Puglisi and colleagues studied the experiences of people working remotely and it seems likely that their findings can be applied more generally. The researchers report that data they collected via surveys completed by remote workers “show that 55% of the workers perform their activity in an isolated room of the home environment, 43% in a shared room (e.g., kitchen, living room), and 2% in an outdoor space, with the majority of workers (57%) performing activity without other people in the environment. . . .
Our minds do their best thinking in very particular conditions. Neuroscientists have learned how design can support cognitive performance and their findings are useful in any situation in which mental processing power is important.
The health-related, behavioral, and cognitive implications of having and using sit-stand desks have been carefully and thoroughly investigated by neuroscientists.
Options that improve performance
Kuhn and colleagues evaluated how time in nature affects conditions in the brain. The researchers report that “A whole-brain analysis [conducted via MRI] revealed that time spent outdoors was positively associated with grey matter volume in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and positive affect, also after controlling for physical activity, fluid intake, free time, and hours of sunshine. Results indicate remarkable and potentially behaviorally relevant plasticity of cerebral structure within a short time frame driven by the daily time spent outdoors.
Most new (and new-ish) offices are activity-based workplaces (ABWs), sometimes known as activity-based flexible offices (A-FOs). Neuroscientists have comprehensively studied how best to “ABW.”
Healthcare design-related research continues at a brisk pace. Some significant recent findings are applicable at healthcare facilities as well as in other contexts.
Using resources wisely
What matters to workers
Managing color, intensity