Like many people during lockdown, I contemplated writing a book. I thought there must be more useful things I could put my brain to. I’m not sure I would cope well without work; the people; the drive; the determination; the success; the failures; the challenges. How do you occupy your mind without having something to think about? My challenge was – what are we going to do at work – post COVID.
How we interact with our clients, staff, suppliers have all changed. In some ways, I think it will continue to change as people realise that we don’t have to do things the way we have we have always done them. Our use and reliance upon the internet will continue to grow. We have all experienced the ‘Working on Teams’ and holding meetings on conference calls rather than in person. I know there is an effort by many to reimpose the ‘In person’ meetings upon us all (which I advocate), but I do really think that we will continue to rely more and more on technology and as the years go on, we will move away from the use of cars, trains, public transport, meeting in coffee houses etc and we will continue to find ways to speed business up. Emails, instead of letters in the post, was only the start of it!
As FMs and workplace managers contemplate how the workplace is going to emerge from the effects of the pandemic, we have to contemplate our environmental psychology and offer some practical and evidence-based solutions that support vastly changing working patterns. Why do we do, what we do, in the way that we do?
DESIGN & FUNCTION
When we put our minds to the ways people act, think and consider their working options, we realise that our ideas of design and function must change. The way that an office premises is built today is vastly different from that in the 1960’s, for instance. Why is that? It is due to the way we have developed our understanding of climate change, the perceptions relating to the environment, our use of materials, how people are utilised and best function when placed in a building together. I’m not saying that these things weren’t considered during the 1960’s, but it does highlight how far we have come in the past five or six decades.
We have to design the workplace for this decade and our futures. This means that emphasis has to be on creativity, change, ideas, contemplation. Therefore, the form of a building must follow its required function. The idea that industry’s designs are the template for its builders must be sent to the relic of our forgotten history. Our workplaces today, must be designed around and for the people using them. How many people use them? What are they used for? What furniture do they need? Do they need shower facilities, rest areas, room to discuss and create? Can people work in a hybrid fashion? What can be the capacity of the car park? Is the building energy efficient and kind to the environment?
Design must start from the requirements for the individuals and their organisation, and how information on that and use can be collated and used to devise a solution. We recommend including as many people as possible through surveys, consultation, feedback, and observation studies.
Being creative sounds wild and free. It sounds like all constraints have gone and there is little discipline. Maybe that’s right, but if we don’t apply creativity to our lives then nothing will change. We will do the same as we have always done. ‘Creating value’ should be based on the ‘five Cs’ of collaboration, compassion, creativity, curiosity, and courage. And that through that, we will be the change we want to see.
Applying creative thinking in your everyday work life will stop the drudgery and you will be able to unlock more meaningful results. Creativity in the workplace is for everyone regardless of their position. Focusing on the big picture, employees become emotionally invested in their work and less fearful of failure.
The three key benefits of fostering creativity in the workplace include:
1. Creativity Builds Better Teamwork
Creativity inspires employees to work with each other. The creative process encourages collaboration. Businesses need to encourage the mindset of continuous learning encouraging employees to seek new information, knowledge, and new ways to do things.
Many unique ideas come from just one person, but they are moulded by a team to become fully formed.
2. Creativity Improves the Ability to Attract and Retain Employees.
When creativity is encouraged, employees are more content with their jobs and are committed to remaining loyal to the company.
3. Creativity Increases Problem-Solving
With the ability to think creatively and outside of the box, employees are more likely to come up with unique and innovative solutions to obstacles they encounter. This eagerness to solve problems can lead to new ways to accomplish tasks and adds to a more efficiently run business.
As a manager or business owner in order to foster creativity you need to:
Never Say No
When in a brainstorming session, or an employee suggests a new idea, “no” sends a negative message. In finding ways to redirect the idea so it can become a “yes answer” will yield a more positive response. It is all too easy to turn down an idea because one thinks it won’t work, muffling the creative thinkers in the workplace resulting in stifled innovation, and employees that will be less likely to continue to dream up or even suggest new and smart solutions.
Diversify The Team
A variety of perspectives, insights and learning styles accelerate the problem-solving process. Creativity increases curiosity and drives the desire to learn. Feed creativity by asking questions, this builds ideas with help and insight from others. Having a clear understanding of strategies that encourage creativity and innovation, managers can foster growth among employees and teams.
At FAME Services we have a team ethic. Everything we do, everything we have achieved, everything we are going to do, is because of our team. The team of highly integrated people, who have free input in almost everything we do, is why we are here today.
If FAME Services can be of assistance to you today, please feel free to contact us.