-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, April 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Creative activities
outside of work may help boost your job performance, a new study
Personal endeavors after-hours help employees recover from
on-the-job demands and improve skills such as problem-solving, the
researchers report in the April 17 issue of the
Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology.
Researchers surveyed 341 employees across the United States,
asking about their creative activities and their work performance.
The study also included 92 active duty U.S. Air Force captains who
provided details about their creative pursuits and whose job
performance was rated by coworkers and subordinates.
Many activities were defined as creative, ranging from writing
short stories to playing video games. Whatever their creative
activities, the participants "usually describe it as lush, as a
deep experience that provides a lot of things for them," Kevin
Eschleman, an assistant professor of psychology at San Francisco
State University, said in a university news release.
"But they also talk about this idea of self-expression and an opportunity to really discover something about themselves," he added.
Eschleman and his colleagues found that having creative pursuits
away from work had a positive effect on problem solving and
assisting others while on the job,.
Employers can encourage their workers to do creative things
outside work, but need to be careful about how they do it.
"One of the main concerns is that you don't want to have someone feel like their organization is controlling them, especially when it comes to creative activities, because intrinsic motivation is part of that unique experience that comes with creative activity," Eschleman explained.
He also said companies can encourage employees to be creative at
work through events such as baking contests or having them decorate
their offices with personal artwork. Employers can also offer
workers discounts to local art studios or other types of creative
PBS explains the importance of
encouraging creativity in children.
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