Tech staff best at bright ideas

Survey: IT and telecoms workers lead the way at generatingnew ideas within companies, leaving the finance department in the dust

IT staff are top of the league when it comes to thinking up bright ideas for the company, according to new research.

A survey commissioned by Vodafone claims the IT and telecoms departments are seen by their colleagues as the source of most new ideas within a company.

When asked to name the departments that generate most new ideas, respondents rated the IT department top (42 per cent) followed by marketing (40 per cent). Finance departments languished at the bottom of the list.

When the statistics are split by industry sector, companies in IT (35 per cent) and media/marketing (43 per cent) are the ones that respondents identified as top for new ideas. Companies in utilities, transport, healthcare and finance trailed at the bottom of the list.

But the report also warns that the UK workforce is an "untapped resource" of new ideas.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents feel their company does not have a good reputation for rewarding new ideas, and more than half said they are not formally encouraged to come up with new ideas.

Four out of five are not offered any financial incentive to innovate, and three out of five are given no time at all to generate ideas.

As a result one in four said any good ideas they have "simply stay in their heads".

When asked what would improve the situation, financial rewards are seen as key, with a pay rise viewed as the single biggest incentive to come up with new ideas, followed by personal recognition.

Most people come up with their new ideas while sitting at their desks.

The second most popular place for that 'eureka' moment is in the car, followed by the bed.

And four per cent claimed to do their best thinking in the pub.

The survey consisted of interviews with 300 executives and 2,000 employees across the UK.