A growing number of people prefers working outside the office. As a result, many cafes and coffee shops are packed with people in front of their laptops. Of course, a caramel macchiato tastes much better than the instant coffee at work, but in addition a cafe appears to be the perfect environment for the performance of creative tasks due to its moderate level of ambient noise.
Researchers of the University of British Columbia asked 65 students to perform various creativity tasks while listening to different volumes of background noise recorded at a restaurant. It turned out that a moderate (70 decibels) rather than low level of noise led to more creativity, especially in “highly creative” people.
“For individuals looking for creative solutions to daily problems, instead of burying oneself in a quiet room trying to figure out a solution, walking out of one’s comfort zone and getting into a relatively noisy environment (such as a café) may trigger the brain to think abstractly, and thus generate creative ideas,” write the authors.
However, don’t make Starbucks your permanent working spot after reading this article. Your creativity will only be fired up when you occasionally replace office quietness by a buzzing cafe atmosphere.
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