Developing a creative work environment


Al-Yaum newspaper

I admire courageous women who logically think through anything that is said to them before they embrace it. I enjoy discussions with anyone who disagrees with my opinion. I do not mind this for the simple reason that people who agree with you on everything will never broaden your knowledge or help you to pinpoint your shortcomings. I teach architectural history at university and when I am in a class teaching, I ensure that students engage in discussions with me. I do not want them to accept what I say without discussion.

Some managers will not let their subordinates express their opinions. An employee who tries to discuss something that a manager has said risks losing his job. Such employees are not welcomed by selfish and narrow-minded managers who believe they always know better than others. These managers do not care about building an environment that is creative. They just want employees to be yes men who follow orders without question.

It is not easy to turn an ordinary working environment into one with is conducive to creativity and innovation. This cannot happen overnight. It involves a lot of steps that need to be taken to transform the environment. Unfortunately, some companies claim that they encourage creativity at work but in reality their work environments are not flexible.

Google has a very creative working environment that allows staff to have fun and also enjoy some flexibility. There is a reason for that. When a human being is in a state of relaxation without any concentration, his brain becomes active and capable of developing ideas. This is what happens at Google. If an employee has a brilliant idea, he will share it with his colleagues to implement it on the spot.

If you ask your manager to be more flexible with working hours or to allow employees to have some fun at work just like Google’s employees, he will most likely not accept your idea because it contradicts his beliefs of what a work environment should be. He might even feel threatened by it and start to think that you are trying to spread chaos and misuse your responsibilities for personal gains. Creative managers are courageous, ready to make a difference, and give employees more freedom to unleash their creativity. In fact, creativity involves taking risks.

If we really want to promote and encourage creativity, we should eliminate all obstacles that stand in the way of creating such an environment.