thinking

If you have a problem to solve, you need to be able to think creatively to formulate the best possible solution.

This is especially true when it comes to real estate. Each buyer or seller presents a unique situation and an agent must be able to adapt quickly. Failure to adapt usually means an unhappy client, which in turn means no referral. Not a great way to earn a positive reputation in the community.

In 2010, Newsweek published the results from a study into creativity. The study shows that since 1990, while IQ scores may be increasing, creativity has been inching downward. Further research into the decline shows that people in general are less creative as they get older.

Now more than ever, creative thinking is crucial to productivity. Think of your career. Has there ever been a time when your ‘job title’ hasn’t evolved to adapt to changes in your industry? Have you had to think ‘outside of the box’ to get an edge over your competition?

If you answered those questions with anything other than “every day,” then you have some catching up to do.

Improve Your Office’s Creative Thinking to Drive Productivity

You don’t have to be an artist or a designer to be a creative thinker. There are plenty of things you can do to strengthen your office’s creative thinking to develop fresh solutions at a more efficient pace.

Get Outside

We (finally) have some warm Ohio weather on the horizon to enjoy. Fresh air and sunlight help to boost moods and reduce stress, so encourage your team to brainstorm ideas while taking a walk around the building, or finish up that proposal with a laptop sitting under a tree.

This contributes to the overall wellness of your workers, which helps foster a happy working environment. When your workers are happy, they increase productivity. That may be old news, and it bears repeating.

Start Early

A 2014 study that assessed the creative habits of marketing and advertising pros found that 72% of respondents said they felt at their most creative in the morning. It’s not a shock that productivity and creativity are at their highest in the morning, so take advantage of that. Schedule your brainstorming sessions and creative thinking meetings for those peak hours.

Pursue New Ideas/Technologies

With how much technology continues to evolve, thus changing our lives, the idea of “doing things the way they’ve always been done” is inherently flawed. It’s good to stick to your principles when it comes to work ethic, but it’s imperative to always be researching, mastering, and employing the newest ideas out there.

Look at how much listings have changed in recent years. They used to be a single picture with a short description. Then photo galleries with high-definition images became the industry standard. Now, those are being passed over for listings with video tours and 3D ocular tours. As the customer base gets more into digital/online user experiences, not embracing the new technologies is the best way to get left in the dust.

Redesign the Office Space

Just the thought of a stuffy office with cubicle walls and fluorescent lighting is enough to give us a headache. Office design experts now say that the open-plan office layout that was popular in the ‘90s has been passed over for more communal ecosystem with shared workspaces.

Some of the key spaces can include:

Commons – Open, social space that encourages organic idea generation and sharing

Duo Studio – Shared space for either individual or paired collaboration; ideal for quick reviews and rapid production

Respite Area – Private space that gives employees a place to take advantage of a moment of solitude to mull over an idea before sharing with the group, or to just relax

Set Clear Deadlines

Don’t mistake relaxation with lethargy. Having too many open-ended deadlines are a sure way to miss targets, so make sure everything has a clear and reasonable deadline that’s achievable. Setting impossible deadlines creates anxiety and frustration, which shuts down creativity and disrupts productivity.

On the other hand, a reasonable deadline applies just the right amount of internal pressure that can encourage the mind to look at a problem from a different perspective.

Stick with the Classics

Odds are, your office isn’t a very large space, so it’s only natural to put on the radio to create a work-friendly. But before you tune to the Top 40 station, consider classical music.

A 2015 study showed that listening to classical music could positively affect creativity. Researchers found that classical music improved dopamine secretion and synaptic transmission in participants. It can even boost memory and learning ability. From a focus perspective, music with familiar lyrics can sometimes distract one’s train of thought.

We recommend anything that doesn’t include a harpsichord. They’re just…grating.

If classics get too dull, streaming music services usually have a nice mix of instrumental genres, like acoustic or hip-hop. Just steer clear of any Musak or other similar elevator/retail background music.