"Nothing is killed faster than creativity when employees suffer exhaustion"

CEO, Thrive Global
Arianna Huffington

“The success and wellbeing of people and business go hand in hand,” said Abby Hubbard, co-founder of Work Well Being. “Encouraging time to unplug and to invest in re-energising activities is an important part of any thriving business.

“Organisations that understand and act on this will continue to adapt, innovate and outperform those that don’t.”

Listed below are some of the main factors identified as inhibitors to creativity in recent years...
poor mental health/ Work life balance

Higher numbers of "gen-Z" employees are entering the workplace with pre-existing mental health issues and two thirds of employees in Britain are believed to have poor mental wellbeing, with 127 million hours recorded as lost in 2015 due to mental health related absence, according to Headstogether.org.  However, the declining mental health of employees with 8 in 10 showing early signs of poor mental health in the past year.

The survey revealed that under-35s appear to be putting themselves under extra pressure, with 43% saying they need to prioritise work over their personal lives in order to be promoted.

Single parents are also feeling the strain, with little over a quarter (26%) saying they are able to prioritise their children because of their work-life balance.

“It’s not just about introducing a flexible working policy and hoping for the best.

rapid digital transformation and an 
"always on" culture

As rapid digital transformation occurs in the workplace and routine tasks are automated, workers are expected to think more creatively than ever before. However, British businesses are at risk of a creativity crisis due to workplace cultures that stifle innovation, according to new research launched by Microsoft Surface. The tech giant Microsoft surveyed more than 1,100 UK workers workers and discovered that whilst 73% considered themselves to be creative, the demands of the modern workplace with symptoms such as overworking and stress stifled their ability to tackle problems and produce good ideas. 

 

Recent research has also found that the majority of British workers experience anxiety due to work pressure, with 86% struggling to switch off. 

 

While half of people said working from home was available to them at their company, only 35% felt welcome to take it up.

Uninspiring work environments

It's clear that businesses must do more to provide employees with the right working envionrment to handle different kinds of tasks, the flexibility to spark their creativity and find work life balance.

 

We spend ⅓ of our waking lives at work and yet, according to Mind the mental health charity, the most stressful thoughts in people’s minds relate to work. 

  • Uninspiring workplaces (41%), a stressful atmosphere (34%) and a lack of appropriate spaces to focus and think alone (28%) were all identified as major inhibitors to creativity. 

Respondents also felt that their organisations were doing little to address the problem.
“The problems people face at work today are much more complex than they used to be. They require a new creative way of thinking and a very different work process,” says Sara Armbruster, vice president of strategy, research and new business innovation for Steelcase. “We believe that everyone has the capacity for creative thinking, and people are happier doing creative, productive work.”

As businesses enter a new decade, it's time to make bold changes to the wellbeing programs currently on offer in order to attract and retain talent who expect more from their employers.

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