Are British businesses facing a 'creativity crisis'?

British businesses could be failing to realise their full potential and embrace digital transformation due to a widespread workplace culture that stifles innovation, a new report has claimed.

Research from Microsoft Surface found that many British companies are failing to allow their workers to be creative and efficient, with unmanageable workloads and and high levels of stress named as significant inhibitors.

Overall, an alarming two in five workers said that creativity and innovation were neither encouraged nor rewarded within their workplace, suggesting many businesses may be missing out on potential breakthroughs.

Uninspiring workplaces (41 per cent), a stressful atmosphere (34 per cent) and a lack of appropriate spaces to focus and think alone (28 per cent) were all identified as holding workers back in the poll, which surveyed 1,100 employees across the nation, despite the World Economic Forum identifying creativity being one of the top three skills workers need to thrive by 2020.

Many workers also complained that their employers were doing little to address the problem. with three quarters of those surveyed (75 per cent) saying they have not been offered training to nurture their skills within the past two years. This was despite nearly half (49 per cent) of employees believing that learning new creativity skills would help them be more effective in their role. 

“Any organisation that believes creativity is the privilege of a few senior execs is missing out on huge opportunities for growth,” says Ryan Asdourian, Windows and Surface lead, Microsoft UK. 

“Creativity is everywhere if you know where to look but like all skills, it needs to be nurtured and given the right tools. Businesses must do more to provide employees with the right working environment to handle different kinds of tasks, and the flexibility to get out of the office to spark their creativity. This research shows a clear lack of investment in innovation and creativity training, which is especially alarming when we consider the potential impact to the UK economy. If UK businesses are not able to find ways to spark creativity within the workplace, they’re at risk of falling behind.”