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Leadership Today - Practical Tips For Leaders

Aug 19, 2022


Some leaders worry working from home may limit creativity. Research partially backs this up, but there are changes we can make.



Welcome to episode 151 of the Leadership Today podcast where each week we bring research to life in your leadership. This week we explore the impact of working from home on creativity.

Some leaders have expressed concerns about people working from home, particularly around the risks of reduced collaboration and creativity. They argue that having people physically together is more effective when we’re aiming for creativity and innovation. The reality is it depends. It depends on the nature of work, the technology you’re using, the way you’re approaching creativity, your people and what you’re trying to achieve.

But what about individual creativity? Surely working from home doesn’t reduce the effectiveness of solitary creative work? If anything, you might expect the ability to work uninterrupted would increase creativity.

Recent research finds a surprising connection between free movement and creative thinking. They found it’s not the movement per se that helps with creativity, but rather the freedom to move. When people can freely move around, they are more creative. You can imagine how that might apply in educational settings. When people are learning from home on a screen rather than interacting and moving around freely in a room with others creativity is likely to be reduced.

But it can apply more broadly too. If you’re needing to complete creative work, sitting at a desk staring at a screen is unlikely to help. You’re better off finding a new place to work or using voice memos on your phone to allow you to move freely. That applies equally at home as it does in the office. 

So, if you want to be more creative, mix things up, work somewhere new and move around.

If you found this episode helpful, I would love it if you could take a minute to provide a rating and review. This really helps others to find the podcast. Have a great week.



Supriya Murali, Barbara Händel. Motor restrictions impair divergent thinking during walking and during sitting. Psychological Research, 2022; DOI: 10.1007/s00426-021-01636-w