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Boardroom no good for ideas

Jul 18, 2016
The British no longer have their best ideas while sitting in the boardroom – or even when having that ‘watercooler moment’ according to a new poll of office workers.

The survey, commissioned by Crown Workplace Relocations, asked where staff came up with their best business ideas and found that casual chit chat is what inspires the majority. Over a third of those polled said that chatting informally with colleagues is the best inspiration.

The boardroom proved to be the least inspiring environment of all with only eight per cent saying their best ideas came sitting around a table with colleagues.

However, don’t throw out the desks just yet! One-third of those polled said they have the best ideas at their own desk. And before they have even reached their desk, one in five said they have had an epiphany on their commute to work - and one in ten had a Eureka moment in the shower!

The top spots for light bulb moments were:

1. Chatting informally with colleagues (35%)
2. At my desk (31%)
3. On the commute (20%)
4. At lunchtime or when having a break (15%)
5. Walking around the office (14%)
6. I do not tend to have business ideas at work (11%)
7. First thing in the morning (11%)
8. In bed (9%)
9. In the shower (9%)
10. In the boardroom (8%)

Timing is everything it seems – surprisingly lunchtime proved to be the most productive time of day for business ideas; with 15% of office workers stating that’s when they have the most inspiration, compared to just one in 10 in the morning and just 5% in the evening.

And finally, one in ten people say they don’t have business ideas at work at all! It makes you wonder why they bother going.

Barry Koolen, Regional Managing Director at Crown Workplace Relocations said, “Innovation is key to running a successful business. These findings show how important it is to encourage employees to spend more time away from their desks and to find ways to bring staff from different departments together. These casual interactions could result in some outstanding business ideas.”

“Encouraging an innovative business means movement, getting employees out of chairs. Adapting office space to accommodate hot desking and break-out areas and adjusting policies to allow for flexible and remote working can often help to create a more creative environment. Offices are not like workshops where people tend machines. Ideas flow around when people get together. Well planned layouts take into account the need for social activity as well as head-down grafting – it’s key to productivity.”

Photo: Crown Workplace Relocations’ survey shows that inspiration can come from a number of different situations.

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