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Concept: Office

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Principles of lean office management increasingly call for space to be stripped of extraneous decorations so that it can flexibly accommodate changing numbers of people and different office functions within the same area. Yet this practice is at odds with evidence that office workers' quality of life can be enriched by office landscaping that involves the use of plants that have no formal work-related function. To examine the impact of these competing approaches, 3 field experiments were conducted in large commercial offices in The Netherlands and the U.K. These examined the impact of lean and “green” offices on subjective perceptions of air quality, concentration, and workplace satisfaction as well as objective measures of productivity. Two studies were longitudinal, examining effects of interventions over subsequent weeks and months. In all 3 experiments enhanced outcomes were observed when offices were enriched by plants. Implications for theory and practice are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record © 2014 APA, all rights reserved).

Concepts: Netherlands, Function, Office, Experimental design, Management, Cubicle, Tuple, All rights reserved

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Objectives This cross-sectional study investigated the associations between office type (cellular, shared-room, small open-plan, and medium-sized open-plan) and employees' ease of interaction with coworkers, subjective well-being, and job satisfaction. Methods A brief survey including measures of office type, ease of interaction with coworkers, subjective well-being, and job satisfaction was sent electronically to 1500 Swedish real-estate agents, 271 of whom returned usable surveys. The data were analyzed using a regression-based serial multiple mediation model (PROCESS Model 6), which tested whether the relationship between office type and job satisfaction would be mediated by ease of interaction and, in turn, subjective well-being. Results A negative relationship was found between the number of coworkers sharing an office and employees' job satisfaction. This association was serially mediated by ease of interaction with coworkers and subjective well-being, with employees working in small and medium-sized open-plan offices reporting lower levels of both these aspects than employees who work in either cellular or shared-room offices. Conclusions Open-plan offices may have short-term financial benefits, but these benefits may be lower than the costs associated with decreased job satisfaction and well-being. Therefore, decision-makers should consider the impact of office type on employees rather than focusing solely on cost-effective office layout, flexibility, and productivity.

Concepts: Cross-sectional study, Office, Open plan

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OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether or not use of sit-stand desks and awareness of the importance of postural variation and breaks are associated with the pattern of sedentary behavior in office workers. METHOD: The data came from a cross-sectional observation study of Swedish call centre workers. Inclinometers recorded ‘seated’ or ‘standing/walking’ episodes of 131 operators over a full work shift. Differences in sedentary behavior based on desk type and awareness of the importance of posture variation and breaks were assessed by non-parametric analyses. RESULTS: 90 (68.7%) operators worked at a sit-stand desk. Working at a sit-stand desk, as opposed to a sit desk, was associated with less time seated (78.5 vs 83.8%, p = 0.010), and less time taken to accumulate 5 min of standing/walking (36.2 vs 46.3 min, p = 0.022), but no significant difference to sitting episode length or the number of switches between sitting and standing/walking per hour. Ergonomics awareness was not associated with any sedentary pattern variable among those using a sit-stand desk. CONCLUSION: Use of sit-stand desks was associated with better sedentary behavior in call centre workers, however ergonomics awareness did not enhance the effect.

Concepts: Shift work, Sitting, Kneeling chair, Desk, Statistical significance, Office, Call centre

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The effect of office type on sickness absence among office employees was studied prospectively in 1852 employees working in (1) cell-offices; (2) shared-room offices; (3) small, (4) medium-sized and (5) large open-plan offices; (6) flex-offices and (7) combi-offices. Sick leaves were self-reported two years later as number of (a) short and (b) long (medically certified) sick leave spells as well as © total number of sick leave days. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used, with adjustment for background factors. A significant excess risk for sickness absence was found only in terms of short sick leave spells in the three open-plan offices. In the gender separate analysis, this remained for women, whereas men had a significantly increased risk in flex-offices. For long sick leave spells, a significantly higher risk was found among women in large open-plan offices and for total number of sick days among men in flex-offices. Practitioner Summary: A prospective study of the office environment’s effect on employees is motivated by the high rates of sick leaves in the workforce. The results indicate differences between office types, depending on the number of people sharing workspace and the opportunity to exert personal control as influenced by the features that define the office types.

Concepts: Multivariate, The Opportunity, Office, Long, Short, Open plan, Regression analysis, Logistic regression

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Cycling desks as a means to reduce sedentary time in the office has gained interest as excessive sitting has been associated with several health risks. However, the question rises if people will still be as efficient in performing their desk-based office work when combining this with stationary cycling. Therefore, the effect of cycling at 30% Wmax on typing, cognitive performance and brain activity was investigated.

Concepts: Desks, Performance, Brain, Table, Desk, Office

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Standing and treadmill desks are intended to reduce the amount of time spent sitting in today’s otherwise sedentary office. Proponents of these desks suggest that health benefits may be acquired as standing desk use discourages long periods of sitting, which has been identified as an independent health risk factor.

Concepts: Drawer, Risk factor, Health insurance, Table, Desk, Office, Desks

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One of the goals of forensic science is to identify individuals and their lifestyle by analyzing the trace signatures left behind in built environments. Here, microbiome and metabolomic methods were used to see how its occupants used an office and to also gain insights into the lifestyle characteristics such as diet, medications, and personal care products of the occupants. 3D molecular cartography, a molecular visualization technology, was used in combination with mass spectrometry and microbial inventories to highlight human-environmental interactions. Molecular signatures were correlated with the individuals as well as their interactions with this indoor environment. There are person-specific chemical and microbial signatures associated with this environment that directly relate who had touched objects such as computers, computer mice, cell phones, desk phone, table or desks. By combining molecular and microbial investigation forensic strategies, this study offers novel insights to investigators who value the reconstructing of human lifestyle and characterization of human environmental interaction.

Concepts: Office, Table, Pharmacology, Desk, Personal computer, Environment, Mobile phone, Natural environment

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Extended sitting time at work is viewed as a crucial public health issue. Encouraging workers to stand during their office hours via the installation of standing desks maybe one effective option to combat this. Here, we investigate whether the installation of high desks in the workplace can induce positive changes in the amount of physical activity (PA) and thereby lead to subsequent improvements in anthropometric parameters.

Concepts: Economics terminology, Effectiveness, Table, 2007 singles, Desk, Public health, Office

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The American region has pledged to eliminate dog-mediated human rabies by 2015. As part of these efforts, we describe the findings of a desk and field mission review of Haiti’s rabies situation by the end of 2013. While government officials recognize the importance of dog-mediated rabies control, and the national rabies plan adequately contemplates the basic capacities to that effect, regular and sufficient implementation, for example, of dog vaccination, is hampered by limited funding. Compounding insufficient funding and human resources, official surveillance figures do not accurately reflect the risk to the population, as evidenced by the large number of rabid dogs detected by focalized and enhanced surveillance activities conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development (MARNDR) and the Health and Population Ministry (MSPP) with the technical assistance of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although international support is common, either in the form of on-the-ground technical support or donations of immunobiologicals, it is not comprehensive. In addition, there is limited coordination with MARNDR/MSPP and with other actors at the strategic or operational level due to human resources limitations. Given these findings, the 2015 elimination goal in the region is compromised by the situation in Haiti where control of the disease is not yet in sight despite the best efforts of the resolute national officials. More importantly, dog-mediated rabies is still a threat to the Haitian population.

Concepts: Haitian Revolution, Office, United States, Ministry of Truth, Official, Technical support, Haiti, Rabies

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Introduction: US primary care physicians and their office staff have experienced large increases in time-consuming requirements for prior authorization (PA) of tests, medications, and other clinical services in recent years. This report presents results of 2 similar studies in which physicians and office staff self observed and reported the amount of time spent on PA activities.

Concepts: Office, Medicine