Workplace

Co-Working Experiences (04-19-19)

Bacevice and colleagues continue to study the experiences of people working at co-working locations. In their newest work, the researchers determined via survey data collected in 2017 and 2018 from WeWork members in the United States that “members strongly identify with their work organizations . . . even after working in the WeWork office for a long period of time. . . . people experience positive outcomes when their work environment aligns with their company’s brand messaging and values.

Designing Laboratories (04-01-19)

Laboratory Lifestyles: The Construction of Scientific Fictions is packed with ideas that can be used to develop scientific laboratories as well as other professional workplaces. Laboratory Lifestyles’website states that “The past decade has seen an extraordinary laboratory-building boom. This new crop of laboratories features spectacular architecture and resort-like amenities. The buildings sprawl luxuriously on verdant campuses or sit sleekly in expensive urban neighborhoods.

Sit-Stand Desks: Research Review (03-15-19)

Chambers, Robertson, and Baker reviewed published studies of the various effects of using sit-stand desks (SSDs).  They integrated research findings related to “behavior (e.g. time sitting and standing), physiological, work performance, psychological, discomfort, and posture. . . . We conclude that SSDs effectively change behaviors, but these changes only mildly effect health outcomes. SSDs seem most effective for discomfort and least for productivity.  . . .

Adding Music for Creativity? Beware! (03-01-19)

Research conducted by Threadgold and colleagues indicates the dangers of listening to music while attempting to think creatively.  The Threadgold-lead group reports that they “investigated the impact of background music on performance of Compound Remote Associate Tasks (CRATs), which are widely thought to tap creativity. Background music with foreign (unfamiliar) lyrics . . . instrumental music without lyrics . . . and music with familiar lyrics . . .

Flexible Office Spaces (02-28-19)

Research by Soiland and Hansen again indicates that multiple factors influence how spaces are used. As Soiland and Hansen report, “Flexible office concepts offer organisations the ability to adapt quickly to changes, and provide users with possibilities to work flexibly. Ideas about flexible working shape the design concepts employed in office design, and have consequences for users’ everyday work practices. . . . The paper draws on data from a case study in a Norwegian public organisation. Our findings suggest that flexible architecture on its own does not produce flexible workers.

An At-University Activity-Based Workplace (02-22-19)

Berthelsen and colleagues investigated the implications of transitioning university staff from cell offices to an activity-based workplace.  The researchers studied, via a survey, “how staff at a large Swedish university experienced the . . . work environment before and after moving to activity-based offices.. . . In the new premises, a vast majority (86 per cent) always occupied the same place when possible, and worked also more often from home. The social community at work had declined and social support from colleagues and supervisors was perceived to have decreased.

Supporting Group Work (02-15-19)

Wu and colleagues determined that working in groups of different sizes often has different outcomes. Their results confirm the value of design that supports teams of various sizes. The investigators found that when they analyzed “more than 65 million papers, patents and software products that span the period 1954-2014 . . . smaller teams have tended to disrupt science and technology with new ideas and opportunities, whereas larger teams have tended to develop existing ones. . . .

Workspace Activity: Implications (02-14-19)

Sui and colleagues researched the effects of workspace design on performance.  They found via a literature review that among studies “that met the inclusion criteria: 45 examined a productivity outcome (i.e., typing, mouse, work-related tasks, and absenteeism), 38 examined a performance outcome (i.e., memory, reading comprehension, mathematics, executive function, creativity, psychomotor function, and psychobiological factors), and 30 examined a self-reported productivity/performance outcome (i.e., presenteeism or other self-reported outcome).

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