In an article for The Atlantic, Julie Beck looked at the “optimal office” and found that one factor in some of the issues we’re having with our workspace’s may be the “open office” movement, and the fact that “[b]y the turn of the century, roughly two-thirds of U.S. workers spent their days in open-plan offices.” In her article, Beck writes:
“But as the layout became commonplace, problems emerged. A 2002 longitudinal study of Canadian oil-and-gas-company employees who moved from a traditional office to an open one found that on every aspect measured, from feelings about the work environment to co-worker relationships to self-reported performance, employees were significantly less satisfied in the open office.”
She also looked into the prevalence of fluorescent light in most modern offices:
“The brightness of the lights in your office affects your emotional state. When the lights are brighter, one particular study found, people were more aggresive, they found other people more attractive, they felt better about good things and worse about bad things. Everything was sort of intensified.”
In terms of the new office trend of standing at a desk, instead of sitting down.
“It’s been pretty well documented that people who sit a lot have higher risk for premature death and various, other health risks. But the standing desk hasn’t been studied enough, I think, because it’s a newer craze that people are getting into. But there was one study that said that standing for more than eight hours a day, right on the edge of the amount of time most people spend at work, can cause back pain, for pregnant women there’s a risk of pre-term birth. It’s not necessarily the perfect solution.”
If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air. But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.
Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.
When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.