22 April 2014 | Paul Snell
What did you get up to over the Easter break? If you did something creative you may find yourself with an advantage over colleagues this morning.
Research by San Francisco State University (SFSU) has discovered that creative work away from the office can help stimulate problem solving and improve workplace performances.
The study examined 341 employees across the US, who rated how creative they had been at work after they had experienced some ‘recovery time’. It also looked at 92 captains in the US Air Force, whose performance following a creative break was assessed by co-workers and subordinates.
SFSU organisational psychologist Kevin Eschelman encourages employers to get staff to take up creative activities outside work, but cautions how they go about this “because intrinsic motivation is part of that unique experience that comes with creative activity.”
He suggests introducing creative activities - such as a cake baking contest -into the office, bringing in artwork by employees to brighten up the walls or even offering staff discounts to businesses that provide creative services, such as art classes.