1. Allow flexible work schedules
Studies have consistently shown that flexible schedules lead to higher rates of overall productivity and higher job satisfaction, a finding which by itself should encourage you to adopt such a flex-time policy; but, even better, it leads to more creativity. When workers aren’t fixated on precise punctuality, waiting out the clock, or rushing back from lunch, they have more time to decompress and land naturally on abstract solutions. To lean on an overused buzz-phrase, you’re letting your employees “work outside the box” in order to “think outside the box.”
2. Encourage breaks
When your staffers aren’t pressured to complete a task, they can approach it in a more relaxed, thoughtful way; instead of trying to force the square peg into a circle hole, they'll have the freedom to walk away, casually think about the problem and ultimately come to a correct alternative solution on their own terms.
3. Listen to new ideas
Institute a personal policy to listen to every new idea -- even bad ones, and ones that go against your thinking. You don’t have to act on them, but you do have to value them, give honest feedback and reward employees for bringing them up. Doing so regularly will cultivate an atmosphere of positive idea generation, which should self-perpetuate over time.
4. Fill your workplace with sensory experiences.
Doing so will help employees think in new ways and become more stimulated by their environment. As an added bonus, most of these additions have a calming or satisfying effect on people -- so your team will feel happier and be more productive in addition to being more creative.
5. Facilitate a team mentality.
Creativity, then, is a team sport, so you should make it your responsibility to help your team members work together.
So, facilitate a “team” mentality by tearing down the walls of your office, conducting team exercises and giving your teammates opportunities to bond with one another. Doing so will help them trust each other, and work together to bring new ideas to life.
Creativity doesn’t come naturally to everybody, but under these suggested conditions, you’ll find your employees have more ideas, better outlooks and more intriguing solutions to the problems that vex your business. The more you work together and the more comfortable your team grows in your creative environment, the better you’ll all become at coming up with creative ideas.