Can doodling on a whiteboard actually make you smarter?
Whether you're in a company meeting or on a conference call, seeing employees doodling all over their notes may cause you to think they aren't paying attention. If they're drawing beach scenes, their minds can't be on work, right? However, you could be wrong. According to a study published in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology, drawing may actually help improve memory and focus. So, next time your employees sketch their way through a meeting, you can smile instead of fume. What's more, you can even promote drawing in your office and tips to improve listening.
What the research says
Researchers studied 40 adults as they listened to a boring conversation spoken in monotone voices. Half the participants were asked to shade in shapes on a piece of paper while listening, and the other half had to simply sit and listen. Both groups were required to write down the names of people invited to a party, as listed in the conversation. On average, the people in the doodling group were able to recall 7.5 pieces of information, while individuals from the listening-only group recalled 5.8 pieces.
"Giving your employees a means to doodle may actually improve their performance."
"If someone is doing a boring task, like listening to a dull telephone conversation, they may start to daydream," Jackie Andrade, lead researcher on the study, told the BBC. "Daydreaming distracts them from the task, resulting in poor performance. A simple task, like doodling, may be sufficient to stop daydreaming without affecting performance on the main task."
Boosting concentration and memory at work
Based on the research, giving your employees a means to doodle and draw might be ways to improve work performance - and who couldn't use help concentrating during a dull client meeting? The way you set up your office space and the tools you provide could encourage drawing. Here are some ways to entice your staff to sketch:
Add erasable tools to their desks: You can give your employees a dedicated doodle space right at their desks with a cloud whiteboard or WriteyBoard paper. Both tools are small whiteboard surfaces that are easy to store at a desk. Your employees can draw during calls, then erase the work when they're done. Both options also prevent staff from using too much paper - cutting down on waste is good for everyone, especially Mother Earth!
Hang an office-wide whiteboard: Having a mini dry erase board at their desks can encourage employees to draw, but you can also put up a bigger board in the office. Classic WriteyBoards can span large areas and are easy to hang. Put them in conference rooms or near employees' desks and let them draw away! From adding sketching office news pictures to drawing images to help people remember the Wi-Fi password, whiteboards may support memory retention - plus, a board can add flare to your office space.