Good working relationships lead to creativity

Study finds supportive friendships between colleagues lead to more creative work

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Supportive friendships between coworkers are likely to lead to increased levels of creativity, a study by the University of Bath School of Management has found.

200 dual-income, heterosexual couples, of which 80 per cent had children, were asked to keep a weekly diary over five weeks and record their coworker work-family support. 

It found that during weeks when a participant received informal support from coworkers, such as a colleague listening to personal issues or providing cover for absence if a child is sick, they benefited from a positive home environment.

This led to an increase of creativity in work, demonstrating that coworker work-family support led to a “positive resource gain spiral”. 

Yasin Rofcanin, professor of management and one of the study’s authors, said that employees who receive support may be more likely to “open up about stresses, seek to resolve issues, or make improvements to the juggle of work-life arrangements”.

Employers can put policies and procedures in place to minimise work-family conflict, added Rofcanin.