Too Quiet and Too Cold?

Sometimes when I work at home my productivity can be strained if I don’t have the radio on, or some sound in the background. And, sometimes when I find myself in a cafe doing some work, I’m surprised to see how much I accomplish. My focus seems stronger.

But when a cafe is cold, or my home office is chilly, I’ll suddenly discover my body tense and not relaxed. Hmm… probably not good for productivity either!

Turns out there are some reasons for the above occurrences.

Have a look at a recent “Vancouver Sun”. It might explain some things for you, and also help you to increase your comfort and focus in your working environment!

Ever wonder why it can be more pleasant to think or study around other people?

At a coffee shop, for instance?

It turns out that a moderate level of background noise enhances creativity better than a quiet room, says Juliet Zhu, an associate professor at the University of B.C.’s Sauder School of Business.

Zhu is co-chair of the 43rd annual Association for Consumer Research conference, billed as the largest consumer behaviour conference in the world.

More than 1,000 university professors and market researchers from around the world are converging on Vancouver today to attend this year’s event, which features more than 500 presentations at 15 concurrent sessions over four days and is open to the public at the Sheraton Wall Centre.

Background noise such as that found at a coffee shop (70 decibels) distracts people from “focusing too much on focal issues,” Zhu said. This enhances the ability to think creativity, she said, whereas if it’s quiet, it’s harder to think outside the box.

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