Increase Productivity/Performance

Support Eating Together (12-11-15)

Kniffin and his team have learned that there are clear benefits of employees eating together, for example, in onsite cafeterias or company specific dining rooms.  The researchers found via “a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods . . . [that there is] a significant positive association between [eating together] and work-group performance.” 

Kevin Kniffin, Brian Wansink, Carol Devine, and Jeffrey Sobal.  2015.  “Eating Together at the Firehouse:  How Workplace Commensality Relates to the Performance of Firefighters.”  Human Performance, vol. 28, no. 4, pp. 281-306.

Air Quality and Cognition (12-04-15)

Allen and his colleagues confirmed the importance of ventilation in indoor spaces and also linked relatively common indoor air conditions to decreased cognitive performance.  In the course of their study “Twenty-four (24) participants spent 6 full work days (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) in an environmentally controlled office space, [unaware of what the scientists were investigating]. On different days, they were exposed to IEQ conditions representative of Conventional (high volatile organic compound (VOC) concentration) and Green (low VOC concentration) office buildings in the U.S.

Culture Appropriateness and Thinking (12-02-15)

Mourey, Lam, and Oyserman investigated links between culturally appropriate situations and thinking.  They define cultural expertise as “knowing how things are done in everyday life (‘pink on Valentine’s Day,’ ‘obituaries celebrate and are mournful’).”  Designers often play a significant role in creating situations that align with cultural expertise.  People think more systematically after encountering something that is not consistent with cultural expectations; i.e., it does not align with their cultural expertise.

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