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Summary:

A British company surveys workers and finds not only are they more productive when working remotely, but they also feel less creative at the office. Where do they get their most innovative ideas? At the pub (assumedly with a limited quantity of libations).

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Here on WebWorkerDaily we recently posted on the musings of Harvard Business School professor and partner in FutureWork Forum Jim Ware, who used a recent blog post to urge knowledge workers to shake up their routines and work in a greater variety of spaces. But what sort of spaces might improve your creativity? Ware throws out various possibilities from outdoor places to libraries and even sailboats. But a recent British study offers another suggestion: pubs and restaurants.

Information and communication technology company 2e2 asked nearly 2,000 workers how they experience the nine-to-five grind. The responses confirmed the results of earlier polls and studies showing workers are actually more productive away from the office: 55 percent of those 2e2 asked said they got more done working from home.

Slightly more surprising was the respondents’ choice of the location where they’re at their most creative. Where do they feel they get their most innovative ideas?

  • 47 percent said the best discussions about business ideas come when people get together in a pub or restaurant.
  • 24 percent said the office boardroom.
  • Online discussions were chosen by 19 percent.

This will be great news for knowledge workers looking to convince the boss to splurge on working lunches and a few rounds of drinks (though, it’s assumed, creativity falls off pretty sharply if you overdo the libations). It’s also food for thought for the laptop addicts among us, suggesting making time to get away from our screens and talk to actual humans is valuable and often overlooked.

But even if these less-than-rigorously scientific findings confirm the enduring affection of Brits for the pub more than any hard and fast intelligence for business leaders, the idea that place influences creativity and that our choice of locale is often knee-jerk and uninspired is worth considering.

Where do you get your best business ideas?

Image courtesy of Flickr user @rgs.

  1. Great thought provoking article. I believe I receive many of my ideas by talking with people. Although I am self-employed, I like to meetup with people that are into internet marketing over a glass of wine, or a phone conversation.

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  2. Probably because when in a bar, people are focussed and not thinking that they would rather be somewhere else. Just make the work environment more comforting and friendly, and you’ll accomplish the same thing.

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  3. I’ve found that I’m just trying to stay awake during office meetings, but in a more social setting I relax and feel like I’m on a level playing field with others. It feels like in a bar or restaurant, you check your titles at the door and everybody is just talking. Even the lowest paid person at the table can speak up. Sometimes, we have good ideas.

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  4. When I travel in public vehicle, idea comes in my mind. Seriously! Though not always business ideas.

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