Boring can have a positive affect says new study

Creative: Sandi Mann
Creative: Sandi Mann
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A leading academic has given the thumbs up to people who are bored at work

According to a new study unveiled today, being bored at work can have a positive effect because daydreaming can increase creativity,

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

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

Dr Mann, from UCLan’s School of Psychology, asked 102 office workers to complete questionnaires asking about their experience of boredom at work and how they cope with it.

She 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.”

The author of several books added: “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 were presented at the British Psychological Society’s annual occupational psychology conference.