Trends and Insight in association withSynapse Virtual Production

Out of Office: Professional Creatives Rank Offices as Bottom of the List for Inspiration

Creative Consultancy
London, UK
Research of 1,000 creative minds points to the office as the last place for creative ideas to form, as Gen Z creatives look to maintain their wellbeing and work outside office

With employees venturing back to the office, research out today reveals that the office is no longer a hub for creativity. Over 1 in 3 creatives voted 'on a walk' as the top place where they come up with their best ideas. 'At home' ranked as more than twice the effectiveness of the office for coming up with creative ideas, with the office coming in at sixth place. 

This comes as the research reveals 45% of younger generation creatives value culture and wellbeing in shaping creative careers, compared with established creatives who value practice. 

GENIE, the AI talent agent for the creative industry, commissioned the research focusing on the creative sector, to understand working preferences through the lens of creative professionals. The vast majority of recent research concerning working habits post-covid has been from the macro, non-sector specific lens, pointing towards in-office collaboration being the best source for creativity and the virtual conference calls stifling ideation. However, GENIE’s research surveyed 1,001 creative professionals to gain first-hand insight into what makes the creative mind tick and how creative ideas form.

The top eight places where creatives come up with the best ideas were: 

- On a walk 

- At home 

- In bed 

- In the shower 

- When socialising with friends

- In the office 

- At the gym 

- On the toilet 

This trend in creatives wanting further flexibility in their working habits came as: 

- 68% stated that working from home helps them be more creative as a person

- 74% agreed that travel made them more creative

- 43% said experiences, such as travel and life events, was the most important factor in shaping a creative person, ranking higher than actually putting creativity into practice

The research also highlighted the generational gap in creative working styles. Younger generations value the need for experiences, as well as supportive wellbeing, fuelling the need for companies to evaluate their flexible working policies to both recruit and build careers of future generations: 

- 45% of creatives aged 25-34 valued 'Culture' as the most important factor when shaping a creative person

- Compared to those aged 35+ who ranked “Practice” and practical experience as the number one factor 

- Gen Z creatives - those aged 25 and under - were the age bracket that agree most with mindfulness having a positive impact when it comes to creativity- highlighting that mental health and wellbeing is a priority to the younger generation.

Mood and location are central to impactful creative ideas, highlighting the importance of creatives being in a comfortable setting when ideating. The top factors influencing creative thinking were found in the research to be:

- Individual’s mood

- Surrounding location 

- How inspirational the work is 

- Diversity of perspectives from people working alongside 

- Flexibility in the brief 

- Tools provided to create the project 

- Intended outcome of the work 

- Quality of the brief 

- Budget 

Working alongside competent people 

With 2.3 million people in the creative industry sector and office space per individual costing nearly £1,500 per month for companies, that’s £3,750,000,000 being spent each month on office space for the creative sector. This is an eye-watering cost when creatives are stating that their ideas are being weakened by office environments. Companies employing creative employees will need to carefully consider their approach to hybrid working, balancing the need to build company culture alongside the need to allow for creative development outside of the office.  

GENIE’s research drew on true opinions, directly from the creative industry, after surveying 1,001 creatives within the UK, including those working in; television, gaming, music, fashion, graphic design, social media, marketing, theatre, architecture and orchestra. 

GENIE conducted the research to understand how the creative mind looks at things differently, and what makes the creative mind tick. This expert insight is what feeds into the AI powered matching algorithm from GENIE, giving companies fast access to the most exceptional talent in the industry that meets their needs. This comes as GENIE launches its biggest advertising campaign, Creative Mind, featuring a string of striking visual illusions placed around London, including the Underground, during the month of July, depicting everyday items through a different lens. The images all feature a literal and subjective layer of what they represent - showcasing a manifestation of how the creative mind looks at things differently. The body of work was mediated entirely through talent in GENIE’s best-in-class pool, resourcing the perfect team through GENIE’s sophisticated matching, with industry legend Sir John Hegarty operating as Executive Creative Director. 

Nick Grime, co-founder of GENIE, commented: “It’s not a new concept that creativity is central to societal progress and economic growth. Therefore, understanding what environments best facilitate creative minds being able to  look at things differently is essential. The Covid pandemic has given the creative industries a once in a lifetime opportunity to reset its thinking on how best to nurture creative talent. As this research shows, there should be no hurry to bring creatives back to the office in a pre pandemic way - on the contrary, being in comfortable surroundings, whether that is travelling, in the shower, or on the toilet, is an essential component to unlocking the brilliance of their minds.”

Work from GENIE