Employees tend to enjoy creative work environments where they feel they have the freedom to be imaginative. These are some suggestions for how to foster creativity in the workplace.

Give employees the chance to brainstorm.

Some employees have great ideas that could potentially change a company for the better. However, many employees may be too shy to speak up and share their ideas with their coworkers and superiors. Creating specific times for employees to brainstorm in a comfortable environment with pens and paper for those employees who may not want to vocalize their thoughts can evoke excellent ideas.

Get to know each employee.

Employees who feel that their bosses understand their unique personalities will be more likely to share their honest thoughts and opinions. Superiors can get to know their workers by taking a few minutes each day to have short conversations with employees and ask non-intrusive questions to get to know them.

Consider the workspace’s sounds, colors, temperatures and lighting.

These are all crucial factors for creating an engaging work environment. When it comes to sound, the workplace should never be too loud to the point where employees cannot hear themselves think, but a dead silent atmosphere can be off putting as well. Sectioning off different spaces for working together and thinking to themselves can create the right blend of noise and quiet. Regarding color, employees will most likely feel bored when everything is neutral. Adding splashes of color throughout will boost motivation and creativity among workers. In terms of temperature, the goal is to keep employees comfortable by avoiding making the workplace too hot or cold. Also, the lighting should be as natural as possible.

Use suggestion boxes physically and virtually.

Ideas often come to people at random times, so employees should have the opportunity to share their suggestions at any time instead of only at brainstorming sessions. Doing this will let workers drop an idea into the suggestion box in person or online at off times such as when they first walk into the office, return from lunch or wake up in the middle of the night.

Following these suggestions and making sure to have a diverse workplace will make for a creative work environment.