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Why a Messy Workspace Can Actually Lead to More Creativity and Better Problem Solving

When you own a business or manage a team, you hear the word “messy” and assume the worst. Maybe you even start feeling a sense of panic or anxiety creeping in. But what if that messiness is what your creative team needs to thrive?

Studies have shown that a messier workspace produces more creative work and faster problem solving skills.

As a manager or boss, it is important to understand how your team’s minds work and what boosts their creativity in order to produce the most effective work possible. Factors like not having the right tools available to your team to maximize their potential, being unaware of their comprehensive goal and wanting to keep the process a secret can majorly impede their creative flow.

Not Maximizing Your Employee’s Potential

You hire employees based on both their current talent and the potential they have, in doing so you want to make sure you are providing your employees with the tools they need to maximize on that potential.

Often times, work environments overlook the fact that the creative team needs a wider array of tools than other teams who can easily function using a singular platform. Utilizing an integrated solution can help to keep everyone in the loop and on the same page especially those who are known to work better being disorganized.

You can bring the team together by using one space that includes calendars, communication channels and other platforms being used by anyone in the office. This will make everyone and everything feel more organized, allowing those who need more structure to have a view into the creative team’s workflow while simultaneously allowing those more artistic to keep their personal and creative “messes” to themselves.

You hire employees based on both their current talent and the potential they have.Click To Tweet

Unaware of Change

It can be difficult to know what everyone is always working on, especially when it comes to the creative team. If everybody’s workstations and roles are separated from one another, it can further separate you and your employees from knowing what the others are working on and what their daily and overall goals are. This will start to irritate your artistic team when they realize they do not know how far along a project is because they are in their own creative zone.

Frustration arises when your team completes unnecessary work and spends unnecessary time on projects because a change in direction was never communicated to them. Not to worry, there are ways to fix this sort of problem.

Start by breaking down communication barriers by establishing an overall, collaborative vision for the whole team to work towards. Once the overall goal and vision has been decided upon by the leadership team, you need to share that information with everyone else. This is another instance where you need to make sure you are maximizing your whole team’s potential by ensuring they have the tools they need to accomplish the agreed upon goals.

Trying to Keep the Process a Secret

We all hate when people criticize or find things to complain about before they know the whole story. Creative-types are the same way in that they find it easier to wait until a project is completed or nearing completion to share it with others to avoid critiques along the way from non-creative workers.

Hearing critique from others who might not understand the time, effort and skill that goes into artistic work can in turn depress the productivity of creative staffers. However, this can cause tension and maybe even conflict as account teams will also feel that sense of irritation if they do not know the status on their ongoing campaign.

To some, this secret-keeping method may seem like the work is messy and in disarray, but it’s seen as the core of a creative individual’s process. This means that as a manager there is a fine line that you have to work to not cross.

A main solution for this problem is deadlines. At the beginning of a project or campaign set hard (and a few soft) deadlines for everyone and then enter them into a tool with open visibility to everyone. While it may be difficult for creative roles to regard the confines of rules and guidelines in other areas of work, more often than not, they will respect the deadlines you set and use them as motivation in their work.

By now the original sense of panic or anxiety in regard to messes has hopefully subsided and you now have a more open mind about allowing the slight mess of your creative team have a place in your office. In doing so, your visionaries and artistic workers will be kept happy by the measures you have put in place to bridge the gap between them and their tidier counterparts.

They will continue to have the space they need to be creative without you forcing them into a situation that on the outside seems to be the best but in reality constricts them from producing their best work. Accomplish this by keeping awareness, tools, and processes as open and streamlined as possible. Remember, creative success is made better by a little mess.

About the Author: Chris Gomersall is the Founder and CEO of ATOMIZED, the first dynamic cloud-based visual content calendar for brand marketers and their agencies. Its patent-pending technology captures every cross-screen and cross-platform creative execution for a campaign in one elegant, central repository. Previously, Chris was a Creative Strategist at Facebook and Instagram