Using the five senses we have come up with a guide to inspiring workplace creativity. The first and probably most important is color. Staring at plain white office walls day in, day out can certainly put a dampener on the best of spirits, so consider painting them green, as this has been shown to help with personal self-improvement and mastering tasks. It is a color people associate with nature and growth, and when compared to white people in a green room score 20% on creativity tests. If you are looking for brainstorming results then try to avoid red, and instead go for a shade of blue, which equates to openness and offers safety to explore new ideas.
Working next to a light bulb increases creativity due to image association. Draw a cartoon light bulb over a cartoon scientist, and everyone will know the scientist has just had a great idea. In a recent study researchers primed their subjects with this iconic image and discovered it actually boosted their problem solving skills when the problem required a creative solution. Fancy and expensive LED, halogen, and compact fluorescent bulbs are unnecessary as our brains have been programmed to associate creativity with old-fashioned incandescent bulbs, and the lower power the better as dim illumination heightens perceived freedom from constraints.
One of the more peculiar tricks to encourage inspiration could be to drink decaf coffee but imagine it is caffeinated! A wandering mind is key to creativity and too much caffeine means your mind is too focused to wander, so trick yourself by drinking decaf. Listening to soft, ‘creative’ music can also be productive, but try jazz or reggae rather than easy listening. Try and keep the level of ambient noise reasonable low, as a high level can reduce the extent of information processing.