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Standing up gets groups more fired up for team work
Date:6/12/2014

's bodies react when they get excited. When a person's arousal system becomes activated, sweat glands around the feet and hands release bursts of moisture. The sensors pass a small current of electricity through the skin to measure these moisture bursts.

Knight and Bauer found that the teams who stood had greater physiological arousal and less idea territoriality than those in the seated arrangement. Members of the standing groups reported that their team members were less protective of their ideas; this reduced territoriality led to more information sharing and higher quality videos. "Seeing that the physical space in which a group works can alter how people think about their work and how they relate with one another was very exciting," Knight says.

Knight first saw these types of effects when he worked for a software company before joining academia. The software engineering team held weekly "scrum" meetings that were always held standing. "From an outsider's perspective, these meetings always seemed more collective and interdependent than sitting meetings. Usually people were crowded around a whiteboard working diligently to resolve a pressing problem," he recalls. "The meeting also seemed more efficient and purposeful."

The new study is a novel contribution to the relatively new study of organizational behavior and office design as it includes wearable sensors. "Wearable technology is becoming more popular for consumers e.g. FitBit, Google Glass but is still relatively rare in this kind of research," Knight says. "We think that the future holds great promise for integrating wearable technology into research; our study is one example of how doing so can enrich a study."

Knight encourages organizations to experiment with their office spaces. Removing chairs and adding whiteboards are low-cost options that encourage brainstorming and collaboration. In his own office, Knight uses an adjustable-height desk so he can sit or stand
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Contact: Lisa M.P. Munoz
spps.media@gmail.com
571-354-0754
SAGE Publications
Source:Eurekalert

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