Seeing images of nature in the labor/delivery room improves the experience of giving birth. Aburas and her team report that “Incorporating design elements and strategies that calm and reduce negative emotions may create positive experiences for women in labor.” When images of nature were present during the labor and delivery period, scores were higher on “the Quality of Care From the Patient’s Perspective (QPP) subscale. In addition, there was an increase in the QPP scores associated with the increase in Nature TV watching time, QPP mean of watching time (less than 1 hour) group . . .
DuBose and her research team explored how spatial design can influence healing. They share that “there is a growing recognition that our healthcare system could do more by promoting overall wellness, and this requires expanding the focus to healing. . . . this review of the literature presents the existing evidence to identify how healthcare spaces can foster healing.
Blaschke and her colleagues have learned that adding artificial plants to spaces can have desirable outcomes. Their study was based in an oncology clinic waiting room in Australia and collected data from cancer patients, staff members, and people caring for the cancer patients. The investigators found that “Eighty-one percent . . . of respondents noticed the [artificial] green features when first entering the waiting room and 67% . . . noticed they were artificial. Eighty-one percent . . . indicated ‘like/like a lot’ when reporting their first reaction to the green features.
Research by Choi and her team indicates that a lot of walls in video conference centers and other locations should be painted warm colors. As they detail, their data, collected in the US and South Korea, indicates that “an anonymous person against a warm color background (vs. neutral and cold color background) is perceived to be one with warmer personality.” In addition, “nurses’ perception of warmth from a hospital’s ambient color affects their favorable judgment of the hospital and intention to take on an extra role.”
Lamb and Kwok looked at the effects of workplace stressors on performance. They report on a study that collected data from office workers over 8 months: “Participants completed a total of 2261 online surveys measuring perceived thermal comfort, lighting comfort and noise annoyance, measures of work performance, and individual state factors underlying performance and wellbeing.
Grenness’ work indicates the importance of aligning national culture and workplace design. He reports on research done with Telenor, a Norwegian firm. In Norway, an open-plan, flexible workplace, that reflected the country’s egalitarian social structure worked well. This was not the case in areas in Asia. Regarding the design of its offices outside Norway, Grenness reports that “Based on the interviews, it was fairly obvious that Telenor had not given the issue [of alignment with national culture] much thought. Its overall strategy was to copy the design of its head office in Norway .
Blakey investigated links between workspace design and innovation/creativity. Knowledge workers living in California were asked how they felt workplace design influenced their innovation/creativity. Blakey found via surveys and interviews that “Within the individual workspace technology surfaced as a primary driver of innovation. When asked about team workspace respondents [indicated] concern over noise and interruptions. . .
LoMonaco-Benzing and Ha-Brookshire, in a study published in Sustainability, investigated links between Millennials’ decisions to leave firms and gaps they identified between their employers’ stated values and actions. The researchers found that “one reason young workers choose to leave a firm is because they find a disconnect between their beliefs and the culture they observe in the workplace.
Lasauskaite and Cajochen linked mental effort intensity and light color. The team “tested effort-related cardiac response under four lighting conditions and found that it decreased with color temperatures [i.e., as light got bluer]. Thus, blue-enriched light in offices and schools might . . . preserve resources during cognitive activities.”
Ruta Lasauskaite and Christian Cajochen. 2016. “Influence of Lighting Color Temperature on Mental Effort.” Psychology of Architecture Conference (December 4-5, Austin, TX) Program, p. 26.
Unsworth and McNeill set out to learn more about how to encourage people to behave in an environmentally responsible way. They found that self-interest can be used to motivate green actions. The researchers determined that attempts to encourage earth-friendly behaviors are likely to be more successful when the green behaviors are linked to “goals that are important to people, even if such goals are unrelated to climate change or the environment in general. . . .