Choudhury has integrated findings from his and other’s working from anywhere-related research to detail emerging best practices; his article is available without charge at the web address noted below. Choudhury’s material is useful to anyone developing a working from anywhere program or looking for insights into environments that support working from anywhere. As Choudhury states in the overview for his article, “The pandemic has hastened a rise in remote working for knowledge-based organizations.
Gheewalla and colleagues assessed how distracting different sorts of noises are. They learned, by having study participants complete reading comprehension tasks, that “Compared to working silence, white noise also reduced the efficiency of text comprehension.”
Fateema Gheewalla, Alastair McClelland, and Adrian Furnham. 2021. “Effects of Background Noise and Extraversion on Reading Comprehension Performance.” Ergonomics, vol. 64, no. 5, https://doi.org/10.1080/00140139.2020.1854352
Thorough study, constructive findings
Which light is best? Houser and colleagues report that “light is still for vision, and lighting for visibility, visual comfort and visual amenity is as important as ever. Complementing the old is new awareness and responsibility for how light and lighting influence non-visual responses in humans. Circadian, neuroendocrine and neurobehavioural responses are important for human health and should be considered on-par with visual responses. This awareness leads toward lighting design solutions with increased contrast between day and night.
Ways of thinking influence ways of working
Considering physical, social, and individual factors
In cooperation with a research team at the Technical University of Munich, Stora Enso has released a white paper detailing health and wellbeing benefits of living and working in spaces with wood design elements. It is available free of charge at the web address noted below. Research indicates, for example, that “wood has beneficial effects. . . .
Hodzic and colleagues studied the implications of moving into an activity-based workplace (which the researchers refer to as “activity-based flexible offices”). The researchers determined that “moving to the A-FO had negative effects on distraction, work engagement, job satisfaction, and fatigue. The negative effects of distraction were more pronounced in situations of increased time pressure and unpredictability. . . . .
Loder’s book shares useful insights on greening cities. In her introduction, Loder describes her text: it focuses on “how creatively bringing nature into cities can provide multiple benefits that can help to mitigate many of the urban problems we face. . . . Using new research and case studies on perceptions of small-scale urban greening projects . . .
The design of the space immediately around us as we work, our workspace, has a significant effect on our wellbeing and cognitive performance. Neuroscience-based best practices should drive the form of our workspaces, in the office, at home, or wherever else we may find ourselves doing mental tasks.