Dull workplaces can hamper creativity, claims new report

Broken light bulbA new report from London based fit-out company Overbury claims that dull and demotivating workplaces are holding back creativity in UK organisations. The study of 2,000 employees from across the UK, found that although staff consider idea generation crucial to their employer’s performance, many feel unable to work creatively together in their offices. Between half and two thirds of employees (59%) state that the development of new ideas is vital to their organisation. However, many respondents also stated that their working environment is thwarting creativity,with the majority (52%) of UK offices lacking common or social areas.

Half (50%) agreed that their company would be significantly more profitable if staff were able to be more creative although a third of office workers (33%) believe there is a lack of opportunity to  collaborate. One in three (29%) feel unable to generate new ideas at work, and 35% actually prefer to work from home whenever possible because of their uninspiring workplace.

More than a third (36%) find their office demotivating, while a quarter (25%) describe it as “sedate and silent”. Almost one in ten (8%) go as far as to call their workplace a “creative and cultural desert”.

The study claims it highlights a missed opportunity for UK organisations, whose staff are keen to work creatively together. Almost three quarters (72%) of UK office workers say that they get on well with their co-workers and almost two thirds (61%) feel that their best ideas arise from impromptu conversations with colleagues. More than a quarter (27%) of employees state that they are at their most creative when talking informally to people around the office. Two fifths (40%) believe that better quality common areas and social space would enhance collaboration and creativity. More than half (52%) say that team spirit would also benefit.

According to the report, the top five positive steps companies can take to boost creativity in their office are:

1. More social space (25%)

2. Better heating/cooling (24%)

3. Provision of food and drinks (22%)

4.  Better quality furnishings (21%)

5. Better coffee (18%)