May 01, 2013 06:37 ET

Eight Out of Ten British Workers Are Daydreaming Their Way to the Top

- Two thirds of British workers report regular daydreaming helps them to improve their performance and makes them more motivated in the workplace.

- The British worker daydreams on average four times during their working day with each daydream lasting on average four minutes & 20 seconds

- British workers clock off for a daily daydream at: 10.47am, 1.36pm, 3.07pm and 4.16pm

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - May 1, 2013) - Being top dog in the workplace, being happy as Larry, being on holiday, making love, winning the lottery, being with David Beckham and Pippa Middleton are just some of the nation's favourite daydreams a new study out today has revealed.

The daydreamer report, which was conducted by the cheap hotel chain Travelodge, surveyed 2,000 British workers across a wide selection of industries and key findings revealed that 80% of the UK's workforce is a dedicated daydream believer at work. On average British workers daydream four times during their working day with each daydream lasting on average four minutes and twenty seconds. Over a year this equates to the average worker having their head in the clouds for nearly a full working week. The most popular times for workers to take a daydreaming break in the workplace are at: 10.47am, 1.36pm, 3.07pm and 4.16pm.

Interestingly, bosses may think drifting into a fantasy world is connected to loss of productivity and being a waste of time, however the research proves quite the opposite as nearly a third (62%) of British workers reported that they employ daydreaming to help them improve their performance and make them more motivated in the workplace.

More than a third (35%) of workers polled stated they use daydreaming as a technique to visualise being involved in future business successes and brilliance at work. This technique is used by many celebrities, sporting heroes and figures in business - for instance, Tim Berners-Lee who created the Internet from a daydreaming session. Other practitioners include Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Tiger Woods and Roger Federer who all daydream and use visualisation to help them be top of their game.

Nearly a third of workers (32%) say they daydream to help work through and resolve a work problem whilst 21% of adults reported they daydream to help clear their mind before tackling the next task. Nearly a fifth (15%) of workers use daydreaming as an aid to tackle their 'to do list'.

Further research findings revealed as you move up the ranks within the workplace, executives, directors and senior management tend to daydream for longer periods of time during their working day but less often then junior workers. Senior executives on average daydream three times during their working day with each daydream lasting for five minutes and 30 seconds. The most popular times for them to take a daydream break are 1.31pm, 3.06pm and 5.18pm.

As well as daydreaming in longer bursts, senior executives are far more likely to daydream about making love, with a third (31%) admitting it is their favourite daydream. Clearing the mind (31%) is also a common reason for daydreaming amongst Britain's bosses, ahead of visualising work-related scenarios (30%).

Psychologist, Corinne Sweet said: "Daydreaming provides a vital 'mental holiday' for those at work and under stress or duress; it can also play a valuable role in lifting mood, changing neuronal pathways and creating a 'feel good factor'. We process emotions, thoughts and ideas through daydreaming, and, as long as we keep in touch with reality, a few minutes of dreamy mental absence can problem solve, turn on a creative light bulb or simply relieve the stress of a busy day."

When it comes to escaping the reality of the daily grind and slipping into a fantasy world, a quarter (25%) of workers say their favourite daydream is to be on holiday followed by fifth (19%) of adults stating their favourite daydream is about making love and 18% say it is about winning the lottery.

Thinking about celebrities is also a favourite daydream amongst Britons with our most popular celebrities broken down as follows:

Most popular celebrity
daydream for women
Most popular celebrity
daydream for men
1. Pippa Middleton 1. David Beckham
2. Cheryl Cole 2. Nigella Lawson
3. Jose Mourinho 3. Kelly Brook
4. Simon Cowell 4. Alex Ferguson
5. Kim Kardashian 5. Daniel Craig
6. David Beckham 6. Holly Willoughby
7. Victoria Beckham 7. Jessica Ennis
8. Bradley Cooper 8. Richard Branson
9. Kate Middleton 9. Prince William
10. Brad Pitt 10. Lewis Hamilton

So important is the benefit of daydreaming for workers that a fifth will sneak off to their car during their working day to daydream in peace. The most popular places for daydreaming are the workplace (65%), in bed (46%), the shower (25%), the car (24%) and when exercising (15%).

Chris Idzikowski, Sleep Expert from Edinburgh Sleep Centre said: "This is a very interesting study, illustrating how daydreaming is a natural part of our cycle. Dreaming during the night occurs on a 90 minute cycle and it is thought that daydreaming follows a similar pattern, however daily activities interrupt that. Dreaming in REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep helps improve our memory - perhaps we need the same downtime for daydreaming?"

Shakila Ahmed, Travelodge spokesperson said: "Planning the perfect holiday takes some preparation, therefore daydreaming your next getaway is a good way of planning your trip. Not only do you get to organise your break but it also allows your mind to take a short break in which to release tension and anxiety, so you can return refreshed just like a proper holiday."

The study also showed that marketers are Britain's biggest daydream believers citing problem-solving as the main reason for a daydream break. Lawyers, bankers and estate agents are also keen daydreamers, each using it to help visualise a future success at work - such as winning a case, securing a deal or completing a sale.

Top 5 daydreamers by profession:

1. Marketing
2. Bankers
3. Lawyers
4. Estate agents
5. Civil servants

The study also quizzed respondents on whether daydreaming in the workplace had got them into an embarrassing situation. In response over a third of workers (36%) reported there have been occasions when they were so engrossed in their daydream that they have completely said the wrong thing in a very important meeting and subsequently were made to look silly amongst their colleagues and senior management. A further 15% of workers said they have made a big mistake at work because they were so occupied by their daydream.

A fifth of workers stated they are regularly caught daydreaming on the job by their colleagues.

About Travelodge:

The first budget hotel brand to launch in the UK in 1985, Travelodge now operates over 500 hotels and over 35,400 rooms across the UK, Ireland (11) and Spain (4). Travelodge plans to grow its estate to 1,100 hotels and 100,000 rooms by 2025. Over 13 million people stayed with Travelodge last year and 90% of reservations are currently made online at, where room rates start at £19 per night. The chain employs over 6,000 staff.

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