From Healthy Office Snacks to Jumping Jacks: 5 Easy Ways to Boost Creativity in the Workplace

Posted by on Friday, August 29th, 2014 with Comments Off on From Healthy Office Snacks to Jumping Jacks: 5 Easy Ways to Boost Creativity in the Workplace Comments

Would you believe that simple tactics like having healthy office snacks or doing some brief exercises at your desk can help provide a jump-start to creativity in the workplace?

It’s true — creativity isn’t a static personality trait. Rather, it’s simply a way of thinking – coming up with novel solutions to old problems, or being able to spot connections between seemingly unrelated concepts. And as any artist can tell you, creativity ebbs and flows over time.

Feeling stuck in the “ebb” part of the equation? You may be in luck. In recent years, social scientists have undertaken research that has uncovered many easy “tricks” that can help promote the kind of unconventional thinking that’s crucial to creative work.

promote play in the office and provide healthy office snacks

A sense of play can help promote creativity in the workplace.
Image source: Flickr user DAXKO

Get inspired by their suggestions — and then put them into practice, and inspire yourself!

Get some exercise 

This is where the jumping jacks come in. For years, writers and artists have attested that physically moving around can help get creative juices flowing – and recent research has backed up their anecdotal claims, with a study from the Netherlands showing that people who exercised regularly (four times a week) performed better on creative tasks than those who didn’t exercise at all. More research is needed to determine if even brief bursts of exercise can have an impact, but as Henry Thoreau famously said, “Methinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow…”

Make time for play

It might sound silly, but there’s a good reason why employers like Google, Zynga, and Whole Foods are paying attention to “play experts” (and hosting foosball tournaments and beach volleyball games on company time). Some studies have shown that allowing employees time to play – meaning, engage in an activity they find pleasurable in a laid-back environment – can boost creative thinking and productivity. Even something like a crossword puzzle during breaks counts!

Feed your brain – literally

When you skip a meal or let yourself go too long without eating, you’re depriving your body and brain of the fuel it needs to perform at its best. So boost your energy and your creativity by having a few healthy office snacks available: a handful of almonds, a piece of fresh fruit, or even a bowl of popcorn can help keep you focused on the work at hand.

Meditate on nothing at all

Mindfulness and meditation are becoming increasingly popular tactics to combat stress in the workplace, and research has shown that meditation specifically can also be useful for boosting creative divergent thinking. Taking a few minutes to try and clear your mind, and focus on your breath and your body, is certainly worth trying when you’re stuck on a problem or feeling “trapped” in your own thoughts.

Take a break with a coworker

Taking regular breaks from involved tasks promotes creativity. Group breaks boost productivity. Combine the two, and you may find that talking through a tricky problem with a trusted coworker can provide the safe sounding-board space you might need to discover the creative solution that was just out of reach while you were sitting at your desk!

While creativity is an individual pursuit, you aren’t totally alone in your efforts to become more free-thinking! can help ensure you always have healthy office snacks at hand, and even save you time by delivering lunches and meals right to your office door. (But the jumping jacks are entirely up to you.)

When it comes to feeding employees and coworkers, make your company's food program really count! If your workplace dining plan needs to take it up a notch — or if you don't have one at all — is here to help. From Virtual Cafeteria Service to diverse menus to local takeout & offers customizable dining solutions for every business and budget. Contact us today to get started!

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