Your Guide to Improving Your Creativity at Work

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published December 12, 2019

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Creativity is an important aspect of many jobs and workplaces. Whether you are in the sales force or are part of a start-up company, there are a number of advantages that come from being able to hone in on your creativity in a meaningful and productive way. Even if you aren’t part of a traditionally creative industry like the arts, improving your creativity at work can still offer a number of benefits such as encouraging new ways of thinking or discovering innovative solutions to problems.

In this article, we will discuss the meaning and importance of creativity in the workplace and provide actionable steps to improve your creativity at work.

What does creativity in the workplace mean?

Creativity is the ability to come up with or recognize new ideas that can help solve a problem, communicate with others or provide entertainment. In the workplace, creativity is most commonly considered someone’s capacity to generate original ideas that can provide solutions or improve an aspect of the business.

A creative person at work is valuable because they can think in a unique way that contributes to the development of new and innovative processes for old methods and common problems. Many employers appreciate a creative employee and respect the time and effort it often takes to use creativity within the workplace. 

Why is creativity in the workplace important?

A business that encourages creative thinking is often a successful one. Creativity within the workplace can encourage new and innovative ideas, challenge old ways of thinking and even foster new business opportunities and relationships. 

Creative thinking also makes for a broad business outlook that contributes in a positive way to the future of a business. Rather than continuing to do things the way they have always been done, a company that promotes creativity is often open to trying new approaches that can lead to lucrative outcomes. 

Related: 10 Jobs That Require Creative Thinking Skills

Types of creativity at work

There are several types of creativity you can implement at work. Some of them may come easier to you or may be more appropriate depending on your position, but you can often use one or all of these types to approach your work in a new fashion.

Here are a few examples of the types of creativity that are often found in the workplace:

  • Artistic: Artistic creativity at work is when you use your imagination to perform various tasks or other work responsibilities. For example, a graphic designer may use artistic creativity by designing innovative and appealing visuals that grab the user’s attention.

  • Problem-solving: This type of creativity is when you can think in an innovative way about deciphering and solving issues. For example, you could use problem-solving creativity to develop ideas to reduce costs at the office.

  • Analytical: Being analytically creative means that you understand situations through data and text. As an analytical employee, you may look to create solutions using figures or numbers in the workplace or for your clients.

  • Organizational: Organizational creativity helps you complete tasks quickly and efficiently by using creativity to stay on-task and organized. 

  • Communication: If you are an employee who can effectively speak and listen to your coworkers, then you are using communication creativity.

Related: Communication Skills: Definitions and Examples

Tips to increase creativity at work

There are several ways to demonstrate creativity in the workplace, and you can often use multiple types of creativity for the same task. Here are a few tips with examples on how to jumpstart creativity and innovation at your job:

  • Have brainstorming sessions

  • Ask questions

  • Create a space that promotes creativity

  • Take a break

  • Think about long-term goals

  • Take risks

Have brainstorming sessions

Your team can get together each week to brainstorm ideas for the business. A group session promotes a positive atmosphere where you can create ideas that improve functions and processes. It is essential to consider every opinion, even if it seems outlandish or farfetched. In many cases, your coworker’s ideas could help formulate new concepts.

Ask questions

Asking multiple questions related to the same challenge can lead to innovation within your role in the company and the business as a whole. Asking questions is a way to bring creativity into a business because it shows an interest in solving a problem or improve on something in a different way.

Create a space that promotes creativity

If possible, create a workspace that can help you feel comfortable completing projects. Consider listening to music or adding personal items in your space to make it easier to work. Some people think adding plants to a workspace can help increase productivity and creativity. 

Take a break

Taking a break from a particularly hard task allows you to come back with a clear mind, and you will see new solutions you didn’t notice before. If your company allows work-from-home days, try changing your environment. You can go to your local library for a quiet, comfortable space where you will not be distracted.

Think about long-term goals

You may become so involved with small tasks that you forget to see the end goal. Losing sight of the big picture limits your creative potential at work. If you find yourself losing motivation or struggling to complete a task, take a step back and remember why you started and what you’re looking to achieve. 

Related: How To Develop Creative-Thinking Skills in 5 Steps

Take risks

Creating means you are delving into the unknown. You may even be working on developing something that has never existed or been thought of before. To do so, you’ll inevitably be taking risks, whether it is showing your coworkers a new idea or asking your manager if you can implement a new procedure. Having the confidence to take risks is a keystone of being creative within your workplace.

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