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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  2. Abstract Noise is often considered a distractor; however recent studies suggest that sub-attentive individuals or individuals diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can benefit from white noise to enhance their cognitive performance. Research regarding the effect of white noise on neurotypical adults presents mixed results, thus the implications of white noise on the neurotypical population remain unclear. Thus, this study investigates the effect of 2 white noise conditions, white noise level at 45 dB and white noise level at 65 dB, on the cognitive performance, creativity, and stress levels of neurotypical young adults in a private office space. These conditions are compared to a baseline condition where participants are exposed to the office ambient noise. Our findings showed that the white noise level at 45 dB resulted in better cognitive performance in terms of sustained attention, accuracy, and speed of performance as well as enhanced creativity and lower stress levels. On the other hand, the 65 dB white noise condition led to improved working memory but higher stress levels, which leads to the conclusion that different tasks might require different noise levels for optimal performance. These results lay the foundation for the integration of white noise into office workspaces as a tool to enhancemore »office workers’ performance.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2024
  4. Abstract

    Human-Building Interaction (HBI) is a convergent field that represents the growing complexities of the dynamic interplay between human experience and intelligence within built environments. This paper provides core definitions, research dimensions, and an overall vision for the future of HBI as developed through consensus among 25 interdisciplinary experts in a series of facilitated workshops. Three primary areas contribute to and require attention in HBI research: humans (human experiences, performance, and well-being), buildings (building design and operations), and technologies (sensing, inference, and awareness). Three critical interdisciplinary research domains intersect these areas: control systems and decision making, trust and collaboration, and modeling and simulation. Finally, at the core, it is vital for HBI research to center on and support equity, privacy, and sustainability. Compelling research questions are posed for each primary area, research domain, and core principle. State-of-the-art methods used in HBI studies are discussed, and examples of original research are offered to illustrate opportunities for the advancement of HBI research.

  5. Abstract The outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 virus forced office workers to conduct their daily work activities from home over an extended period. Given this unique situation, an opportunity emerged to study the satisfaction of office workers with indoor environmental quality (IEQ) factors of their houses where work activities took place and associate these factors with mental and physical health. We designed and administered a questionnaire that was open for 45 days during the COVID-19 pandemic and received valid data from 988 respondents. The results show that low satisfaction with natural lighting, glare, and humidity predicted eye-related symptoms, while low satisfaction with noise was a strong predictor of fatigue or tiredness, headaches or migraines, anxiety, and depression or sadness. Nose- and throat-related symptoms and skin-related symptoms were only uniquely predicted by low satisfaction with humidity. Low satisfaction with glare uniquely predicted an increase in musculoskeletal discomfort. Symptoms related to mental stress, rumination, or worry were predicted by low satisfaction with air quality and noise. Finally, low satisfaction with noise and indoor temperature predicted the prevalence of symptoms related to trouble concentrating, maintaining attention, or focus. Workers with higher income were more satisfied with humidity, air quality, and indoor temperature and had bettermore »overall mental health. Older individuals had increased satisfaction with natural lighting, humidity, air quality, noise, and indoor temperature. Findings from this study can inform future design practices that focus on hybrid home-work environments by highlighting the impact of IEQ factors on occupant well-being.« less
  6. BACKGROUND: With the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations embraced Work From Home (WFH). An important component of transitioning to WFH is the effect on workers, particularly related to their productivity and work experience. OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study is to examine how worker-, workspace-, and work-related factors affected productivity and time spent at a workstation on a typical WFH day during the pandemic. METHODS: An online questionnaire was designed and administered to collect the necessary information. Data from 988 respondents were included in the analyses. RESULTS: Overall perception of productivity level among workers did not change relative to their in-office productivity before the pandemic. Female, older, and high-income workers were likely to report increased productivity. Productivity was positively influenced by better mental and physical health statuses, having a teenager, increased communication with coworkers and having a dedicated room for work. Number of hours spent at a workstation increased by approximately 1.5 hours during a typical WFH day. Longer hours were reported by individuals who had school age children, owned an office desk or an adjustable chair, and had adjusted their work hours. CONCLUSION: The findings highlight key factors for employers and employees to consider for improving the WFH experience.
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