So, we now have a reason why standing around the water cooler is more entertaining than the daily conference room meeting. Markus Baer and Andrew Knight from the University of Washington, St. Louis found that people are less likely to get bored at meeting if they are standing.
In addition to you paying attention to Steve drone on about logistics, you are also more likely to be collaborative and creative. You are more likely to drop the hint that UPS is all about logistics. So, the next meeting your boss calls and has you all standing up, the idea is for it not to turn into a snore fest.
Researchers at the University of Washington, St. Louis had a group of 214 students break off into groups of about five. Given a task of creating a campus recruitment video, each student wore a sensor to tell how engaged they were in the task. Some groups had chairs, while others were forced to stand.
The study found that the groups of students forced to stand were more collaborative. “Our findings suggest that, in addition to the physiological benefits of non-sedentary work designs, getting people out of their chairs at work may increase their capacity for collaborative knowledge work,” the researchers wrote. “Adopting a non-sedentary workspace may have benefits not just for individual physical health but also for group performance on knowledge work tasks.”
It could be that workplaces need that sensor to zap workers into a more alert state. I’m sorry, but I don’t think standing is going to suddenly make the accounting work more creative. Unless that’s what Enron was doing all those years ago. It could explain a lot.
Study authors are encouraging workplaces be designed to get people out of their seats for periods on non-sedentary work. So, rise up employees and start tossing ideas about. It’s good for your health and the company.