Increase Productivity/Performance

Lunchtime Park Walks and Relaxation Spaces: Good Ideas (12-14-17)

Having parks near workplaces where employees can walk for 15 minutes at lunchtime can be good for business—and so can creating an at-work space where people can do relaxation exercises.  A Sianola-lead team reports that “park walk . . . and relaxation . . . groups were asked to complete a 15-min exercise during their lunch break on 10 consecutive working days. Afternoon well-being. . . [was] assessed twice a week before, during, and after the intervention, altogether for 5 weeks. . . . park walks at lunchtime were related to better concentration and less fatigue in the afternoon. . . .

Experience, Personality and Noise (12-04-17)

Experience may influence how distracting it is to hear background noise.  Kou and team share that “Previous research has shown that background auditory distractors (music and sound/noise) have a more severe impact on introverts’ performances on complex cognitive tasks than extraverts (Dobbs, Furnham, & McClelland, 2011).”  The Kuo-led group partially replicated Dobbs and team’s study, with Chinese instead of English participants, finding that when “Chinese participants . . . carried out three cognitive tasks with the presence of Chinese pop songs, background office noise, and silence.

Workplace Rudeness (11-02-17)

It is important to design workplaces that reduce the likelihood of rude behavior, for more than the obvious reasons.  It is particularly important to smooth interactions that might occur during morning hours, for example as people arrive or get early cups of coffee.  The Woolum team found that if employees are relatively less confident and emotionally stable “a single exposure to [witnessed, i.e., visually observed] rudeness in the morning can contaminate employees’ perceptions of subsequent social interactions leading them to perceive greater workplace rudeness throughout their workday. .

Nearby Nature Needed (10-25-17)

Dadvand and his large team have gathered additional evidence indicating how important it is that people have ready access to green spaces.  They “evaluated the association between lifelong residential exposure [at locations where study participants had lived since they were born] to green space and attention during preschool and early primary school years. . . .

Space Plants (10-16-17)

Research indicates that plants can enhance our wellbeing, even when we’re in space.  Space travel can be stressful, it “can cause sleep disorders, a reduction in energy, inattentiveness and difficulty in problem-solving, and even memory loss. It can cause people to be more hostile, act more impulsively and, despite the danger and excitement, is sometimes boring. Any of these conditions and problems can lead to dangerous, if not tragic outcomes.” Odeh and Guy completed  “a review of the existing literature on plant-people interactions. . . . .

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