Increase Productivity/Performance

Smells Make a Difference (06-19-19)

Research conducted by Cohen and her colleagues indicates that smells influence our memory performance; which can support strategic scentscaping of environments. The investigators had participants complete “an olfactory Pavlovian category conditioning task in which trial-unique exemplars from one of two categories were partially reinforced with an aversive odor. Participants then returned 24 h later to complete a recognition memory test. We found better corrected recognition memory for the reinforced versus the unreinforced category of stimuli in both adults and adolescents.

Office Design, User Perceptions (05-24-19)

Candido, Chakraborty, and Tjondronegoro investigated how office design influences user perceptions of their performance, health, and comfort.  The researchers found via a post-occupancy evaluation program (nearly 9,000 completed surveys) of offices in Australia that “For open-plan offices, the best-performing features for predicting perceived productivity were . . . amount of interruption, work area aesthetics, degree of adaptation of the work area, furnishing, overall amount of noise, cleanliness, and personal control over lighting.

Emergency Department Design (05-22-19)

Gharaveis, Hamilton, Shepley, Pati, and Rodiek studied how Emergency Department design influences teamwork, communication, and security;  their findings are applicable in both healthcare and other contexts.  The Gharaveis-lead team reports that “By providing high accessibility and visibility, the security issues can be minimized and teamwork and communication can be enhanced. . . . Transparency in the core of the ED would improve levels of teamwork and communication. . . .  design should provide visual and acoustical privacy when needed by flexibility in design. . . .

Clinic Design (05-20-19)

Karp and colleagues studied the design of primary care clinics.  They probed, via multiple research tools, how “two different primary care clinic physical layouts (onstage/offstage and pod-based [PB] designs) influenced pre- and post visit team experiences and perceptions.Protocols encourage healthcare team communication before and after primary care visits to support better patient care. . . .In the onstage/offstage design, colocated teams had increased verbal communication but perceived being isolated from other clinic teams.

Office Lighting and Performance (05-07-19)

Sun, Lian, and Lan probed professional performance under varying lighting conditions using a variety of research methodologies.  They investigated “the relationship between lighting illuminance (ILL), uniformity of illuminance (U-ILL), correlated colour temperature (CCT) and workers’ productivity. . . . when exposed to high ILL, U-ILL and CCT environment, participants reported highest satisfaction on productivity and attention. . . . The improvements of perception, learning and memory function of participants were benefited from high ILL, high U-ILL and high/medium CCT.

Co-Working Experiences (04-19-19)

Bacevice and colleagues continue to study the experiences of people working at co-working locations. In their newest work, the researchers determined via survey data collected in 2017 and 2018 from WeWork members in the United States that “members strongly identify with their work organizations . . . even after working in the WeWork office for a long period of time. . . . people experience positive outcomes when their work environment aligns with their company’s brand messaging and values.

Designing Laboratories (04-01-19)

Laboratory Lifestyles: The Construction of Scientific Fictions is packed with ideas that can be used to develop scientific laboratories as well as other professional workplaces. Laboratory Lifestyles’website states that “The past decade has seen an extraordinary laboratory-building boom. This new crop of laboratories features spectacular architecture and resort-like amenities. The buildings sprawl luxuriously on verdant campuses or sit sleekly in expensive urban neighborhoods.


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