Do corporations must get extra inventive with how they work?

New research from creative freelancer platform Genie delves inside the creative mind, attempting to understand changing attitudes to work, post-pandemic. Genie says it surveyed 1,001 “creative professionals to understand their working preferences”, asking “what makes the creative mind tick, and where do creative ideas form? And, how might these preferences have changed as a result of Covid?”

What have they learned? A lot of it is not very surprising: creative people say they get most of their ideas in the shower or when out for a walk, while a measly 16% think they are most inspired at the office, for example. We also learn that 68% think working from home helps them to be more creative, that technology is a help rather than a hindrance (despite earlier stories about the negative impact of multiple video calls) and one in three rank self-motivation as the most underrated skill in creativity.

That last point is worth further consideration. The productivity gains which come from creatives being at home partly stem from having greater control over their environment and levels of disruption – no colleagues just popping over for a desk-side catch-up, for instance. While we shouldn’t ignore warnings about long-term harm to collaboration and culture (particularly for younger team members and new joiners), it’s clear that working from home, or at least a place of their own choosing, has been beneficial for creative people in many ways.

It’s not just about where that work takes place, it’s also about how. That self-motivation has come to the fore as a key skill no doubt stems from the fact that when you have greater control over your working day, it takes willpower to ignore the myriad opportunities to faff about which lurk just yards away: this table could really do with dusting; maybe I should pop a quick wash on; just going to check the news to see who the Prime Minister is today etc.

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