The next time you catch your employees daydreaming, it would probably be best to let them off easily. Work thrives on innovative ideas, and these are best created by letting the mind wander. | Little wonder then, that allowing a little wandering of the mind is considered to be one of the best man-management practices, is the message conveyed by many keynote speakers.
In fact, Google allows its employees to spend up to 20% of their time at office daydreaming!!
A phrase synonymous with daydreaming is “staring into empty space”. Those who do so aren't looking at ceilings because they find them attractive; their minds are wandering unhindered during this phase. They are no longer being forced to imbibe particular bits of information or work along a set pattern (according to the information which they may have memorized at keynote speaker events) during this period. This unhindered wandering allows the mind to realize its hitherto unexplored potential. (It is advisable, however, to not place wallpapers of attractive men and women, or pictures of cute puppies, kittens and other eye-catching displays upon ceilings, since daydreaming might quickly become an excuse for looking at them).
Very often, the foundations of tangible work are laid through intangible means. Einstein once said “ the true sign of intelligence isn't knowledge, but imagination”. It is this imagination which daydreaming often facilitates.
On the face of it, daydreaming might appear to be a waste of time. However, projects which are guided by rich imagination often run into fewer problems.Strange as it may sound, “staring into empty space” allows daydreamers and would-be keynote speakers to foresee possible roadblocks and plan alternative courses of action. Even while not looking at anything in particular, the daydreamer is granted with an incalculably valuable vision.
Hence the use of the term “visionary” to refer to the originators of innovative ideas
This concept is not without pitfalls though. Even the best of ideas need to be translated into tangibility in order for them to live up to their potential. Also, as a boss , you can never be certain of whether your employees are searching for ideas or imagining themselves as having a romantic time with their boyfriends or girlfriends while they are daydreaming!!!
Nevertheless, the best of workplaces emphasize on creating a comfortable work environment which allows employees to live up to their fullest potential through a variety of means, including “dabble time” and general daydreaming.
At Eclipse Technoconsulting Global Pvt. Ltd, a leading software development company in Kolkata, India, we are aware of the need for providing sufficient physical and psychological space to our employees to enable them to innovate. We predict that many more companies will take up Google's lead on daydreaming in the near future. Can you suggest a few more steps which might enhance creativity at work? Let us know at #eclipseindia or Eclipsetech12. A little daydreaming might help you find the solution.