As more and more people use standing desks, understanding how standing influences thinking becomes more important. Smith, Davoli, Knapp, and Abrams report that “Postural changes and the maintenance of postural stability have been shown to affect many aspects of cognition. . . . we examined the extent to which selective visual attention may differ between standing and seated postures in three tasks: the Stroop color-word task, a task-switching paradigm, and visual search.
Jamrozik and associates investigated how in-office window technology influences cognitive performance and other important aspects of worker experience. The team reports on the implications of using window-shading tools that allow daylight to pass through windows and people inside to see outdoors but curtail glare. Employees who participated in this study worked in all of the test conditions over a 14-week period doing their regular work tasks and for their entire workday. The performance and satisfaction of study participants experiencing the window technologies were compared to their per
Haapakangas and colleagues studied the experience of moving into an activity-based workplace (ABW). Over an extended period, at multiple offices, they evaluated via survey data “the effects of moving into an ABW on satisfaction with communication, on social relations (i.e., social support and social community) and on work demands (i.e., quantitative demands, emotional demands and work pace) 3 months and 12 months after the relocation. . . . Satisfaction with communication and the sense of belonging to a community had decreased 3 and 12 months after the relocation.
Supportive facility access drives response
More nuanced understanding of at-work experiences
Hoendervanger and colleagues continue to study the experience of working in activity-based offices. They determined via field and lab studies that “Activity-based work environments are widely adopted; however, research shows mixed findings regarding privacy issues, satisfaction with the work environment, and task performance. . . . The results from both studies confirm that perceived [person-environment] fit is a function of activity, work setting, and personal need for privacy, with indirect effects on satisfaction with the work environment . . . and task performance. . . .
Ng and colleagues investigated the benefits tenants link to science parks; some benefits reported have design implications. The team, via an online survey completed by tenants in multiple science parks in the Netherlands, identified three types of science park tenants: “The three tenant types sought different benefits through different attributes. Commercially-orientated firms associated science park attributes as ways for being near customers. Mature science-based firms associated attributes with a wider range of benefits, such as image benefits, being near customers and other firms.
Adhering to guidelines no guarantee of higher satisfaction
Research by Pantzar and colleagues confirms the value of supporting employee efforts to exercise, via onsite exercise facilities, for example. The investigators report that “Aerobic exercise influence cognition in elderly, children, and neuropsychiatric populations. . . . The sample consisted of . . .office workers. . . . A cognitive test battery (9 tests), assessed processing speed, working memory, executive functions and episodic memory. . . . Groups of moderate . . . and high . . . fitness outperformed the group of low . . .
Effects on employee bonds matter