Workplace

Prompting Sit – Stand Changes: Benefits (07-21-17)

Barbieri and team set out to learn more about how people use sit-stand desk options.  They “compared usage patterns of two different electronically controlled sit-stand tables during a 2-month intervention period among office workers. . . . Twelve workers were provided with standard sit-stand tables (nonautomated table group) and 12 with semiautomated sit-stand tables programmed to change table position according to a preset pattern, if the user agreed to the system-generated prompt (semiautomated table group). Table position was monitored continuously. . . .

Too Loud to Study (07-20-17)

Bratt-Eggen and her team researched sound levels in open-plan study spaces.  The investigators collected information in “five open-plan study environments at universities in the Netherlands. A questionnaire was used to investigate student tasks, perceived sound sources and their perceived disturbance, and sound measurements were performed to determine the room acoustic parameters. This study shows that 38% of the surveyed students are disturbed by background noise in an open-plan study environment.

Proximity Still Matters (07-14-17)

Researchers associated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found that where we work has a significant effect on who we work with, still (Claudel, Massaro, Santi, Murray, and Ratti, 2017).  The investigators report that “Academic research is increasingly cross-disciplinary and collaborative, between and within institutions. . . . We examine the collaboration patterns of faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology . . .

Phones and Thinking (07-10-17)

If they’re nearby, our phones effect how we think—in ways that complicate the development of workplaces where people work to their full potential—even if they’re turned off.  Researchers found that “Your cognitive capacity is significantly reduced when your smartphone is within reach — even if it’s off.  . . .  researchers asked study participants to sit at a computer and take a series of tests that required full concentration in order to score well. . . .

Biking and Stress Levels (06-23-17)

Brutus, Javadian, and Panaccio linked commuting to work by bicycle to lower stress levels among those who biked to the office just after they arrived at work—which should encourage urban planners to design in bicycle lanes and others to create on-site bicycle storage facilities.  The researchers learned that employees “who cycled to work were less stressed than their counterparts who arrived by car.

Coworking and Community (06-15-17)

Garrett, Spreitzer, and Bacevice investigated the development of community at coworking sites.  They collected information via a qualitative study at an unnamed coworking space in a suburban Midwestern town.  As the researchers explain, they identified two factors that contributed to the development of a sense of community (SOC) at their research site “1) social . . . motivation for community, and 2) autonomous structure and practices allowing members to . . . align their community involvement with their desire for community. . . .

Commuting and Control and Wellbeing (06-07-17)

Smith’s work verifies that having a comfortable level of control over our lives increases our wellbeing and it also supports adding bicycle storage rooms to office buildings.  Smith found that “Active travelers are happiest with their commute trips. . . .For car and transit commuters, traffic congestion significantly decreases commute well-being and using the trip productively increases commute well-being . . . Data were collected from a web-based survey of workers . . . in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. with four modal groups: walk, bicycle, transit and car users. . . .

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