If you are in the tech or creative industry, innovation is basically your daily job to build and delivery something new and creative. However, sometimes you might just get stuck at some points where you can’t think of any new idea/ tired of thinking of new stuffs for your work especially when you are already used to what you have been doing on daily basis.
It is really a bad sign when you start turning your innovative works as a daily routine and you don’t enjoy bringing what you are working on to the next level. In the past year, our team has been thinking a lot about how to avoid falling into this trap and keep our motivation and creative mindset up. Finally we decided to do a little experiment within our team to see if we can break this out.
One day, our manager sent us an email with the subject “hey you wanna try an experiment?”. The headline was attractive enough to make us click and read her 2 paragraphs long email. The idea was simple. We pick one day every month and ditch all the works we have on hand. Then we pick one subject to work on but it can’t be related to work. By the end of the day, we meet at a café near our office and each one of us needs to present what we’ve done during the day. We enjoyed it a lot and here is why.
1. Choose what you love to work on
What’s better than choosing something you like and work on it for the entire day? You don’t have to stay in the office if you don’t like the office environment. Just grab your laptop and find a nice café to work on your stuffs. You can even go on field trip if you find something interesting in town such as exhibition and startup gathering event. Just keep 1 thing in mind, make sure you ship something by the end of the day.
2. Forget about work
We look forward to our Flexday because it’s just another fun and relax day for us. There is no deadline and pressure from boss. You just keep working hard on your stuffs and get ready to surprise your team.
3. It’s about fun time
Flexday is all about fun. You can build a simple game prototype and invite everyone in your company to try it. You can also make a short video film and joke about your boss. Just be creative and make it fun as long as you can present to your team.
4. Inspire your team
Even though the subject has to be unrelated to work but it might also inspire your team in some ways and make impact to your work eventually. I am a big fan of videography and I am really interested in what tools video makers use to communicate with client. So I spent my 1st Flexday to research about how videomakers work with clients. I found a really good tool for videomarkers and designers to collect feedback from clients and prepared a short demo session for my team. After my demo, my boss suggested that we could try to use this tool to give feedback to our in house designers while working on our newsletter.
5. Build the trust
This is a really big one. We can feel a sense of trust from our boss as she gives us such a big flexibility to boost our creativity and take a break at the same time. And because of her trust, we don’t want to waste a single minute but to work even harder in order to surprise her and our team. This is the energy we are bringing it out as a team every month during Flexday.
How do you promote creativity at your company? How much do you focus on creating innovative culture? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Photo credit: Simon Ålander