It’s the size of a credit card and can make calls and store 10 numbers and that’s it. Retro or what?
It will be launched in the US by two friends, Joe Hollier and Kaiwei Tang, who used to design Motorola phones (I loved my flip-top Motorola) but grew jaded with the constant pressure to come up with increasingly addictive and life-consuming apps.
If you believe the statistics – and I find these figures unbelievable and not sure of their source – we tap our phones on average 2,617 times a day…
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Back in the day, introducing open plan offices (bureaulandschaft), I found those habits seemed even more common when people had to adapt to pen plan offices (I even saw people growing tomatoes), as if they were trying to personalise their space and regain some control over their environment.
These days you’re lucky to have a desk and the work environment is more likely to be stripped down, and minimalist – perhaps barring the odd motivational poster.
Now researchers at Exeter University have confirmed yet again that having greenery around boosts productivity.
“Plants not only boosted intellectual performance but also improved job satisfaction and sense of well-being” says psychologist Craig Knight who led the research.
The research was carried out in three companies in Finland.
Workers were asked to work in a bleak stripped down office doing various challenging tasks and their performance measured. Then one group was left to carry on in that space whilst another could choose plants to put around their desk. A third group had their offices “greened” with foliage provided by a Finnish firm called Naturvention which had sponsored the study.
The researchers found that even a few plants had as strong an effect as organised displays. What people appreciated was the chance to control their environment – a point I made earlier.
Knight said “there is a fashion for minimalist, monochrome styling which pleases managers because it gives them a sense of control. But in reality it crushes the human spirit and we can now measure that. Adding plants makes people happier and productive – but the real benefit comes from giving them autonomy“.
I’ve posted previously on the beneficial effects of greenery in our environment and how it helps reduce street and improve productivity and here’s more proof.
So not sure what the sponsor made of the results but here they are promoting their Naava walls.
Research from The Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen in Denmark (one of the happiest countries in the world) has found that giving up your Facebook account boosts happiness and reduces anger and loneliness.
Life satisfaction rose significantly in the space of a week when participants were unable to read the updates of their friends. The institute was surprised by the changes in such a short time and wants to raise awareness on the influence of social media on feelings of fulfilment.
Facebook and other social media sites are “a constant flow of edited lives which distort our view of reality” it said in its report The Facebook Experiment.
They recruited over a thousand people in Denmark and asked half of them to avoid Facebook for a week. Participants were asked to rate their life satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 10 before and after the experiment.
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UK workers were the 4th unhappiest in Europe just behind Germans, Bulgarians and Greeks.
This might explain our low productivity rates with long hours and high sickness absence rates.
Managers are seen as poor having been promoted because they were good at their previous job rather than for their potential.
On the other hand almost 60% of us said we were happy with our love lives and personal relationships with fewer than 10% very dissatisfied. That put us into 3rd place behind the Irish and the Austrians.
Overall our life satisfaction scores were about average with the Nordic countries, as usual, occupying the top spots.
But are they the best workers?
People with a happy disposition may adopt a “jack of all trades approach” investing small amounts of time in a variety of things, including social activities, at work.
Grumpy workers by contrast spend a lot of time on fewer activities thereby honing their skills. And if they find a task they like they may invest a lot of timer in it becoming very skilled.
The research published in the journal Social Psychology was carried out at the University of Illinois and the University of Pennsylvania.
So people who are the life and soul of the party may be the least productive employees.
Their opposites were characterised as less active but more focussed and less easily distracted.
There is a great scene near the end of the Australian film, Animal Kingdom. The murderous, ever positive matriarch of the family gang is confronted by the death of her last son. Up until that point every set back, including the gangland slaughter of most of her family, had been met with a rosy one liner about how all would turn out well. In one of the last scenes of the film we see her hunched and sobbing at the breakfast table. She turns to one of the few remaining gang members, red eyed and sobbing and blurts out, “I’ll be fine darl, I’m just looking for my positive spin”. Of course it all ends painfully for the drug gang, who had a date with destiny from the start of the film.
About nine years ago I started to get really interested in the emerging field of Positive Psychology. I’d…
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I think he really wants to be one of us 🙂