6 Easy Experiments to try at Work #1 Throw out the Chairs

How do people learn and think best? On their feet or on their bottoms?chair throwing

Many  environments in organisations are designed for sitting rather than standing or moving and training is no exception. What’s your training environment like? Unless you’re training outdoors or on a specific skill that requires movement I’ll bet for most of you it’s chairs and tables.

Yet  research suggests we think more effectively and are more healthy and productive when we’re moving. It seems as if getting rid of the chairs might be a good idea.

In one study* students were asked to generate ideas to design a university recruitment video, which they recorded at the end of the session. Half of the groups brainstormed sitting at chairs around a table whilst the other half had no chairs; those with no chairs were more alert, were keener to share ideas and to build on and improve each others ideas.

The researchers concluded: “Our results suggest that if leaders aspire to enhance collaborative knowledge work, they might consider eschewing the traditional conference room setup of tables and chairs and, instead, clear an open space for people to collaborate with one another.”

Like all good research things are not always as simple as they seem because standing seemed to have more impact on how the students worked together and generation of initial ideas rather than the creativity of the final videos. But this could be due to a host of other factors including creative thinking not being the same as implementation.

At work you’re often trying to encourage better ways to work together and build relationships as well as inspire creative thinking so throw out those chairs as a first experiment and see what happens .
Create spaces where people stand at flipcharts or tables with no chairs. You could encourage people to use alternative spaces like corridors or take them outside with a flipchart.

Think of the savings you could make by not having to replace over used office furniture and everyone will be fitter and healthier as well as thinking better.

Come and discover more practical ways to get people moving whilst learning at our latest How to be a Brain Friendly Trainer programme starting 2nd March.

*Knight, A., & Baer, M. (2014). Get Up, Stand Up: The Effects of a Non-Sedentary Workspace on Information Elaboration and Group Performance. Social Psychological and Personality Science DOI:10.1177/194855061453846

For full details visit www.howtobeabrainfriendlytrainer.com