Back in the day, 11am used to be tea-break time, but now it is the hour when UK employees feel they are at the peak of their creative powers, although perhaps surprisingly journalists climax much earlier and doctors struggle to get their creative juices flowing even before midday.
That is according to a new study by innovation funding specialists MPA Group, which quizzed over 1,000 UK office workers to try to fathom out the time of day employees feel most creative, and which working environments bring out the best in them.
It found that the morning was the most creative time across all industries, with the overwhelming majority claiming their best ideas come between 10am and 11.30am. Across the whole country, the average time for “optimum creativity” was actually 11:05am.
When it comes to each industry, journalists are first out of the blocks, hitting the pinnacle at 9.48am. No doubt many old school hacks would argue that this is the real reason they are able to spend all afternoon down at the boozer.
Journalists are then followed by architects (10.06am); designers (10.16am); scientists (10.30am); accountants (11am); teachers (11.01am); admin staff (11.14am); sales teams (11.15am); lawyers (11.19am); technicians (11:21am); artists (11:46am); and engineers (11:54am). Doctors bring up the rear and struggle to get going before midday.
Office design and atmosphere are also important considerations for those wishing to maximise innovation, the study claims. When asked what kind of working environment best encourages their creativity, a quiet office was the most popular choice, with 43% of workers claiming this will help them to create their most innovative ideas, followed by a comfortable break out space (28%), and colourful or vibrant walls (22%).
Only one in seven (14%) felt they could be creative in an environment where music was playing and being surrounded by other creative people is only a stimulus for less than one in five workers (19%).
MPA Group managing director Steven Garrod said: “As Winston Churchill famously said, ‘Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm’. Failure is part and parcel of business life and unless you and your employees accept this, you may discourage risk-taking and creativity. Treat every attempt as an opportunity to learn and as another step towards your ultimate goal.”
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