By Becky Morris

In today’s business world, creativity is a crucial factor in the success of a business. Without creative and innovative thinking amongst the staff, businesses would lack the originality and uniqueness that allows businesses to stand out from their competitors. There would be a lack of product development, advertising and marketing, as well as a lack of development within the business internally.

We have put together a list of our top tips to help boost office creativity on a budget.

1. Play Music

There have been many studies conducted on the effects of music and how it can influence creativity, productivity and mental well being. It has been proven that listening to music can improve people’s mood, which in turn has an effect on their creativity as they have increased feelings of motivation. Listening to music in the office at a moderate noise level is said to increase focus, however if the music is loud and distracting it can have the opposite effect. So we recommend favoring a mellow sound at a moderate noise level.

2. Listen to and Encourage Ideas from Your Employees

Employees that feel like they need to ask for permission to share their thoughts and ideas are less likely to. Ensure you encourage your staff by asking for their opinion and rewarding those that give their ideas. The more staff involved in sharing ideas, the more great ideas you’ll have to implement into your business.

3. Get Out of the Office

Being in the same environment day in, day out can be a mental block on a person’s inspiration. We recommend having occasional meetings out of the office; changing location and being in a new environment can help spark brain waves amongst your team. Allow your employees to work other places than just the office; this will boost their creativity levels but can also secure their loyalty to your business with the offer of additional trust and responsibility. Employees also often benefit from changing their routines around now and then.

4. Ditch the Seating Plan

Open plan offices can often increase creativity, allowing employees to communicate with each other and share ideas. During a recent workplace study, it was found that 65% of participants said that they felt most creative when they were in a more private environment. Providing a more private space for employees can lead to lower anxiety levels, higher focus and increased productivity levels.

Letting your employees move around the office allows them to talk to new people and mix with people they wouldn’t normally socialize with. This means they can share thoughts and provoke new ideas – they may even teach each other a thing or two.

5. Add Plants

A study produced by the University of Exeter found that creativity can be “increased by 45% through improving the psychological well-being and design of a working environment.” Adding a few green plants to the office space can have a massive impact on creativity levels, as well as having many other benefits including less employee sickness days and a calmer work environment. They don’t have to be expensive and are easy to maintain. Nominate an employee or two to be in charge of watering the plants each day (or even better, buy artificial ones!).

6. Create a Positive Working Environment

We understand that sometimes, office environments need to be more serious, but being too strict with employees can hinder their creativity and motivation. They are less likely to share their thoughts and ideas with their co-workers, let alone management. ‘Dress-down Fridays’ are a great idea to make your staff feel more relaxed and comfortable at work – or you can get involved in charity and events like ‘Wear Pajamas to Work Day’ on the 16th April each year (or make your own theme days!).

7. Get the Right Furniture

With standing desks becoming increasingly popular, it is now apparent that they are actually a good way to help boost an employee’s energy and brain power through increased blood flow. Whilst we are stood up or being active, we stimulate a larger proportion of our brain, meaning we are more alert and in turn more creative.