With remote working becoming the norm in 2020, there has been some debate over the effects that working in isolation has on creativity. Working from home can actually be good for creative thinking, problem-solving and generating new ideas – all skills that we love at Aquarium.
According to a 2012 study into the effects of telecommuting on productivity, remote working makes us less productive at menial tasks, but better at creative ones? Structure stifles creativity, meaning that the usual routine of the office might not always be conducive to innovation. Working from home, on the other hand, enables you to break out of your usual environment and see things from a different perspective. This means that you might discover new ways of thinking and be able to come at things from an alternative angle.
Creativity benefits from collaboration. Remote working can be somewhat isolating and not ideal for collaboration. However, with everyone now meeting online, it can be easier to exchange ideas with colleagues and management than ever before. This is a great way to increase your creativity when working from home. It also makes it easier to communicate with colleagues in other offices our even countries.
While employers were once limited by proximity when searching for new staff, working from home has broken distance barriers and opened the recruitment process to people all over the country (and even the world). This ultimately leads to a more diverse workforce, as the business attracts a wider demographic of candidates. This means that collaboration will not only be with the same people with the same skills and knowledge but with others that have different experiences, fuelling further creativity.
Collaboration can be great for creative thinking, but it can also have its limitations. Group settings, certainly when it comes to idea generation, do not work for everyone and it can often lead to the loudest ideas being heard – not always the best. Without the distraction of different voices, or the immediate need to compete, some will welcome the opportunity to quietly work on ideas before presenting to a larger audience. The early creative stages often benefit from some private contemplation and the freedom to fully explore a creative thought.
One of the benefits of working from home is more freedom to organise the day in a way that suits you. Studies have suggested that time of day impacts innovation and that creativity thrives during a ‘non-optimal’ periods. Morning people will experience creative surges in the evening, while those who prefer to stay up late will have their best ideas in the morning.
Remote working has its challenges, including sparking creativity, problem-solving and innovation. This does not have to be the case; working from home can improve these crucial skills. If you want to know more about working with us, visit our careers page here.