Taking a moment: how togetherness drives creativity

Whether kicking ideas around a design huddle, a quiet word of support from a colleague, or unplanned drinks after work, shared moments energise us as creatives.

Now just to allay any fears, this is not a middle-aged man’s call to return to a five-day office week. I like going into the office. I also like working from home with a steaming cup of tea on my desk and no commute.

But I was recently thinking about the things that made me feel positive about this job. What helped me produce better work. What gets me up in the morning. What energises me as a creative.

And many of those things were linked to my interactions with other people, those shared moments with the team, clients, people I meet in my social space.

Now we have more ownership of how and where we work, is it time consider what those shared moments could be?

1. Moments to energise our creativity

Our colleagues amplify our creativity.

Sharing ideas, a sneak peek at the work on your neighbour’s screen or an overheard conversation about some design breakthrough (although no more talk on AI, please). Being surrounded by creative people energises us.

I know I’ll generate more momentum and ideas at the genesis of a project, if I gather the team for an hour’s brainstorm armed with pens, pads, sticky notes and a bowl of salty snacks, than if I had them working alone for twice that time.

Of course, a lot of creative work requires focused, quiet concentration. But we should recognise those times when a dip in the creative hot tub with our design colleagues energises us creatively.

2. Moments to support our wellbeing

We can’t be creative if we are stressed.

Whether having a laugh at your desk, receiving praise in front of the team or grabbing a coffee with a colleague, we need those moment of light relief to take the pressure off. Restore our confidence. Give ourselves a chance to breath and think more clearly.

One of the things I missed during the lockdown, was that moment a major project was finally signed off… and we’d all pop out for a pint. That moment was invaluable. Without recognising what you had gone through, without the release with team it becomes harder to reenergise for the next big creative project.

3. Moments to find common ground

Our ideas get nowhere if our clients aren’t on board.

I’d like to think face-to-face time with our clients is their chance to hang with the cool kids. It’s also their chance to properly understand us, and more importantly our chance to properly understand them.

You can do the greatest work in the world, then miss the chance to sell it in by not bringing your clients along for the ride. Not gain their trust. Not get who they are.

The more you develop these relationships, the more energised you can both get about the work, and as a result, the more creative the work can be.

4. Moments in day-to-day life

A thought, an idea, a conversation… can spark something… and often does.

It helps us put ourselves in the position of the people whose problems we are trying to solve.

It gives us a chance to hear ideas we wouldn’t otherwise be party too

It doesn’t matter with who, or when or where it happens. We shouldn’t underestimate the importance of our personal interactions in energising us as creatives.

So whether it’s a full team in on a Thursday or a few people kicking ideas around in the office on a Monday, being surrounded by creative people energises our creativity. It leads to great work and makes us feel better, personally and professionally.

So let’s work out how to make more of those moments, together.