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How to stay sane and productive in a noisy office.

How to stay sane and productive in a noisy office

Open office plans, long thought to foster creativity and communication in workplace, have been getting a critical look recently. At The New Yorker Maria Konnikova posts a fresh round of criticisms:

The psychologist Nick Perham, who studies the effect of sound on how we think, has found that office commotion impairs workers’ ability to recall information, and even to do basic arithmetic. Listening to music to block out the office intrusion doesn’t help: even that, Perham found, impairs our mental acuity. Exposure to noise in an office may also take a toll on the health of employees. In a study by the Cornell University psychologists Gary Evans and Dana Johnson, clerical workers who were exposed to open-office noise for three hours had increased levels of epinephrine—a hormone that we often call adrenaline, associated with the so-called fight-or-flight response. What’s more, Evans and Johnson discovered that people in noisy environments made fewer ergonomic adjustments than they would in private, causing increased physical strain. The subjects subsequently attempted to solve fewer puzzles than they had after working in a quiet environment; in other words, they became less motivated and less creative.

How to cope with the noise and stress.

Workers and researches  are finding solutions to these problems. Continue reading

Think disinfectant sprays actually kill germs? Read this.


Today’s powerful disinfectant spray cleaners do a good job of killing germs, but only if you use them properly. Which most of us don’t. If you’re anything like me, you give your desk, counters and other surfaces a quick mist of sanitizing solution and wipe. Turns out that method doesn’t actually accomplish anything. Read on to find out how to actually kill germs on surfaces.  Continue reading

Only One State Hasn’t Had a Flu Outbreak. Let’s All Move There.

The latest CDC flu map shows people are sniffling and aching and hacking up lungs all over the United States. But one state has gotten off scott-free this flu season: Hawaii.


They’ve only had “sporadic” flu activity in The Aloha State.  How bitter would you’d be if you were one of the few people to get the flu in a Hawaii? I am pretty I would rage at the cosmic injustice.

Just in case you can’t decamp to Hawaii for a few weeks, here’s how to prevent the flu during the height of the season: Continue reading