Finch and her colleagues assessed how standing influences reading comprehension and creativity. They report on the findings of their lab experiment: study “participants completed reading comprehension and creativity tasks while both sitting and standing. Participants self-reported their mood during the tasks and also responded to measures of expended effort and task difficulty. . . . body position did not affect reading comprehension or creativity performance, nor did it affect perceptions of effort or [task] difficulty. . . .
MIT researchers Ratti and Claudel, writing in the Harvard Business Review, confirm that the workplace is evolving in important ways. They share that “Today’s technology does allow global and instantaneous communication, but most of us still commute to offices for work every day. . . . What early digital commentators missed is that even if we can work from anywhere, that does not mean we want to. We strive for places that allow us to share knowledge, to generate ideas, and to pool talents and perspectives.
Two studies presented at the 2017 meeting of the Environmental Design Research Association link more visual contact between health care workers and enhanced employee performance. Gharaveis and his team found that “with high visibility in emergency departments, teamwork and collaborative communication will be improved, while the frequency of security issues will be reduced. . . .
Hadavi linked how people commute to work and their performance once they get to the office. She found that “the average level of attentional functioning among those who walk to work or school is significantly higher than that of those who drive or use public transportation (bus or train).” Hadavi’s research has implications for office site selection decisions, for example.
Bratt-Eggen and her team researched sound levels in open-plan study spaces. The investigators collected information in “five open-plan study environments at universities in the Netherlands. A questionnaire was used to investigate student tasks, perceived sound sources and their perceived disturbance, and sound measurements were performed to determine the room acoustic parameters. This study shows that 38% of the surveyed students are disturbed by background noise in an open-plan study environment.
Researchers associated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found that where we work has a significant effect on who we work with, still (Claudel, Massaro, Santi, Murray, and Ratti, 2017). The investigators report that “Academic research is increasingly cross-disciplinary and collaborative, between and within institutions. . . . We examine the collaboration patterns of faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology . . .
If they’re nearby, our phones effect how we think—in ways that complicate the development of workplaces where people work to their full potential—even if they’re turned off. Researchers found that “Your cognitive capacity is significantly reduced when your smartphone is within reach — even if it’s off. . . . researchers asked study participants to sit at a computer and take a series of tests that required full concentration in order to score well. . . .
A research team lead by Huckels-Baumgart found that separate medication rooms in hospitals are a good investment. They report that “Interruptions and errors during the medication process are common. . . .
Seat cushions and thinking, linked again
Green boosts workers' professional experiences