Creativity in the Workplace

Creativity in the Workplace cover

Today is National Creativity Day in the UK, and as a creative brand consultancy, it feels pertinent to explore what creativity means, and why it’s so beneficial for business.

The Team is made up of diverse thinkers, but not all of us have overtly creative roles.

We have designers, consultants, project managers, copy writers, a finance team, an office manager…I could go on.

And as you may notice, not all of these job titles link directly with the notion of creativity.

But does this mean we’re not all creative thinkers? You may ask.

The answer? Well, no.

Creativity, like anything, comes in all shapes and sizes.

And you can harness creativity in any situation.

Creativity is present when cooking a new recipe, or trying out a pottery class. But it’s also in delivering a project proposal.


creativity in the workplace

So, why is it so relevant now?

Creativity is becoming increasingly more important for business, so it’s important we foster it.

Research from The World Economic Forum and McKinsey shows that creativity is going to become expected of us in the workspace as time goes on.

But since the pandemic, curiosity has dipped. Many of us have more remote meetings, more deadlines, less headspace, so more stress in general.

In some cases, companies are measuring productivity. This is often through software that can tell if you’re actively working, and as you can imagine- this is not particularly inspiring.

This drive for efficiency, as noted in 5 Ways to Boost Creativity On Your Team, is blocking creativity:

Creativity that leads to breakthrough innovations often doesn’t look like work, let alone efficient work.

For me, creativity means exploration and freedom to the push the envelope to make creative decisions.

And you need human connection, headspace, and an environment that offers you these things, to develop your creativity.


What does creativity mean to you?

Because each creative mind within our business has a different perspective, I felt it would be helpful to ask this question to some colleagues here at theTeam.

It’s useful to have positive, personal insight into what it means for the individual. So we can use it when we approach our businesses as a whole.

So, to get the sparks of inspiration flying, i’m going to share a few answers:

Creativity means bringing to life something that’s different and inspiring. It’s the ability to harness ideas that make people feel, act or think. Bonus if you capture all 3!
Laura Ring, Designer
To me it means coming to a solution from a fresh angle or perspective. That doesn’t always mean it has to be the most radical idea, often it’s the idea that’s right in front of you!
Jen Robinson, Employee Engagement Consultant



Creativity is putting your imagination to work and your ideas into practice. And making them a reality, no matter how crazy they might seem. Creating something that could be inspirational, interesting, moving or even game changing.
Sally Tarbit, Director
I’ve always felt this quote from C. S. Lewis encapsulates the feeling well: Like lightning from a clear sky.
Oli Larcombe Moore, Head of Motion
The freedom to express yourself and connect to others in a personal way.
Craig Stafford, Client Director - Corporate and Brand Communications


We have the awareness, how do we create the right environment?


Physical environments

In a recent blogpost for The Team, our wonderful colleague and Director, Cliff Ettridge discussed the importance of creating spaces people want to work in.

This can influence not only your productivity, but also your creativity and your mental health.

Just like our diverse ways of thinking, we all have individual needs. But often design does not reflect this. As Cliff notes:

Chairs and tables tend to be designed to a standard height and width, as if we are all the same. We’re not. And that difference deserves recognition.

I sometimes find it harder to focus in a busy office space, and might prefer to use a break out room to really get my ideas flowing. But another person may thrive in the buzz.

It’s all dependent on the individual.

So we need to cater for this in our design – our furniture, our rooms, our spaces. And also take into account or home work environments and how to amplify them for creativity.

Cultural shifts

The paradox of creativity in business, as noted in Angus Fletcher’s article for the Harvard Business Review, is that ‘Culture kills creativity by promoting conformity.’

This is an interesting one.

When we recruit creative people to fit into our creative workplace, we can actually block new ideas.

Because we are promoting one creative voice. Rather than celebrating individuality.

Fletcher suggests a team building exercise, to help shake this off.

We all anonymously write down something that we like, but for whatever reason, are too embarrassed to say.

I might put down…decorative garden gnomes, for example.

Then someone else will have to action how we would go about incorporating this into the office space.

According to Fletcher, this exercise forces us to disregard logic and celebrate nonconformity – the bedrock of creativity.

Food for thought

There are lots of ways to rejig your workspace to make way for new thinking. And it will probably be specific to your type of work, your team size, your types of working.

But even just discussing creativity with a colleague, a friend, a mentor – or reading about it online, can help to fuel innovative thinking.

So, let’s ruminate on a final response to ‘What does creativity mean to you?’, to mark the day.

Creativity is…bringing an idea to life, this can be a physically tangible thing like, music, dance, a piece of furniture, a dish you have prepared, a piece of code or it can be an expression of an idea like philosophy or theory about the universe. It needs to be more than an idea, it should go somewhere, come into being, otherwise it’s just imagination.
Pete Merritt, Artworker