Boosting Willingness to Work
Keeping noses to grindstones
Keeping noses to grindstones
Distilling lessons from >600 studies
Yekanialibeiglou and colleagues link working in ABW (which they call activity-based offices or ABOs) and enhanced employee creativity. The researchers learned via “case studies of three ABOs. . . . that privacy, noise level, and a distraction‐free environment were the main factors supporting employees' individual creativity, as were open spaces with zones for different levels of noise and private enclosed spaces.
Sansom reports on research (“Reap What You Sow: Valuing Workplaces That Grow Good Ideas”) conducted to quantify the value of environmentally responsible design. He shares that the completed study “demonstrates that an office with greenery and views to the outside could achieve up to a 200-per-cent uplift in wellbeing and environmental value compared with a typical workspace. . . . both qualitative and quantitative methods to monitor participants’ wellbeing and environmental quality during each scenario.
Van de Perre, Smet, Hanselaer, Dujardin, and Ryckaert evaluated the consequences of different lightscapes in windowless offices. They report that “A two-interval-forced-choice experiment was conducted with the 20 lighting scenes derived from five CCTs [correlated color temperatures] (2500–10 000 K) and four luminances (12–120 cd/m²). The results from 20 observers showed that a higher wall luminance significantly increased brightness.
Silently influencing workplace performance
Zhang and colleagues link specific work activities and energy levels; their findings may be useful to designers developing at-work break/refreshment zones, for example. The Zhang-lead team found “a time allocation effect, such that for a given period of the workday (i.e., the morning or the afternoon), the greater the proportion of time a knowledge worker spent in meetings relative to individual work, the less this person engaged in microbreak activities for replenishment during that period. The reduction in microbreak activities, in turn, harmed energy.
Lauterbach and Kunze probe links between activity-based working and employee absenteeism. They report that they studied “whether transitioning from cellular offices to an activity-based flexible office (A-FO) impacts employee absenteeism over time. . . . Using a sample of 2,017 white-collar workers tracked over 8 years, we quasi-experimentally investigated if absenteeism in the group with the office design intervention (1,035 individuals) differed from the control group (982 individuals). . . .
Neuroscience research makes it clear how the spaces where video conference sessions take place can be designed to support effective discussions, clear and pleasant exchanges between those present, in real life and virtually.