1. Does napping at work improve productivity?
Providing employees with napping pods or offering extended breaks to nap can improve their productivity, according to a study from the University of Michigan that appears in the current online issue of Personality and Individual Differences. Researchers had study participants, ages 18-50, maintain a consistent sleep schedule for three nights and then, in a lab, complete tasks on computers and answered questions about sleepiness, mood, and impulsivity. Participants were randomly assigned to a 60-minute nap or no-nap period that involved watching a nature video, and then completed the tasks and questionnaires again. People who napped spent more time trying to solve a task than the non-nappers, who were less willing to endure frustration in order to complete the work. In addition, nappers reported feeling less impulsive. Maybe it’s time for a napping pod in your office?
2. Can you improve productivity with better temperature control?
With research showing that office temperature can have a real impact on worker productivity, offices waging thermostat wars (i.e., most or all of them) should note new findings that 50% percent of workers are dissatisfied at least several times a month with the temperature of their office; 42% say their offices are too warm during the summer and 56% say they’re too cold in the winter; and 60% say having more control over their office’s temperature would increase their productivity. (Interestingly, the median preferred office temperature is 72 degrees for women and 70 degrees for men, and 46-to-55-year-old employees are 36 percent more likely to be dissatisfied with the temperature than 18-to-25-year-olds.)
3. Best and worse office designs for workers (with photos!)
If you think your office design is dull or aesthetically uninspired, take a look at these fascinating photos of how office designs have evolved over the decades. The Washington Post’s examination of how office space has changed as designers have attempted to create spaces that will maximize productivity and collaboration includes tidbits like the fact that cubicles were originally seen as liberating after open office designs, and that at one point people thought the open office (which is on the rise again today, to the frustration of many workers) “saps vitality, blocks talent, frustrates accomplishment.”
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