‘Creativity’ is the buzzword that helps you stand out in the internet generation. In today’s world, there is stiff competition among most products and services around us. With customers having so many options, it is particularly difficult for solution providers to keep up with the ever-growing competition.
This is where creativity comes into play!
In a deeply clustered world, where it is difficult to be noticed, creativity is the one quality that gets people’s attention. It helps an individual or an organization to stand out with their product or service. And if creativity were to be the product, it would be the best seller in all the markets! As much as in short supply this elixir is, it still is something that each company desires to acquire.
To ensure that their employees are creative, many companies are trying to inculcate the perfect workplace scenario, giving employees the mind space to think and come up with creative ideas. Nevertheless, organizations are still placing their biggest bets on the complex human brain.
The human brain is something that continues to surprise everyone. It has some abilities that have not been tapped yet, and if these abilities were discovered, it would lead to miracles.
As we all know, there are two sides to a brain: the left brain and the right brain. Both of them interpret the world differently and thus influence the way we work in our life. The right brain is deeply insightful and it paves a way for originality whereas the left brain is detail-oriented and goal-oriented with some short-term focuses.
Right-brain and Left-brain
There are numerous surveys that show us that creative thinking is short in supply right now. While most experts would like to believe that left-brain thinking has hijacked our mind due to which there is this shortage, there is much to look forward to. Some statistics that are concentrated on the media and advertising sectors have shown that there is a creativity crisis – and as of now, it’s full-blown.
The Chief Innovation Officer at System1, Orlando Wood explains, “Culture oscillates between left and right-brain periods; we’re now in a left-brain dominant era, one where productivity trumps creativity. People have become too analytical and focused on linear processing. People are seeing this in their personal and daily lives, and with this crisis in creativity we’ve lost our fifth taste bud.”
Wood has based his analyses on the work of Dr Iain McGilchrist, a brain expert and a psychologist. McGilchrist, in his research, has detailed the dominance of left-brain in societies throughout history. “The left hemisphere thinks there must be a quick fix, but there isn’t. We need to change our culture. Thriving communities can fall into ruin. We may be repeating this pattern, which is clearly visible at the end of the Greek and Roman civilisations, as well as today in the West,” said McGilchrist.
There is a particular dominance of the left-brain in workplace culture – and it can be seen everywhere. For example, we can consider an open-plan office, which allows you to see most of your colleagues and boss along with the managers operating from beside you. This is a classic example of the left-brain tactic which allows people to feel power and control. It also satisfies their need to watch over others, justifying the very existence of left-brain dominance.
Talking about this, Wood added, “The client lunch has gone, which was great for right-brain, creative conviviality. Timeframes are compressed, which promotes left-brain focused goals. Today nothing happens behind closed doors. The creative’s office used to be a space for silliness, a laugh, to be naughty and right-brain creativity.”
Working from Home
Organizations so far have tried to overcome this shortage of creativity by inculcating some innovative ideas in their workplace culture. This culture mostly involves people collaborating in brain bubbles that lead to some out-of-the-box ideas.
However, with COVID-19 acting up now and most employees working from home, all these old methods have proven to be futile. It has been quite difficult for organizations to find a method that works effectively to harness the creativity within every employee that is working from home. Most employees have been accustomed to constant workplaces that induce ideas; to create this same space at home has been a towering problem for both employees and employers.
Some of the creative employees had problems with dividing time between work and personal life, while the others were too overwhelmed living alone in stagnation. Research explains that people are capable of tapping their right-brain creativity by facing different surroundings and situations – but with the constant quarantine, it has been a struggle for most of the people out there.
What do we do about this?
McGilchrist summed this up in a very small note, “Creativity isn’t something that can happen to order, but it can easily be prevented from happening. You can’t make a plant grow, but you can certainly kill it off. So, create space and then stop doing most of the things you think you must do since they probably will get in the way.”
The most important thing to do is to create a working space that is constant. A constant workspace is underrated but is essential to keep your flow going. There has to be a space in your house where you sit during work. Do the best you can, make it colourful, throw in some paintings or just set up a very basic work station. Nevertheless, remember that this is your creative workspace, and you cannot work anywhere else in your house.
Make sure you have strict timelines for work, which helps you separate your personal and regular life and work life. This will help you concentrate better and enter the creative space to reach where you want to.
If it helps, and your country permits – try to take small walks within 1 kilometer from where you live so that you can get a knack of your surroundings. Creativity comes with collaboration but it might not always be collaboration with people. Nature does its own magic, and so does fresh air. If you cannot afford to do this, go into a balcony and take in some fresh air.
If you are living alone, make use of the technology and talk to people who would be open to listening to your ideas. Collaborate and listen to their ideas in return. It is a healthy practice that will help you ask and answer questions, thus helping in harnessing your creativity.
There isn’t a defined way that would work for everyone – but understand that creativity comes from a place where there is freedom. This freedom should be created in your mind.
Work from Home might not be as easy for all kinds of professionals, but it is not impossible to cope with either.
Let us know your ways of coping with working from home – and what you think you could do to help others make this better.
We are all in this together!