Your Work Environment Influences Your Creativity
Being creative is not a gift. Studies have shown that our environment plays a part in our creative output.
Notice how the more you force your mind to think creatively, the more you can’t? That is because creativity cannot happen if you are feeling stressed or nervous. The key is to create or be in an environment that puts you at ease.
The lighting, colours, sound and your familiarity to the surrounding are all aspects that influence your ability to be creative.
Working from cafes may occasionally inspire people. You may meet interesting personalities, witness unexpected occurrences, hear fascinating conversations from the next table, but this uncertainty may cause you to feel on edge. You worry about not getting a seat or your preferred seat. You make a conscious effort to make sure you are not overstaying your welcome.
Then, there’s the overload of visual and audio cues which may also clutter your mind and work against your creativity.
Studies have proven that natural light boosts mood, reduces stress and is known to help people focus. It creates an inviting environment that motivates you to get work done.
Harsh artificial lighting on the other hand is not ideal. It causes anxiety and fatigue.
So look for workspaces with large unobstructed windows. People are most productive near these spaces. Having an outside view of greenery and nature is a bonus. Exposure to greenery has shown to be effective in enhancing performance of idea generation.
Moderate to low levels of ambient noise keep your idea gateway open. Once you have generated the idea, you will likely require a quiet environment to focus on developing and validating the idea.
Especially if you are easily distracted, working in a cafe may not be the best idea.
Steve Jobs famously designed Pixar’s office with the bathroom located right in the centre of the workspace. This is done to increase occurrences of employees bumping into each other for casual chats. He recognised that often these chatters during breaks would turn into something useful as ideas are sparked when you are relaxed and from gathering insights from different people.