Non-creative tasks: a turn off for creative R&D employees

  • Aaro Hazak


Reports, applications, formalities and administrative tasks – these are common elements in the work of R&D employees. We performed a study among Estonian creative R&D employees to identify what the link is between the share of creative work in total working time, and the results of the work, as well as the sleepiness, tiredness and wellbeing of the employee. We find that the more creative the R&D employee’s work, the more satisfied the person is with his/her work results, while more routine tasks also decrease creative content in work outcomes. Furthermore, the more creative the work, the happier the employee appears to be. We also find that non-creative tasks increase the daytime sleepiness and tiredness of creative R&D employees. It is important that employers as well as R&D governance bodies consider carefully the adverse effects that extensive non-creative work tasks may have on both the R&D work results as well as individual wellbeing.


Clark, A. E. (2005). Your money or your life: Changing job quality in OECD countries. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 43(3), 377-400.

Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1987). The support of autonomy and the control of behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53(6), 1024.

Doi, Y. & Minowa, M. (2003). Gender differences in excessive daytime sleepiness among Japanese workers. Social Science & Medicine, 56, 883–894.

Hazak, A., Männasoo, K., Virkebau, M. (2017). Effects of work arrangements on creative R&D work outcomes. Eastern European Economics. Forthcoming.

Kelliher, C., & Anderson, D. (2008). For better or for worse? An analysis of how flexible working practices influence employees' perceptions of job quality. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 19(3), 419-431.

Männasoo, K. (2008). Patterns of firm survival in Estonia. Eastern European Economics, 46(4), 27-42.

Shalley, C. E., Gilson, L. L., & Blum, T. C. (2000). Matching creativity requirements and the work environment: Effects on satisfaction and intentions to leave. Academy of Management Journal, 43(2), 215-223.
Research Briefs