We have never been subject to more workplace noise and distraction than we are now, but the challenges are more complex than they first appear
Workplace Insight just produced an excellent round-up of research on the impact of noise on human performance. If you follow the topic, there won't be any big surprises, but it's great to have the data all in one place. Here's some of the research cited in the report:
- The noise problem is getting worse
- 60% of work is individual, not collaborative
- A third of employees say the have to leave the building to focus
- 63% of employees say they don't have access to quiet space
- 40% of executives understand the negative impact of noise on productivity, but only 6% mitigate it
- 75% of the noise problem is subjective
- Only 25% of the noise problem relates to its volume
- Even low levels of noice can reduce cognitive performance by 30%
- Some noise is good for creativity
"The cost of decoding organizational DNA irresponsibly is high, as are the rewards of getting it right: the difference in growth rates between losing and earning employee trust through the use of workforce data is as much as 12.5 percent, or U.S. $3.1 trillion globally."
An Accenture survey of 1,400 global executives showed while nearly two-thirds of businesses are using new technologies (such as wearables, workplace applications, and online activity monitoring) to gather workforce information, only 30% say they are certain they are using it responsibly.
Other insights from the report include:
- 31% are holding back on investments in technologies due to employee concerns
- 49% say in the absence of legislation, they are charging forward without taking measures toward responsibility
- 70% of employees would give permission to employers to collect data if they were given more control over its use
The article offers a risk/reward analysis by industry and examples of businesses acting responsibly.
WeWork’s chief product officer said they’re aiming for a “Google analytics for space,” but their new tech acquisition raises questions about privacy i
The WeWork model offers a rich source of data about what people like and dislike about a space. It also affords them insights about how and when people use various types of spaces. With the purchase of Euclid, they will now have the ability to track even more about how people utilize and move between spaces.
While the media response points to privacy issues, Euclid's technology is one of many that allows for people tracking. Smart phones, smart watches, sound and heat-sensing lightbulbs, programs that can 'watch' what employees are doing, and many more technologies are becoming commonplace.
Working along side HR, IT, and Risk Management, organizations, particularly those in the U.S. who are not governed by GDPR, would be wise to take a deliberate stand on privacy now, before it is too late.
Pause Pod wants to offer you a one-person escape pod from the tyrannies of the open office plan. This is what a work tent looks like.
In an open office plan, you are surrounded by co-workers, buffeted by the winds of their noisy company, whether you like to hear it or not. A new device wants to offer you a one-person escape pod from the tyrannies of this setup.
Pause Pod, which markets itself as the “world’s first private pop up space suitable for all your relaxation needs,” was launched as a Kickstarter campaign in April, and now can be bought in its prototype stage. The Sweden-based entrepreneurs said they were “inspired by the blanket forts we used to build when growing up.”
You really have problems at your office if Pause Pods become a line item in your budget.
Nearly 3 in 10 employees say their workplace fails to enable productivity. Lack of privacy and too much noise among top complaints.
A survey involving over 275k global employees showed only 28% would agree with the statement "my workplace allows me to work productively." Another 15% were neutral.
Over 90% say individual focused or desk-based work are important to their job, yet these are spaces are what they are most lacking.
More worrying is that a third of post-renovation/relocation projects deliver below average productivity. The report point to the need for more attention to post-move behavior modification.