Navigating the Workplace with The Travelling Ergonomist

A conversation with Dr Christhina Candido, Senior Lecturer at University of Sydney

April 02, 2019 Season 1 Episode 2
Navigating the Workplace with The Travelling Ergonomist
A conversation with Dr Christhina Candido, Senior Lecturer at University of Sydney
Chapters
Navigating the Workplace with The Travelling Ergonomist
A conversation with Dr Christhina Candido, Senior Lecturer at University of Sydney
Apr 02, 2019 Season 1 Episode 2
Kirsty Angerer
A conversation with Dr Christhina Candido, Senior Lecturer at University of Sydney
Show Notes Transcript

"We are starving for information on the positive aspects of open plan...it’s irresponsible to just map the negatives…we need to understand how we can improve different workplace typology’s"

Dr Candido is an architect by training and she holds a PhD in Civil Engineering from the Federal University of Santa Catarina (Brazil) and in Environmental Science from Macquarie University (Australia). She leads the SHE (Sustainable and Healthy Environments) platform and co-leads the BOSSA (Building Occupants Survey System Australia) tool. Her research expertise and interest relate to Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE), Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ), Activity-Based Working (ABW), workspace design and climate responsive design in tropical and subtropical climates. Her publication track record features research findings from field studies conducted in school, residential and office buildings in Australia and Brazil.


Speaker 1:
0:00
Hello and welcome to the traveling Ocado is podcast. I'm your host Kirsty anger. And My job as an ergonomics consultant is to educate people on how to get their bodies into neutral postures. And in today's professional world with a prominence of Agile and remote working, ergonomics is more important than ever to sit back, relax and let's navigate the workplace together.
Speaker 2:
0:35
I'm sorry,
Speaker 1:
0:36
Latham. We were able to make this work as Christina, it's Joe Maternity leave any day now with her second child. Doctor Christina Candido is knocked tick by training and she holds a phd in civil engineering from the Federal University of Santa Catarina in Brazil and in environmental science from Macquarie University in Australia. She leads a sustainable and healthy environments platform and Co leads the building occupants survey system Australia tool. Her research expertise and interests relate to post occupancy evaluation, indoor environmental quality and activity based working. And I can't wait for you to hear her insights. Before we get into this episode, I'd like to thank our sponsors back, Al Kaizen who specialized in developing high end ergonomic hard and software solutions that contribute to the physical and mental wellbeing of computer users and when, if it's of solutions, encourage employees to achieve better wellness at work, become more productive, adopt healthy postures and alternate between them to increase movement. They're a great brand. I've seen firsthand how important employee wellness is to them.
Speaker 2:
1:36
Hey, Hey Christie,
Speaker 3:
1:37
how are you? I haven't seen you in forever. I mean I see you on, you know Lincoln d all the time and you always do your wonderful things, but I haven't seen you a cease, I don't know, months ago, right? Yeah. I think I was trying to recall when we last met for coffee and it must be at least one year ago, but they're sort of missing Ki Yay. It's insane, isn't it? It's been a long time. It's time flies when you're having fun, I guess. I suppose so, yes. Do I remember correctly that you are pregnant? I am. I am 35 weeks this week, so just a few days more and he'll be here. It's a boy. Oh my gosh. I know. It's our second child. So the family's very excited about it. He's having my mom around it. Still having very productive days. But yes, pretty big at the moment.
Speaker 3:
2:32
At the moment. Yeah. Yeah. Well congratulations. That's so exciting. Thank you. Yeah, we're all very happy. Of course. It's a blessing. Absolutely. And so what does that mean for you work wise? Are you going to take some time off now for a few months? So I decided to actually take a proper break and just spend time with family because with two little ones, I'm sure the dynamics are going to be completely different as it was last time around. So yeah, it's good. I think we need to embrace this gap cs kind of different parts of our personality and our life and just make the most of it because by the time you come back at work, you know that you have that wonderful year with your kids. I think that's so important. Exactly. I mean, I don't have children myself, but from what friends say to me, you know, it's so important to bond with the child and just have a few moments to live that life at a slightly different light doesn't mean you have to go back to work ever again.
Speaker 3:
3:32
It just means that you're changing perspectives for a few months. I think. So I think it's really important and I mean they end of the day working moms, we put so much pressure on tour and I think being able to have like a proper break is something that we should be allowed to embrace fully. And you know, they end of the day are a lot more confident now than I was the first time in the sense that I know I'm a better worker because of my child. So you get to push yourself harder, but you also get to achieve a lot more quicker. So it's, it's really interesting going through the process a second time round because at least you have that reference that is like, yes, this work is going to be there waiting for you. And guess what? When you come back, you're going to kick ass. So it's kind of, it's really interesting. I like that. I like that too. Mindset. I think it's all about mindset. As you know. I think you should do some research on this, Christina.
Speaker 3:
4:36
I probably should. I think I shoot it all would be a really interesting research project. I think we concentrate so much in very rightly so on the downsides of us and how difficult it is, how stressful it can be, but with seldom. We talk about the transformative effect that has on to you any in your confidence sometimes and absolutely that you just, you, you are better worker because you, you manage time better, you can achieve more in less time, more focused and most importantly, I think it's a matter of prioritizing and ignoring things that are not going to help you and saying no. So being I think more in control over what do you do and less hostage of what other people think or say so it really cheap. It's all about mindset, I think. I really believe so. Yeah. Well, I didn't think we were just talking about this, but this is already insightful information.
Speaker 3:
5:41
Well that's what I think. At least I have no evidence. Yeah, yeah. Well you're a numbers lady. That's right. That's right. Well in this environment that you're in now about to have another baby, I'm so thankful and grateful for you being on the podcast and giving me a bit of your time. But thanks for the invite too. I think it is a very good opportunities to prove, you know, the workout there and I embraced them and I mean, why would I ever say no to any opportunity to have a chat with you anyway. So yes, of course. So I'm very happy to talk about, you know, things I love and work is a big part of it. So yeah, my pleasure entirely. Thank you. Will. I was actually trying to recall our last conversation and I actually found some notes I'd written I think after our catch up on our coffee.
Speaker 3:
6:31
And you said to me, and I think you've mentioned this and then an article before as well, that 90,000 hours of our life are spent at work. Indeed. I'm always shocked when I hear or when I say that, but I heard that from a lot of presentations. Somebody else said that and it just got, you know, it was completely stuck in my brain forever. There are so many things that become a motivation for what I do at work coming from that number, but also be mindful of the amount of time that we actually there and everything else that we're not doing well with those 90,000 hours. Yeah. That we're actually at work. So it gives that other side of perspective as well. Like you investing all this, this amount of time in your work, so you might as well make it the best of it.
Speaker 3:
7:23
I suppose it comes with that responsibility. I reckon. It's crazy to me. I mean I think you also said, so that means that 90% of our lifetime is spent indoors as well. And I know you've done a lot of research on kind of indoor air quality and thermal environments. What's has the data shown or what have you drawn from that research? What insights have you drawn come in with, you know, from this realization of how much time are we spend Edward can indoors. It really motivates me to understand if there is anything we can possibly do to improve conditions that people are exposed to every day. Because yes, a lot of you have the opportunity to work flexibly, but that doesn't change the fact that you see very much most of the time in doors. Again, so investigating how indoor environmental quality or indoor environments may affect people.
Speaker 3:
8:20
It's something I'm very passionate about it because I think it really has the reputation to contribute a lot to our health, wellbeing, productivity during our life. So it's a motivation being mindful of the amount of time that we spend indoors. So what I've been finding through the research, my research is very much concentrated in the office and workplaces. I'm very interested in finding design solutions that I could actually work for office workers because again, most of us are working from an office in you know, several hours of uh, of a week. What are we finding through the researchers? There are several design driven aspects of an office that may have a positive impact on people's satisfaction, health and wellbeing. And that is, I decided a few years ago to take a different route. There is a lot of research that is being conducted, especially within an open plan office environments that dedicates itself to map all the negatives about the type of office.
Speaker 3:
9:31
So I think we have a wealth of knowledge about what doesn't work with an open plan office. But on the other side of the story is we're starving for information or people that actually spend time investigating aspects of an office that is open plan that may actually be positive. And why would I bother doing that? Because that not necessarily is popular is because I believe we have a responsibility to improve conditions for people. So if we already know integrated that these offers typology comes with several short comings. The question that comes to my mind every time I read a paper about it is so what? What can we actually do about it? What are we doing about it? Can we do anything about it? If it's so bad, can we improve? Because it's actually irresponsible not to do so. It's irresponsible with people that are working in offices like these across the word just to map the negatives.
Speaker 3:
10:36
So that is a motivation of mine is to understand design solutions for open plan offices that we will actually improve conditions for people to work. And that's where I spend a lot of my 90,000 hours while I am at work. Foresee you have this idea. I think that's amazing. I really love your perspective on things because I think also we're kind of overwhelmed with data these days and overwhelmed with all this information, but no one actually knows how to manage the data or what information to take from the data to build a solution. And I think the way you kind of handle things is a better way of doing it and you're actually giving us solutions. Yeah, it's really interesting how the whole data acquisition systems and you know they capabilities and the possibilities these days. They were not really here five, seven years ago. It was one very expensive to buy equipment, good quality equipment.
Speaker 3:
11:37
Yeah, so it was fairly limited of the number of points that you would be sampling. For my space there was a lot of costs related from the equipment itself but also human resources because then to be sampling most of these is also hen house so it depends on having someone on site and that also is a, and these days we are leaving. I think the other side of this story where we have these amazing ecosystems, you know alive ecosystems of data that are just pouring from several systems and data acquisition systems. There are part of several buildings and as a researcher that is the best case scenario. But now we are kind of, I think leaving this transitional phase at the moment where we are very excited about it. We can all see really, you know, to new possibilities. But we see learning how we actually go about making say solve this amount of information.
Speaker 3:
12:47
So if before we were struggling because perhaps we didn't have enough data to work with, now we I to really try hard to be able to digest the amount of information because it can be quite overwhelming if you ever had the opportunity to get data from a real office or a building that has these real time data acquisition systems. I mean when you get a spreadsheet in front of you don't what to do with this. And so I think we'll wait kind of living a phase that we are both academia and industry. We're kind of having these a little bit of a paralyzing effect that we'll get over us very soon I suppose, but it's a little bit too much to digest in a good way, but I'm sure we'll get out of this face soon enough and the possibilities are just incredible.
Speaker 1:
13:47
I think one of the pieces of research that you did while I was still living in Sydney was with wt partnership and cachet group was, is that right? That's correct, yes. I think it was on activity based working and how that environment influences workers' health and productivity and and their wellness. Why did you do that piece of research? What made you
Speaker 3:
14:09
do it? I think that was by far one of the best opportunities I ever had in working with industry. It's being so absolutely fascinating having Kashi as an industry partner simply because they gave us complete freedom to just first to our research aims in interest but also at the same time being always there to provide that contextual information that sometimes researchers not necessarily have access to it. It was a really powerful, I think combination of two to three years is strong, very strong engagement with Kashi where basically I would bring the evidence and they would bring the industry expertise and by merging the two of them we could actually understand a lot more about officers. So they whole motivation. It was really open. Plan offices are, you know, a polarizing term everywhere that you go, any country. I think activity based working is like 10 times that.
Speaker 3:
15:20
So it has that super polarizing effect. By the time you talk about no territorial offices, people will already have that negative response to it immediately. And I think there are reasons for that. One of the main reasons comes from failures of limitation that happened over the last, you know they Kate's so when we came across wt it was very interesting because I was just really surprised by the super positive results that we find in there. It was a very long engagement process. It had a very driven design, take conduit, people very engaged from the get go and then once it was implemented that engagement just continue. So there was a lot of synergy between designers and managers and also the workers and that became a really successful recipe for that particular business. It really worked. And of course I was just curious to understand why.
Speaker 3:
16:23
So you know that whole curiosity that is needed for any researcher. Like why is this working so wonderfully and why I, my finding also other offices in Australia there were designed to support activity based working that I actually working in outperforming the database in terms of satisfaction when you actually have these negative yeah, all negativity around the topic. So I was really, really curious about it and then that's why we started the project. We wanted to be able to understand wt was a very strong case study for us because he still has really good satisfaction scores coming from that office. But there were other, several other offices I told to the wall of 20 that we also investigated before enough trying to understand where people came from and the new way of working and the new office fitouts that was implemented to support that and trying to compare the before enough to relocation results. So it was a fascinating research project.
Speaker 1:
17:34
And so can you give me some insights into what is the perfect recipe, I guess, to creating workplace change? So if I have a client or there is a business out there going through workplace change or or about to move a number of employees to a new building,
Speaker 3:
17:50
what does that recipe look like? Who should they be engaging? What things should they be thinking about when they're going through this workplace change? I think one of the main conclusions from this study is there is no recipe, which is perhaps not what he wanted to hear, but in the sense that you shouldn't come with a pre set solution that you think you're going to impose on to that business and it's just going to work because it worked for several welders. Of course there will be key design aspects of an office said we were able to map, which I'll talk about them in a minute, but I think once decided to change the way the business is working, the way people work and the infrastructure or the office infrastructure that you have to provide for that to happen each business we will have to find its own way of doing that.
Speaker 3:
18:45
And I think the only way to be successful based on what I've seen, if it is a real partnership between the ideas for the business, but also people you have to put people first because they end of the day you should never impose a vision for that business. You really need to understand your business are, you know, we owe employees. So having these really human centric approach to this is number one in a checklist. If I would ever give anyone a checklist would be that you have to place your employees first and you can't, for example, force people to wake in away. That goes against the way they actually work. So even understanding how different departments, different groups organically arranging themselves is step number one I think and then step number two B engagement. Engagement. You should never be afraid of listen to people and let them voice their concerns because they end of the day they're going to be exposed to that office every single day and if they don't really feel like coming to the office that's already productivity, you know going through the window to me right there.
Speaker 3:
19:59
If you don't have the motivation then you already in trouble. So I think these are the two things I think is spend time and money and invest. It's an investment. Finding a solution that will fit your way of working of your employees. Put people first and then let them participate in the process. These are too, when we're looking to the office design itself, this to 80 officers, they have several things that are very similar in the sense of it seems to be key aspects and drivers for satisfaction. One of their mates have variety. One of the things, one of the main issues in open plan offices is because we tried to do everything from our desk and then if you having a phone call or if you like working on a pump costs as we are right now and I have another person, of course that's not going to work, so be able to provide variety in places for people to work regardless if that is an activity based working.
Speaker 3:
21:07
His face is paramount is number one so that reduce dissatisfaction quite dramatically. Number two is connectivity with outdoors, access to daylight and greenery. All these offices, they did put biophilic design principles as a priority of the design in all of them have tried really hard to be generous with people with the office workers in having access to those outdoors. They lied in amount of greenery indoors that discard. Interesting. The third thing with found is people will be very frustrated and that's perhaps a passion of yours if I'm right, ability to adjust day or work area. So that's where economics play a major role in terms of the, not only the quality of the furniture itself, but also the ability to adjust because if you're not working from the same workstation everyday, that's particularly importantly known to rhetorical officers, then every time you have a new desk or new chair, you need to be able to adjust that.
Speaker 3:
22:24
Like that is, that seems like economics one on one to me, but you know the number officers, that failure in doing that is astonishing. So when we give people that degree of freedom or control, of course they're going to embrace that. And of course that will have secondary but very direct satisfaction scores for that particular dimension. So let them move around, find spots to do their task. But the me very close to biophilic design concepts and give them freedom, freedom to adapt and adjust their surroundings. These are the three key learnings from the design perspective that I've seen in these offices. Wow. Amazingly fascinating. And I completely really, I'm I guess the most passionate aspect of those three would be, like you say the last one where people have that personal control because I think this concept of agile working activity based working people automatically assume that they're losing control, they're losing their pedestal and they're losing, you know, their desk where they've got their photographs of their families and their cups that they've had for years on end that they've had as gifts and then it'll plants and then on the desks, but moving to an activity based working environment that's all taken away
Speaker 1:
23:46
from them. So it's automatically kind of a negative perception of what they're going into. But if you encourage a flexible working environments where they can control how they adjust their chair, how they adjust their desk, then
Speaker 3:
23:59
I think that should be more positive. That's very interesting because that is exactly the opposite of what happens. So, okay. So it's like not their just ability as they engage with that, but I mean they, you know the loss that they have ESU, you're going to lose your workstation, you lose your ability of nesting, which is really important. And there are several papers that are being written about it. That wasn't the focus of our investigation, but I think we can now relate to it. We like to have always stuff around and being able to personalize a workstation. So it's not only you were in an open plan office, which is completely shared, but now you have someone telling you that you were losing that last bit of violence that is yours. So I can totally understand. You know, they hold push back on that sense.
Speaker 3:
24:54
But the reason not a side of the story that sometimes we overlook is lost people is start working in those environments if everything is actually properly implemented. So I'm talking about high performance work spaces here. The best of the best, what we've been observing during the research is you lost your workstation. Yes, true. But now you actually have gained the entire office to you. I like that thought process because if you have to make a phone call, you don't have to be hiding in the bathroom or in the corridor or in that, you know, end of trip facilities as people do you actually have a proper space that is being designed to give you privacy, visual privacy, sound privacy for you to make a phone call. So he were moving away from your work station. Yes, it's true. But you actually gaining several, one is spaces within an office that are there to support here and that is very different. But see what I was saying before, a lot of the downsides, which are all true and I don't dispute them about these offices exist in a true, but we can address several of them through a proper design. And once people occupy those spaces and being embraced the entire office infrastructure, I'm not surprised they actually more satisfied because that makes sense, doesn't it? Well,
Speaker 1:
26:26
Steve Just said all of that. Absolutely. It makes sense the way you framed it is enlightening actually. And I never really thought of it that way. Of course if yes, you might lose your workstation or your specific desperate, like you say, you gained so much more by having whole office to deal with and having a whole office to manage your day to day work.
Speaker 3:
26:48
Yes. So when you think about open plan offices, what is one of the main issues is the lack of control, right? Yeah. We don't control our colleague who's speaking loudly on our, you know, next two hours we don't control temperature, but in the case of temperature for example, it's quite interesting to be in an office that you can move around because you don't have to be working from that workstation that you hate, that airflow drafted that is coming from, you know, they chop off from from the bottom. You can actually go as elsewhere. You're not bound, no longer bound to a specific location if you want to go perhaps in, I've seen that in quite a few offices. It's Friday and you're feeling a little bit more relaxed. Anyone to work for a particular location in the building that is a little bit noisier. You wouldn't actually welcome that because it's Friday.
Speaker 3:
27:47
Then you can go there or if you want to get a bit of sunlight, maybe it doesn't make any sense in terms of glare, it'll be glary but they plus sides of just being exposed to that field in the sunlight. You be okay with being exposed not all day but for a while too. A little bit of glare. So I think these flexibility that may come with no territorial with spaces is really justify some of the high satisfaction scores we're finding because they were designed to provide that flexibility. Of course in the will only work if people embrace the flexibility, if they actually start marrying the conditions that they have, the little pockets that they have design within the open plan office, they are occupy always the what they need to do during the day. And I think that can be quite powerful and it's not only something that can be implemented in offices that are known territorial, we can actually do that in other offices. So we could still perhaps scape power workstations, but we need to stop expecting, be able to do all activities from the workstation within an open plan, a configuration because that's never going to work.
Speaker 1:
29:10
Yeah, I agree. I think actually a lot of corporates that I worked with, I think part of the problem is obviously activity based working has its benefits and like you say, has the flexibility to allow you to move around to a different location as a when you need. I think part of the problem is that people don't know which environment suits which part of their day. So like you say, people think that all of their tasks are and they has to be in a fixed position, has to be at their laptop with a phone next to them, but actually you could split that up into maybe five, six, seven tasks that you do throughout the day and that could mean six, seven different environments that you choose to work from. How do you educate a person to think like that?
Speaker 3:
29:54
I think the cases that we've seen, I think that has to do a lot. Always. They style of management. I think it's really comes with that idea that if I am CGM, my desk all day, especially within a local plan offers in people see me there, that means that I'm being productive. So we need to throw that mentality out of the window from the get go. I never believed that. I don't really believe that. I think you have different moments during all day because that is just, you know, human nature and you should be able to marry, you know, this changes during the day with the different tasks we have to do anyway as workers. There will be concentration task, collaborative tasks we'll need to do. There are several different activities that we do during the day, every single day. So this whole idea that I need to be bound to my desk to be perceived as being productive needs to be changed.
Speaker 3:
30:59
One very successful way is if he actually see your boss doing that. So a lot of these officers, regardless if their work to two bays are working, most often than not active two bays are working in. In the case studies that I had, you actually going to see people moving around as managers and of course, although we haven't documented, but we have an anecdotal evidence that sometimes that can be quite frightening as well because before maybe in their other office configuration manager was in the corner office away from you and having him or her city next door or next work station can be quite intimidating. So what are we talking about is really a cultural change that comes with a way of working. So if that culture is not there in that respect and trust because it's really trust. Yeah, yeah. I'm taking my laptop and I'm working from the balcony because I want fresh air and access to the light in a break. People shouldn't be assuming that I'm not working and I suppose that is the same with when you'll have a lot of this business will have flexible working conditions implemented. If I'm working from home, I need to be trusted to work from home. So it's a cultural change and a really relationship of trust that needs to be established. How we do that then it's beyond the scope of my research. But I know it's there. So when it comes to
Speaker 1:
32:36
the design of workplaces, and I think you're very familiar, this and post occupancy evaluations and just general workspace design, do architects and designers in your experience collaborate with our economists much?
Speaker 3:
32:52
Oh that's a big gap before. Yeah. What I'm seeing is um, there is a lot of motivation for that to happen, especially when we have specific targets set. So I think certification can be quite powerful in forcing that to happen when it's not there. I think there are lots of design firms and you know, architecture firms that actually do collaborate with several different consultants. So ergonomics being one of them. But the, I don't think I can actually say that that is being common practice unfortunately. So we need a little bit more of that. But I think there is a lot of side to it as well. And that is really, I think we can all appreciate the benefits of Ergonomics, but I think a lot of designers and architects, I have that lack of knowledge and dedication as well. So you may be able to appreciate that, but you're not necessarily know how to do it. So it's a combination of both. I suppose it's going after that knowledge of, you know, his specialist or consultant to be able to implement throughout, but perhaps we as educators, we also need to push that as being of value to already sediment that appreciation through our students.
Speaker 1:
34:15
I agree. I think there needs to be better collaboration between designers and Ogana Mace. I think historically, probably I've gone a mess of challenge the designs a bit too much. You know, historically you look at a beautifully designed office and as no gone and miss you're automatically going, well what's wrong? What can I change? You know, how can I design something to fit the person better and make the human better? And we kind of right off the design process. But actually if we collaborated more with that in mind, we might have a better conversation. And I think then equally designers probably have a bit of a misconception of economists mess that maybe we want to change the whole world and change everything. And every aspect of a workstation for each individual. But I think that's starting to change how hopefully, and I think more education, more collaboration is, is definitely needed as you say.
Speaker 3:
35:10
But it isn't a critical part of your job though. I mean if you're not critical of uh, any, any sort of design and how could that be better is it doesn't go to the core of what do you do though? Because now, I mean of course designers and architects of course they get attached to what to producing as, as a physical environment or it can be anything. It can be from, you know, as mole fence to a large precincts. But in, in, you know, they, it was designed so there is that also side of a certain emotional attachment to which, because designs come from a very personal experience. So I can come from a very personal experience and then of course they, you are, you have consultants criticizing or beautiful design. But I think if you are open minded and that is the only way to progress in any profession, I truly believe that you have to keep an open mind to find the holes and the issues.
Speaker 3:
36:11
And I think that's where not only consultants are really important as long as they engage early in the process. Because I think one of the biggest issues is the issues are created first and then consultants may be engaged too late to solve them. So I think that partnership, that's multidisciplinary techniques to be there for a project to be successful. But that's where post occupancy evaluation can also help because they knew have, you know the May arbiter's actually telling you what works and what doesn't. And I think in Australia it has changed a lot over the years. I've been doing post occupancy evaluations here for about seven years now. And I can see the industry is becoming more and more open to the information and a lot of the information that is being gathered motivated by certification or rating schemes, it's actually going back, which is always the intention of a post occupancy evaluation and feeding back into the loop. So it's mostly driven by tenants and business, but then it, it is making its way back to designers and other people that were actually involved. So I see as a positive change and it's access to evidence.
Speaker 1:
37:33
Absolutely. I think, yeah, post, I mean post occupancy evaluations are so important because if you don't do it, how'd you know that something works?
Speaker 3:
37:40
It's scary though, isn't it? Because that you are actually asking people who are occupying this space here design every day. So yeah, of course you need to, you know, be brave and in Paris through and just be certain that there will be things that perhaps a wrong, but if you don't do that, you'll never know. And a lot of working with designers and architecture firms is always fascinating because sometimes they hold a particular solution as being, you know, no, this is gold. Stone did, but it doesn't work every time and will never work every time. So having the evidence, it's quite important in that sense.
Speaker 1:
38:22
Definitely. Absolutely. And so with that information in mind, we, you've been doing this post occupancy evaluations and doing research with workspace design. What does the future of the workplace look like
Speaker 3:
38:36
in your mind? Only think about it as being really exciting thing and how fast things are changing it. It really also force you to rethink how you do your research, but how you can actually provide relevant information faster. And that goes back to our discussion on how we acquired data. So traditionally a post occupancy evaluation happens six months at least after people moved into the new space. And usually it's standard practice. You do that postdoc most evaluation once with a few exceptions. And then that's it. So I think we need to start getting into a mindset in a practice that we do these surveys, not only six months after people moved, but then you can actually have much shorter versions of it that you could sampled them more often and then be viewed these, you know, mapping of that particular office as you go. And I, I do find that quite exciting as a researcher.
Speaker 3:
39:48
And I also think all with dramatic change that we see now, the way people work with the rise of coworking, I think of their results. So a change on the Caltrain train and what people expect coming from different generations were more and more placing importance on the flexibility in our ability to actually balance everything we do. And they office environment is part of these, you know, this, this whole discussion I've sat through several discussions, people really asking why do we actually go to the office? So it's like that's really changed. And I think I'm Stu, I haven't investigated yet, but perhaps that will become a research project in the near future. I think it has to do with seeing people and it's about keeping the business alive in the sense of you actually bond with people. You see people you talk. It's the human interactions that comes with being forced to being the same place every day.
Speaker 3:
40:53
But that doesn't mean that you have to be there every day. Right. And you know exactly, perhaps ideally you shouldn't even be there every day because you can actually prioritize and fundamentally change the way you organize your week to accommodate all the pressures. But also to say, you know, Mondays is a day that really works for me to do concentration type work. I didn't know each person has a different mode and I think we are becoming more and more appreciative of these interpersonal variations. I find things, for example, allowing people to have shorter days or even sleep at work. So this whole adjustability and flexibility that comes either from the way business operates, the way we decide to work and they office configuration we have, it seems to be in a really interesting transitional phase. So I'm very excited to see what is going to be happening in the next two years or so and being able to actually map that as we go through post occupancy evaluation.
Speaker 3:
42:06
It's quite interesting. I'm so excited as well. Me Too. Do you think then that significant change can be seen within a two year period? We've seen that here in an, I think there are things, there are certain aspects that yes, it can be seen in a very short period of time. I've seen over the last two or three years a significant rise of limitation of activity based working, for example in Australia. Yes. They uptake is and they speed. Yeah. Of Penetration. I think it's just fascinating as a change and I'm not going to be surprised if we see another dramatic change in the next two or three. So property industry here in the corporate real estate seems to be proof plus base in that sense. And there are a lot of good examples popping out everywhere every day. So it's again, it's um, I would say to, it's a really good decade for the type of research I do because we're seeing a real transformation of the markets.
Speaker 3:
43:13
And of course what I'll be very, very, very interested in seeing is also transformation of existing fitouts. Yeah. Because there is a lot that is being done for me if he touts and refurbishment, but I s I think there is even more, which is the really point of the iceberg. Yeah. The tip of the iceberg. But then you have this whole gigantic corporate real estate market that is there any needs improvement, but we haven't even investigated so existing fitouts for all the buildings can be a really interesting topic of investigation. I think we've just managed to make you very busy over the next decade with all of these research questions. I have to justify my Brazilian shoes, but it's just, I think it's just something, if you find something you're motivated by it, then yes, you're going to dedicate several years of your life who a bit scary, but you know, hey, we need to find purpose for our 90,000 hours at work. No Way. This is what I'm trying to do. Well, no, I think, I think the work that you're doing is incredibly important to everyone that works in a workplace and an face or just generally
Speaker 1:
44:32
works because we need your help. We need your support because how do we navigate the workplace promptly without any of this information? It's so important. So definitely a thank you from me and I'm sure a whole host of thousands of other people are thanking you for all of this research. It's exciting.
Speaker 3:
44:48
Oh, thank you. There is nothing like that idea. Oh, perhaps that will wish that what you're doing is relevant and it's applied research with perhaps potential to actually is something that really motivates me and several other colleagues that do similar research. I think it makes it quite interesting because it's real. Yeah. It's, it's dead is the things that people are struggling with every day. And then if there is anything as a researcher that I can actually do to contribute just a little bit to improve and make it better, I think it comes down to this is, um, when all know that we have this millions of people working from open plan offices and is there anything else that we can do other than going back to private office, which I don't think it's ever going to happen or to listen, not in our generation, but if we just ignore it, going back to private offices as an option, um, then how can we make it better? I think it comes down to this, so yes,
Speaker 1:
45:52
that's true. Very true. Well, thank you. I, I think that's a perfect way to end this episode of the podcast and I mean, I could literally talk to you for days on end about this subject, Christina. Oh, don't get me started. I can talk about it. No end. So please keep in touch and I'm so thankful that I was able to connect with you before you go on this next few months, chapter of your life. So thank you. My pleasure.