Next time you’re leading a meeting of your team and somebody seems to be lost, staring off absently into space, don’t be too quick to recall them to this world.

A new study by a British psychologist suggests that daydreaming at work – notably as a result of having to complete routine tasks or endure boring presentations – helps boost employee creativity.

Plastic cups
The study involved a group of 40 people who were asked to do a boring job: Copy numbers from a telephone book for 15 minutes. These people were asked to come up with creative uses for a pair of plastic cups, and they did better at the creative task than a control group of 40 people who didn’t copy numbers first.

Don’t worry about it
The researcher, Sandi Mann of the University of Central Lancashire, said the study showed that bosses shouldn’t necessarily worry if their people get bored sometimes. Of course, if people complain of boredom and never come up with any good ideas, that’s a whole ’nuther thing …


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