Encourage creativity in remote teams with these strategies

Creativity in a traditional office often involves vision boards, in-person brainstorming sessions, and bouncing ideas off each other, but how can you maintain a creative edge with a remote team? Fortunately, there are ways to promote productivity and innovation even when we’re not meeting in person. Here are four key strategies to promote creativity in a virtual workplace. 

The first tip is to invest in adequate communication training. Virtual teams require a whole new set of communication channels and protocols. The good news is that there is a myriad of tools and platforms at our disposal to facilitate this communication. Take time to train staff, especially remotely onboarded team members on how to best communicate in this new work environment. Agree on what channels should be used for what type of communication. Reserve Slack for small projects and urgent communication but resort to video meetings for more important matters or complex topics. 

The second creativity tip is to connect outside of work hours. Professional chemistry is key for collaboration. When employees are comfortable around each other they can more readily bounce ideas off each other and come up with innovative solutions. Encourage and organize virtual team building activities. These don’t have to be just happy hours. They can also be virtual cooking classes, book clubs, or painting lessons.

Empower with responsibility. A recent study from Microsoft suggests that entrusting employees with more responsibility helps keep creativity high. Delegate important tasks to team members you think are well equipped to handle them and encourage them to take the lead on critical projects. When someone is in charge of a project they become more invested in its success which boosts creativity. 

Encourage downtime. Periods of rest and relaxation give our brains the necessary time off to come up with ingenious revelations. Sometimes the best recipe for creativity is taking a mental hiatus to allow space for new ideas. Remind employees to maintain a healthy work balance. Resources like workout classes, mediation app subscriptions, and childcare subsidies can help employees take time for a personal recharge.

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