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Looking into the truth about modern workplace environments

Workplaces are being transformed, according to the Olivet Nazarene University study (“The Truth about Modern Offices“). The days of men and women fitted in formal clothing and working under the harsh glare fluorescent lighting are slipping away. The trends of today are reflective of casual dress codes and soft furnishings.

There are signs too that the ‘animal penning’ (read cubicles) are starting to be withdrawn, and replaced with open floor plans (indications are that over half of workplaces – 51 percent – have gravitated towards the ‘open office’ or open floor plan concept).

The survey also showed that 77 percent of U.S. located workers are reportedly happy with the way their office is set up. However, as an indication of thoughts about open-plan areas, those with private offices stated they were happiest

Through changing technology, more employees are now having more daily conversations via messaging apps rather than face-to-face interactions (for every 17 conversations, nine are via messaging systems against eight that are face-to-face). An example of such a system is Skype for Business.

The poll also found that 58 percent of U.S. citizens self-report they are less productive when working from home. The main reasons for this loss of productivity include distractions, trouble signing off at the end of the day and difficulty communicating and collaborating with coworkers. Furthermore, 80 percent of those ‘homeworking’ freely admitted to multitasking. By this, people are choosing to focus on things like laundry, family, or television. So while remote working takes off, there are some apparent downsides to this trend.

The data was compiled between November 15 and November 17, 2019. Encompassed in the survey were 2,009 people, who were polled about their current workplace environments. The mean age of the participants was 37 years. By gender, 55 percent of the respondents were female and 45 percent were male.

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Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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