Schnellewald and colleagues probed how activity while doing knowledge work influences performance. As they report, their “study examines the possible effects on objective work performance while using two types of dynamic office workstations (DOWs). . . . participants each used one type with three intensities (seated, light, moderate) and completed a task battery assessing cognitive performance and office work with two levels of complexity. . . . By using DOWs, light physical activity can be integrated while working at a desk.
Recently completed research confirms that green building is good for more than just the planet. Nurick and Thatcher conducted an extensive literature review and report that studies published “link[s] GBFIs [green building features and initiatives in office buildings] to increased individual productivity and organizational performance which results in increased building value, thus justifying the initial capital expenditure for the implementation of GBFIs.”
Bourikas and colleagues report interesting relationships between perceptions of various aspects of office environments. Their work indicates that “bad air quality is generally associated with a ‘warm’ thermal sensation response. . . . air quality . . . and noise perception (NSV) are both correlated with thermal perception (TSV). . . . Air quality perception was correlated with both TSV and NSV.. . .
Designing workplaces today is tough. Integrating neuroscience research done during and before the COVID-19 pandemic makes it clear that designers need to focus on 10 key issues as they design future offices.
Support for visual separation
Choudhury has integrated findings from his and other’s working from anywhere-related research to detail emerging best practices; his article is available without charge at the web address noted below. Choudhury’s material is useful to anyone developing a working from anywhere program or looking for insights into environments that support working from anywhere. As Choudhury states in the overview for his article, “The pandemic has hastened a rise in remote working for knowledge-based organizations.
Learning is a complicated operation for our brains—design can ease the process, however, whether you're studying at an elementary school or in a corporate learning suite. Applying what neuroscientists know about how design can support learning makes it a more productive and positive experience—even when recess is not an option.
Thorough study, constructive findings
Zhou and colleagues studied work groups’ adjacency preferences. They investigated “a large company’s spatial adjacency planning with an in-depth analysis of its formal organizational structure and collaboration network. A sample of 183 managers was surveyed regarding groups with whom they want to be spatially adjacent and groups with whom they mostly interact. . . . . The results suggest that department affiliation and collaboration relations are significantly correlated to adjacency preferences.
Chinazzo analyzed data collected from online job reviews for large organizations posted on Glassdoor to learn more about indoor environmental quality and its repercussions. Analyses revealed that “(1) IEQ complaints mostly arise in workplaces that are not office buildings, especially regarding poor thermal and indoor air quality conditions in warehouses, stores, kitchens, and trucks; (2) reviews containing IEQ complaints are more negative than reviews without IEQ complaints. The first result highlights the need for IEQ investigations beyond office buildings.