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Last Updated: Monday, 14 July, 2003, 09:50 GMT 10:50 UK
Working life crushes creativity
Sunrise, AP
Older workers are at their most creative in the morning
More flexible working hours could unleash the creativity of Britain's workers.

A survey carried out for hi-tech firm Corel has revealed that people feel stifled by working a standard eight-hour day.

It found that trying to pump people for good ideas on demand did not always guarantee that staff produced their best work.

Some of those questioned said that they felt more creative during the morning while younger workers said they were at their best in the early evening.

Good times, bad times

The survey revealed that workers of different ages feel more creative at strikingly different times of day.

It showed that 44% of workers aged between 55 and 64 feel sharpest and have their best ideas during the first hours of the business day.

By contrast only 16% of 16-24 year-olds are most creative at this time.

Almost half of these younger workers consulted for the survey said that they were most creative towards the end of the working day and in the evening.

Dynamic Markets, a research firm that carried out the survey on Corel's behalf, said that forcing staff to carry out brainstorming sessions at inappropriate times of the day could mean that the best ideas do not emerge.

"With a skill that it is so intangible such as creativity it is critical that it is not forced," said Amanda Bedborough, an executive vice president at Corel.

"Employers need to therefore consider helping their employees structure their day around when they perform tasks most effectively."

Ms Bedborough said flexible working arrangements could help reveal when workers are at their best and ensure that firms get the most out of their staff.

"Our study supports the beliefs of many chronobiologists who have suggested that if we don't listen to our body clock we won't perform as effectively," said Ms Bedborough.

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