Is at home like onsite?
Migliore, Rossi-Lamastra, and Tagliaro studied, via a literature review, gender issues in workplaces. They conclude that “Within the broader context of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) matters, gender issues have attracted ample attention from scholars and policymakers. . . . The reviewed articles document a general convincement [conviction] shared by different scientific fields that the workspace affects women and men differently. The results show that space is a crucial element for enhancing gender equality in the workplace.”
Hoendervanger’s multi-method dissertation probes who can most effectively use activity-based workplaces (ABW). He shares that “a clear profile arises of workers who best fit with ABW environments, i.e.: high task variety, job autonomy, external and internal mobility, social interaction . . . low need for privacy; few high-complexity tasks, many non-individual tasks; appropriately using open and closed work settings; frequently switching between work settings; relatively young age.
In his dissertation project Zhou probed social connections formed in co-working spaces. He reports that “Mixed methods were applied to study coworking spaces in New York City. . . . The results suggest that social connectivity between the members was low even before the Covid-19 pandemic. Three major reasons were identified: lack of opportunity, lack of motivation, and a behavioral norm of minimizing interaction in the open-plan environment. . . . I propose that flexibility is about . . .
Fukuie and colleagues probed how hearing particular sorts of music influences cognitive performance, and their findings may be complicated to apply in group settings, but not solo use ones. The investigators report that “Hearing a groove rhythm (GR), which creates the sensation of wanting to move to the music, can also create feelings of pleasure and arousal in people, and it may enhance cognitive performance, as does exercise, by stimulating the prefrontal cortex. Here, we examined the hypothesis that GR enhances executive function (EF). . . .
Communication-related differences revealed
Soininen and colleagues thoroughly investigated the repercussions of having green walls in Finnish offices. They found that “air-circulating green walls may induce beneficial changes in a human microbiome. . . . The green walls (size 2 m × 1 m × 0.3 m) used in this study . . . circulate indoor air. They first absorb the indoor air through the plant roots and soilless substrate, then automated fans circulate the air back to the room.
It’s great when there’re resources (time, money, and otherwise) to thoroughly deal with all of the sensory issues that might arise in a workplace—but that’s often not the case. Neuroscience research can guide you to highest priority actions.
Spaces for learning need to be carefully designed and managed—our brains perform much better in some places that others and our tired heads need opportunities to refresh if they’re going to continue to develop knowledge and skills. Applying what neuroscientists have learned about design-learning connections makes “lessons” more productive and positive experiences more likely.
Sirolo and team investigated how moving from private offices to an activity-based workplace influences work environment satisfaction one year after the move. They learned via data collected from people who had relocated from private offices to activity-based offices that “personnel’s criticisms concerned the reasons for the change, their opportunities to influence the office design and the extent to which their views were taken into account. Environmental satisfaction decreased after moving to the ABO.