Lin and team investigated the influence of interruptions on office worker stress levels. They learned that “Interruptions by others, or intrusions, are a common phenomenon in today’s workplaces. Intrusions can be disruptive for employees because they displace time required to complete job tasks (thereby increasing perceptions of workload).
Kemp and Williams analyzed business meetings in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). What they learned is useful to people developing work environments in the UAE and neighboring countries with similar business behavior. Kemp and Williams found that “the Gulf Arab region offers an eclectic mix of different cross-cultural interactions, when business meetings are being conducted. Using . . . data about [scheduled] meetings held in three large organizations, each with a diverse cross-cultural workforce . . .
Rodgers investigates the relationship between newsroom design and news reported through a case study of the Toronto Star workspace. His project is important because the link between the physical environment and the reporting of news is infrequently researched and reported news can have a significant influence on future events. Much of Rodgers’ text will sound familiar to people who have investigated other work environments: “The city desk is composed of circulations, proximities, and connections.
Congdon and Gall present Steelcase’s recent research linking culture and design, which builds on the work of others, such as Geert Hofstede, in useful graphics at the web address noted in the citation, below. They describe their project succinctly: “Researchers at Steelcase, the office furniture company, have identified six dimensions of workplace culture that shape an office’s social dynamics . . . .
How important is office design to workers compared to other work factors?
In a 2012 presentation at Light Canada/IIDEX 2012, Jennifer Veitch of the National Research Council Canada effectively summarized the findings of office lighting research carried out by her, her colleagues, and other researchers. As Veitch reports, “Laboratory research at NRC and elsewhere demonstrated that people prefer a mixture of direct and indirect lighting that lights the entire workspace and individual personal control over the local lighting level.
Intel Labs identifies trends related to the future world of work in a recent white paper. They conclude that in 2025, “While it is likely that workers will increasingly be spread geographically and across time zones, co-location will still be required to fulfill the human need to establish connection with co-workers, build relationships and trust, and provide opportunities to grow as a team through social interaction. Co-location is also important because it is known to spur knowledge spillover, serendipitous interactions and innovation.”
Researchers from the University of Utrecht (Semin, de Groot, Smeets, Kaldewaij, and Duijndam) have confirmed that humans use chemical signals to communicate emotional states to other humans.
Designers and facility managers often measure job satisfaction when work environments are modified.
Healthcare Design has prepared an introduction to effective bariatric design in healthcare environments, which is available without charge at the web address below.