Library Staff Wellness Links Week of June 14

book cover for "Foster Wellness in the Workplace: A guide for libraries" a light blue background with light green leaves drawnThe last month has flown by, and it included a much-needed vacation and a weekend getaway to an Airbnb in a small town. I have also been writing the book. A draft of the cover is in! 

Join the Fostering Wellness in the Library Workplace Facebook group for articles, discussions, and more related to creating a healthy work environment in libraries. Be sure to answer the questions. 

A few links to for the last week!

The Problem with Open-Plan Offices (and How to Fix it)

More than 70 per cent of those in the U.S. now work in open-plan offices, according to the International Facility Management Association. Yet, studies proving these environments are bad for us have been piling up for more than a decade. All of them point to negative impacts on productivity and mental and physical health – not to mention the bottom line. Employees consistently put noise and lack of privacy at the top of the grievance list. The design firm Gensler, which surveys thousands of workers annually across the United States, has found that 77 per cent of them crave quiet time during the workday, and 69 per cent are dissatisfied with noise levels. Furniture manufacturer Haworth has arrived at similar conclusions, along with the discovery that workers are losing up to 28 per cent of their productive time due to interruptions and distractions. It can take more than 20 minutes to refocus on the task at hand, which means we’re losing as much as 86 minutes per day, per employee, due to noise distraction alone.


How Your Open-Plan Office Is Killing Your Privacy and Safety

What was once hailed as a step towards better communication (and lower costs) has turned into a failure in many companies.  A 2018 Harvard Business School study found that open-plan offices (office space without walls and doors) actually lead to a 70% decrease in face-to-face communication (Bernstein & Turban, 2018).  Also, constant noise can make you tired and feel a sense of sensory overload, making you less productive.  Many people find that quiet or absolute silence is essential to their productivity.  People who work in an open-plan office had a deterioration in their perceived health and performance, and more absences due to illness (Richardson, et al., 2017).