Hurrah! Being Creative Outside Of Work Makes You Better at Your Job

You now have an excuse for that experimental cooking you’ve been doing – because creativity outside of work makes you better at your job


by Sophie Cullinane |
Published on

Next time your boss tells you off for doodling pictures of Ryan Gosling (no? just us?) all over your hands during a breakfast meeting, you might want to draw their attention to this new research, because apparently being creative outside of the office makes you better at your job. So there.

Researchers from San Francisco State University asked 341 employees about their creative activities, including how creative they were in and out of the office. They let their interviewees decide what ‘creative activities’ meant for themselves – so the results spanned from writing (we get it) to video games (not so sure). What they discovered was that people who partook in creative activities reported experiencing mastery, control and relaxation, as well as being more likely to have a positive work performance. The researchers weren’t sure why that was, but they had an educated guess that people learn new skills through doing creative stuff, which they can then apply to their daily work.

Kevin Eschleman, an organisational psychologist at San Francisco State University said: ‘It can be rare in research to find that what we do in our personal time is related to our behaviors in the workplace, and not just how we feel. Employees who reported greater levels of creative activity were also rated (by themselves and others) as higher in job creativity. Creative activities are likely to provide valuable experiences of mastery and control, but may also provide employees experiences of discovery that uniquely influence performance-related outcomes.'

This is all fab news, but what if you need some inspiration for what to get up to this bank holiday to get your creative juices flowing? Well, we’ve just done an incredibly scientific straw poll (we asked people in our office) about their creative activities, and so far all we've got is volunteering for the Girl Guides, tidying up, cooking and framing postcards – which indicates that we need a bit more help getting creative than you do, so answers on a (framed) postcard please.

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophiecullinane

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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