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The Calm in the Storm: Creativity in an Open-Office Environment

Authored by: Brandon Kirk, Senior Graphic Designer

For the past few years, creative studios have made major interior design shifts toward open-office layouts. While tearing down cubicle walls can be great for communication and team interaction, it can also be stifling for creativity. Research shows that in addition to open offices, there is a need for space to accommodate phone calls, brainstorming, and small group meetings. Below are a few tips for cutting through the roar of the daily grind to allow your creative mind to flourish.

Headphones to the rescue!
Headphones are a great way to escape the noise of the agency jungle. Often times when I am writing copy or proofing something, I put my headphones on without music just to allow myself to think without distractions. This also helps visually alert coworkers that you are in the middle of something. Instrumental or classical music can also create a buffer from office noise, while allowing your brain to think without competing lyrics as you search for just the right words and concepts.

Find your inner office oasis.
Sometimes just getting away from your desk provides a change in perspective. Empty conference rooms, offices, or even the office lunch table can provide a peaceful respite from phone conversations and distractions immediately around your desk.

Up, up, and away!
When you don’t have scheduled meetings, take advantage of getting out and away from the office. Whether it’s a quick jaunt to a bookstore or coffee shop, you can find inspiration outside your office walls. Or, if your office is flexible and allows you to work from home, take advantage of your personal surroundings where you can concept without interruptions or fear of judgment, aside from the occasional critical glance from your lap dog or kitty.

So, the next time you are fighting to hear yourself think and need to focus, get creative. You don’t have to let the commotion around you silence your inspiration.