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Bored workers are more creative

Having time to daydream at work, or during the daily commute, can spark new ideas.

Having time to daydream at work, or during the daily commute, can spark new ideas.

Being bored at work can have a positive effect because daydreaming can increase creativity, according to a new study.

Boredom at work has always been seen as something to be eliminated

Research by an occupational psychologist showed a surprising flipside to being bored or distracted in the office.

Having time to daydream at work, or during the daily commute, can spark new ideas, said Sandi Mann of the University of Central Lancashire.

More than 150 adults were given various tasks to perform, including a boring job of simply copying numbers from a telephone directory, and a more interesting test of ideas for using a pair of polystyrene cups.

Those who copied out the telephone numbers were more creative, the research revealed.

Mann said: “Boredom at work has always been seen as something to be eliminated, but perhaps we should be embracing it in order to enhance our creativity.

“We want to see what the practical implications of this finding are. Do people who are bored at work become more creative in other areas of their job, or do they go home and write novels?”

The findings of the study were presented yesterday at the British Psychological Society’s annual occupational psychology conference in Chester.

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