The 5 Sense Guide to Inspiring Workplace Creativity [Infographic]

CIPHR 3m 775 #workplacecreativity

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According to a well-known cognitive psychologist, creativity can be broadly defined as the process of producing something that is both original and worthwhile. It is about finding new ways of solving problems and approaching situations and is a useful skill for people from all walks of life. If you are looking to boost your own creativity in your workplace, or you are hoping to inspire your employees, the suggestions in our infographic could be just what you need.

Begin by looking at the way the psychology of colour states that certain shades are suited to different environments. Something as simple as a new coat of paint could actually bring out your creative instincts, providing the right colour is chosen. A blue environment can produce twice as many brainstorming results as compared to a red one, whilst people working in green rooms score 20% higher on creativity tests. Yellow rooms are thought to be the liveliest so are ideal for getting the chatter going, but it is best to avoid plain white as this can cause more nausea and headaches than other colours.

As an iconic image of insight, working next to an old-fashioned light bulb is thought to increase creativity due to image association. The light bulb should be kept dim, rather than at full power, to encourage bright ideas. Music has long been known to provide mental stimulation for those carrying out monotonous tasks so consider adding some background music from the genres we have listed. Having the same scent in your bedroom as you have in your office means you are reminded of the need for innovation whilst you are sleeping.

So if your office leaves you feeling uninspired every day why not try using our 5 senses infographic as your guide and see if it can help put the zest back into your working life.

The 5 Sense Guide to Inspiring Workplace Creativity [Infographic]

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The Five Sense Guide To Inspiring Workplace Creativity

Paint your office walls blue or green.


A blue environment produces twice as many brainstorming results when compared to a red environment.

color association: Blue -> Sky & Ocean -> Openness & tranquility -> Safety to explore new ideas

When compared to white, people in a green room score 20% higher on creativity tests.

color association: Green -> Nature -> Growth -> personal self improvement and mastering tasks

Yellow is ideal for getting the chatter going.

Researchers looked at how people socialised when in a yellow, red, or blue room. The yellow room was the liveliest.

It’s best to avoid white.

People who worked in white offices complain more about nausea than those in blue or red offices.

Work next to a dim bulb.

An iconic image of insight, working next to a light bulb increases creativity due to image association.

Ironically, the light bulb should be kept dim, rather than bright, for bright ideas.

Dim illumination heightens perceived freedom from constraints, which improves creativity.

Listen to soft, ‘creative’ music.

Researchers looked at the personalities of music fans and found certain genres shared common creative traits.

Jazz – Classical – Reggae – Punk – Rock

Disco – Easy Listening – Chart pop

However, background noise in general is good for creativity.

70 dB – 50dB
A moderate-to-low level of ambient noise enhances creativity.

85 dB
A high level of noise hurts creativity, as it reduces the extent of information processing.

Drink decaf coffee (but imagine it’s caffeinated).

A wandering mind is key to creativity. Too much caffeine means your mind is too focused to wander. Trick yourself by drinking decaf.

People who think they’re drinking caffeinated coffee but aren’t work quicker and more creatively than those drinking caffeinated coffee but are told otherwise.

Have an office scent.

Researchers found that the beneficial effect of sleep on creativity is enhanced by an evocative scent.

Scent activation: Having the same scent in your bedroom as well as your office means you’re reminded of the need for innovation in your sleep.

Play some games.

High- or low-arousal games are key to creativity.

After playing video games, happy or sad people are more creative than those who are angry or relaxed.

Squeeze a stress ball with your left hand.

Squeezing your left hand activates the right hemisphere of the brian. The right hemisphere is dominant ind ealing with colour, images and creative thinking.

By focusing on your five senses, you can hone in on your sixth sense, intuition, as creativity is at its best when it functions intuitively.