Bringing Ideas To Life


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Why your environment is a vital influence on your creativity...

Sean, Co-Creator of Maya

By Sean Ramphal

Are you as creative now as you were when you were a child?

For many people, the answer is no. As we move into adulthood, we are often conditioned to be more serious and to conform to the norms of society. We lose some of the freedom and playfulness that inspired our wacky kid ideas. At the same time, our jobs seem to demand more and more new ideas, creativity, and innovative thinking.


The right working environment can stimulate creativity and innovation. Colors, lighting, sounds, and arrangement all influence how creative people are. However, the space in which you work is not the only thing that determines how creative your organization is.

There are of course many studies documenting the impact of environmental factors on health and well-being, and this just makes common sense. But today we are increasingly mindful of the role the environment also plays in creativity and productivity.

It is the playfulness we must allow our brain to recognize limitless potential. In which developing an internal relationship of memories, interest, and focus gets the ball rolling when it comes to getting things done. We tend to “remember” certain thoughts based on the feeling or visual intake of the surrounding environment, that caused us to think. The environment is also persistent based on health.

“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.”

– Mark Twain

Maya's definition of influential workspace

In this context, it’s simply the way people, teams, etc. interact with each other. Maintaining a friendly-oriented system that restricts any variation of disrespect and harm to anyone else amongst the team. Whether you know it not, it plays a feeding system, simply what you put out will come back to you.

You can’t always just get up and leave. There are, however, things you can do at your desk to make your environment inspiring.

  • Change your work schedule. We have one employee who comes in two hours before everyone else arrives. This is when they feel most productive. It’s also two hours of distraction-free time to focus on their greatest impact activity. Some employees prefer to arrive later and stay in the evening, allowing them to work in silence when the office has cleared out.
  • Put your phone away. The constant dings, buzzes, and rings from cell phones are distracting. Many people leave cell phones on their desks. This is an open invitation for distraction. The research found that employees spend about 56 minutes per day using their cell phones for personal affairs while at work. Put your phone in your drawer, bag, or any place that prevents you from losing nearly an hour of focus.
  • Change the lighting. Studies have shown a link between light exposure in workplaces and employee productivity and performance. If you work in a windowless office, move to an area where you can get sunlight. A bonus: exposure to natural light also improves health and wellness.
  • Add some plants. A little greenery is more than just décor. Psychologists found that adding plants in the workplace can improve employee satisfaction and can increase productivity by up to 15%. Go green!
  • Wear noise-canceling headphones. Originally developed for airline pilots, these headphones can do wonders when it comes to blocking out noise. Orfield Laboratories Inc. conducted a study and found that using noise-reducing headphones can screen out as much as three-fourths of office noise.
  • Declutter your desk. Purge anything that might hinder your focus. Studies show that the average person wastes 4.3 hours per week searching for paper. Once you’ve disposed of all unnecessary items, make the shift to go paperless or come up with a system to keep everything organized.
  • Take a stand. Studies have shown that employees who use standing desks are more productive than their colleagues in standard, seated desks. If your company offers these desks, try one out to see if it works for you. Bonus: standing can help prevent shoulder and back pain.
  • Re-arrange your desk. Don’t over-accessorize your desk. Add an object — picture, award, or a quote — that inspires you. Keep a snack in your desk drawer for when you need to fuel your energy. Keep items you use frequently nearby. Lastly, having a comfortable chair is a must (that is if you’re not standing).
  • Group Activities. A major concern in the workforce is communication and trust amongst the team members. This alone causes many issues in performance and productivity. Having group activities may sound childish, which is why it is so vital. Studies have shown that team members that participate in group activities feel more safe, comfortable, trusting, and reliant on each other; building on another in the eyes of growth.

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