Learning creative skills can improve our mental health and job satisfaction

Employers who encourage staff to pursue creative passions can see a significant boost in staff morale, confidence and job satisfaction. These were some of the key findings of a new survey by Skillshare, the largest online learning community for creativity, revealed today.

The research uncovers the extent to which learning-hungry workers are keen to improve their creative skills, and the benefits this can bring in terms of performance at work and mental health. The survey of 1,500 adults carried out by Perspectus Global, reveals that being encouraged to pursue a creative passion outside of work has a host of morale-boosting benefits. 60% of respondents said it improved their mental health. 49% said it made them feel more relaxed, and 47% said it made them feel more fulfilled. 36% reported that pursuing a creative passion outside work helped with a work/life balance, and 30% said it improved job satisfaction.

85% of those polled said they would find an employer more attractive to work for if they supported their personal passions – beyond standard benefits like gym memberships. Meanwhile 62% said learning a new creative skill gave them ‘more confidence’ in the workplace. This rises to an astonishing 78% of 16-29 year olds.

“This research paints a fascinating picture of how the simple act of creating can be a force for good in people’s lives,” said Liana Douillet Guzmán, Skillshare CMO. “Creativity is an often overlooked part of day-to-day work life that can help employees thrive. Making creativity a priority isn’t just good for morale and productivity — it’s good for the bottom line. Encouraging employees to explore passion projects enables outside-the-box thinking and collaboration, sparking innovation. Google’s 20% time and LinkedIn’s [in]cubator program are great examples of how companies can encourage free ‘think time’ and generate outcomes that move the needle for their business.”

The survey also revealed that the people have gained an average of two new skills in the past 18 months during the pandemic. 57% of respondents have been more likely to attend an online creative course as a result of the pandemic. 88% would like to learn a new skill, and 95% agree it is important to keep learning skills whatever their age to stay happy and fulfilled.

The survey also looked at the extent to which people make money from different skills. 51% of entrepreneurial workers now have a ‘side hustle,’ with at least one way of making money outside of their day job. An astonishing 70% of 16-29 year olds report having a ‘side hustle,’ with nearly a third having a few different ways to make money outside of their day job.