28 Jul 2017
Following research suggesting active and happy people make better employees, there has been a groundswell of businesses introducing corporate health initiatives to boost morale and therefore productivity in the workplace. But while this is a fantastic result, what about the employees who find joy in more artistic pursuits?
According to a global study by Adobe, only one in four people believe they’re living up to their creative potential. The workplace plays a large role in that perception, with up to 85 per cent of respondents reporting increased pressure to be productive rather than creative at work. The study also found that people only spend 25 per cent of their time at work creating and there’s a universal concern that the educational system is stifling creativity.
Business development lead for TAFE Queensland’s East Coast region Dean Sherwell, said TAFE Queensland was proud to offer an assortment creative courses and as part of their efforts to make them as accessible as possible, have partnered with local-based business Youi Insurance.
“Knowing the high value that individuals place on being creative – two-thirds feel it’s valuable to society – and acknowledging the impact jobs can have on limiting creativity, we sought to work with one of the Sunshine Coast’s largest employers, Youi Insurance, to help change the face of creativity in the workplace,” said Dean.
“Together with Youi, we decided on hosting a series of creative workshops at Youi headquarters in Birtinya, led by our highly skilled teachers. The goal was to take our training and expertise direct to employees at Youi in their very own offices during lunch hours, eliminating common challenges to creativity like time and money.”
Program leader for Youi’s award-winning internal health and well being program YourLife, Ryan McGrory, has been marketing the workshops and is impressed by the large uptake and positive reception the first two classes have received.
“We’re delighted to partner with TAFE Queensland to bring hands-on creative workshops straight to our offices,” said Ryan.
“We’ve always had a fun attitude here at Youi and we believe the office environment can be as cool and creative as it can be productive. We will always jump at the chance to enable our employees to be as creative as possible during working hours, so partnering with TAFE Queensland was an absolute no-brainer.”
So far, TAFE Queensland has facilitated a drawing class and a painting class at Youi. TAFE Queensland teacher Zoe Martin led the painting class in June and believes the exercise had a positive impact on the entire Youi workplace, as participants returned to their desks with heightened levels of energy and happiness.
“I believe creativity and expression in the workplace in this fun way is not a digression from duties or tasks,” she said.
“Creative activities generally nourish and enhance our self-expression and create purpose and motivation in our lives, which enable us to be more productive and to contribute to our communities positively.
“Group art activities like these are much more engaging than individual or self-initiated creativity in a way. The shared art experience can promote and improve communication.”
With nearly 1000 workers employed within Youi’s offices and the business boasting a diverse range of job opportunities that leverage TAFE Queensland qualifications, the workshops will be an effective display of how businesses can incorporate creativity into the work place.
“We have plans to host three more workshops with Youi in 2017 and look forward to seeing where this partnership takes us in the future,” said Dean.
“In working with Youi, our hope is that awareness of these workshops will inspire other Sunshine Coast businesses to look at similar ways they can foster an environment where people can live up to their creative potential.”