Is a lack of creativity stifling workplace productivity?

Plenty of reports have hit the headlines regarding the UK’s seemingly low levels of productivity – but is stifling creativity a further problem?

According to new research issued by Microsoft, uninspiring workplaces, stress, and a lack of room for individual concentration are all contributing to the risk of a ‘creativity crisis’.

The study, put together by Microsoft Surface representing the views of more than 1,100 employees, also found existing workloads and organisational processes – or lack of them – contribute to the decline.

“Helping people and workers improve their creativity is critical to the future of the UK economy, and many businesses and workplaces are not yet set up in ways that reward or foster this skill,” said Microsoft UK’s Ryan Asdourian in a statement. “To inspire innovation, workers must be equipped with the right training and tools – including devices that enable employees to work where they are most creative yet still collaborate effectively; diverse office spaces for different kinds of working; and a work-life balance that enables them the headspace to think through problems.”

You can probably guess where this one is going. According to Gartner’s most recent report on worldwide device shipments, traditional PC sales will continue to fall off a cliff in the coming years as mobile phones continue to proliferate.

Yet by differentiating what Gartner calls ‘ultramobiles’ – tablets, in other words – from the utility to the premium market, a clear change is noted, with the latter’s figures rising from 59 million units in 2017 to 82m in 2019. Naturally, Microsoft’s Surface Pro products fit into the premium category, as does the Apple MacBook Air.

Microsoft added in its research that, for two in five employees polled, creativity and innovation were neither encouraged nor rewarded at their place of work, despite creativity being a clear skill growth area according to the World Economic Forum.

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