An entrepreneur who is seated at a desk before a laptop and is the middle of a video conference responds animatedly to something he has heard.
Advances in technology, such as video conferencing, in addition to other elements, like open communication, can lead to significant creative breakthroughs for your business. — Getty Images/10'000 Hours

Innovation has long been the backbone of business success and remains especially critical for remote companies. While working from home allows for executive and employee flexibility, the limitations of a remote office might cause creative ruts. Fortunately, with the right strategies in place, remote businesses can stay as fresh and creative as their in-person counterparts.

Here are eight ways to balance success and creativity in a remote work environment.

[Read More: How the Remote and Hybrid Work Era Impacts Employers]

Invest in continuous learning and development

Ongoing learning and development are crucial to keeping teams motivated and encouraging fresh ideas. Luckily, there are several ways for your employees to learn and stay creative.

Hosting and encouraging networking events, including online or in-person training workshops, and investing in learning activities and mentorship opportunities are ways to nurture the creative spirit that wants to learn new things.

Foster a culture of creativity

Creativity shouldn’t just be encouraged in your remote workplace — it should be rewarded. Fostering a creative culture is critical to your business's future and your team's ability to solve problems.

Offer opportunities to shake up existing routines, and create creative spaces to share and brainstorm new ideas. It’s also important to recognize and encourage creativity as it’s happening, not just when you can see the end result.

[Read More: 7 Ways to Improve Company Culture Remotely]

Support employee well-being and work-life balance

An SHRM study found that 72% of participants who rated their company highly for encouraging creativity also rated it highly for actively promoting employee wellness. There is a lot of residual damage that comes from burnout, and employee well-being and work-life balance can improve by getting to the root of the issue. Adjusting schedules to be more flexible, improving health benefits, and offering long-term work-from-home options are great ways to increase employee wellness and strengthen their creative muscles.

Creativity shouldn’t just be encouraged in your remote workplace — it should be rewarded.

Leverage technology and innovation

The shift to remote work began during a boom in automation and technology, paving the way for more advanced innovation coming from remote teams. Products like Zoom, Asana, and Slack make team collaboration and task management more seamless than ever. On top of that, technology boosts your team’s creativity, as more time spent collaboratively brainstorming often leads to fresher, breakthrough ideas.

Provide cross-training and collaboration

Cross-training is important when you’re aiming to foster a creative, collaborative environment. When an employee is cross-trained in different projects and processes, they develop new skills while also bringing a fresh perspective.

To develop a comprehensive cross-training program, it’s important to set expectations and run simulations that test its effectiveness. Maintain open communication, offer flexibility, and prioritize mentorship to achieve the best results.

Prioritize open communication

It’s been said repeatedly in the workplace, but it bears repeating: Communication is key. Keeping your remote team motivated and free of stagnation requires constant open communication.

Make open communication part of your company culture. Regularly ask employees for feedback, either face-to-face or anonymously through surveys. Encouraging open communication lets your team know they are valued, boosting morale and simultaneously bolstering creativity and productivity.

Create opportunities for fun and connection

Every remote worker needs time to unplug, as working from home makes it hard to separate yourself from your workspace. Creating opportunities for fun and connection encourages employees to do just that.

There are many unique ways that companies can provide those opportunities, either remotely or in person. Invite your employees to do an escape room, a virtual group photo shoot, a company field day, or a gaming session.

[Read More: Best Team-Building Activities for Remote Teams]

Celebrate successes and milestones

Nothing says “job well done” like a well-deserved reward. Send a handwritten note, a gift card, or any gift of recognition for an anniversary, birthday, or other landmark event.

You can also throw a small party for your team, creating both a reward and an opportunity for team connection and boosting morale. These gestures may not seem like much, but they can make a big difference in the day-to-day lives of your employees.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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