Feeds

back to article Germans increase office efficiency with 'cloud ceiling'

So you thought you had deployed every form of office technology that could possibly increase the productivity of your company's cripplingly expensive salaried employees? You were wrong. Remorseless German boffins have discovered a way to make office workers still more efficient using - quite literally in this case - cloud …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Bronze badge

Ever heard of the Hawthorne Effect?

I hope the people evaluating this are aware of the Hawthorne Effect where it was determined that increases in productivity were not down to changes in the environment (which included lighting changes), but the special attention the subjects were getting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawthorne_effect

Of course people are now well aware that the original experiment (and the conclusions drawn) we somewhat flawed. However, the basic Hawthorne Effect is very well accepted.

This does not mean that environmental issues don't make a difference, but it's a good reason to be suspicious of press releases and *research* from interested parties.

7
0

What Mr Jones said.

A few days in far too short a time to see if there is a lasting effect.

0
0
Silver badge
Devil

While you are correct in general you are wrong for this one

IMHO - Hawthorne Effect got nothing to do with this particular one.

I work mostly from home and my home office is in a loft. 80% of the roof is windows exactly for this reason. I have long noticed that my productivity is fairly proportional to the natural light level - blinds fully closed == productivity to min, blinds open == productivity to max. Similarly - looking back at 20 odd years I have been most productive in offices where I was next to the window (especially on the south side) and least in a "modernistic neon lit windowless cave".

There is a simple explanation too. Most of us have some form of S.A.D. even though we do not care to admit it. There is nothing "hawthornic" to this Fraunhoffer gadget - it is just a big S.A.D. light.

2
0
Silver badge
Happy

Sad light

Awww... Cheer up light. We all have bad days!

0
0
Silver badge
Devil

A bit difficult

It is the season for a S.A.D. person to be sad in the northern hemisphere :)

0
0
Boffin

Why not...

link it to a camera on the roof and simulate actual weather conditions?

2
0
Silver badge
Devil

Too expensive

Stick 'em in the car park, under some clear plastic sheeting.

14
0
Unhappy

Looking out of my window...

Not a good idea. I think they might be trying to cheer the workers up not depress them.

Can imagine this causing all sorts of problems to sleep cycles if used at night. It might require a 'twilight' mode (as in time of day, not sparkly vampire stuff) with less blue.

4
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Too expensive

Well, that seemed to work for Borland, back in the day.

0
0
Silver badge

plastic sheeting ? you were lucky!!

we had to work out in t'car park, under a ceiling of crisp bags,

in a hurricane......

0
0
Bronze badge

We had to work in a urinal.

1
0
FAIL

Lucky you.

We don't even get urinals here.

0
0
Bronze badge
Joke

Urinal? Luxury.

We *were* the urinal.

0
0
Bronze badge

...thought you looked familiar

0
0

Cheaper and more effective than alternative cloud solutions.

2
0
Silver badge
Pint

I've a better one.

A restocked beer fridge.

2
0
Pint

Don't stop at ceilings

Next there will floors with underwater scenes with tropical fish and sharks chasing those who wander too far from their desks.

5
0
Happy

Better Idea...

The British version... paint the ceiling Grey and turn the sprinklers on every hour.

15
0

i remember some documentary a couple of years ago that showed experiments with ambient light in a pub/restaurant. it seemed that blue encourages us to be more active, telling our body clocks to wake up basically. so probably the same affect going on here.

i also remember another one where blue light made time seem to pass more quickly!

1
0
Pint

I spotted their problem:

"...experiments with ambient light in a pub..."

Who the hell tinkers with the light in a pub? The best lighting my research has shown is that alcohol is best and most efficiently consumed in dimly lit rooms, with the proper womb-like atmosphere of pipe smoke and stale beer.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Women start looking better with less light and more beer.

2
0

@perlcat

"with the proper womb-like atmosphere of pipe smoke and stale beer."

Your mother must have been quite remarkable.

13
0
Happy

I am profoundly...

...glad that I swallowed my tea before reading that. Otherwise tea|nose>screen.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Two words...

Monica Lewinsky...

1
0
Coat

He said pipe smoke...

...not cigar smoke. Different Intern.

0
0

pauly: blue light staves off the production of melatonin.

Obvious if you think about it really, the sky is usually blue from first thing in the morning until sunset.

Staring at a screen in the evenings is not helping you get to sleep because the images are usually more at the blue end of the spectrum. Street lamps should NOT be orange!

2
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Excellent!

It would definitely be an improvement over the ICBM-like bunker-with-carpet atmosphere that I'm surviving in now.

But can I have with a simulation of a STALKER-like blowout to get the coworkers to work instead of waiting, coffee in hand, for database fixes?

0
0

They don't need windows...

Geddit?

Reaching for my coat cos its actually raining outside.

0
0

Pretty Dim

Is it just me who thinks those photos make it seem like it's really rather dark in there?

0
0
Thumb Up

It's not just you...

...but it's probably just that whoever took the photo didn't have a clue.

The human eye is an amazing organ and can deal with ranges of light far far wider than the best camera. I suspect that what's happened here is that the camera's metering system is picking up on the bright light from the window and exposing for that, which leaves the interior of the room looking dark and underexposed.

This is a situation where some fill-in flash would have helped.

0
1
Bronze badge
Boffin

Fill in flash would _probably_ have washed out the main subject here, ie the illuminated ceiling...

0
0

Yep, my bad

In fact looking at the images again I suspect it's metering from the ceiling rather than the window. And ND filter might be better than fill in flash.

0
0
Bronze badge

Hogwarts

Harry Potter's school hall ceiling displays what the sky outside is doing.

It may be low resolution, because they have to go out of doors for astronomy class. Or they didn't think of that.

1
0
Silver badge
Go

I vote for a retractable roof office!!

Or maybe we should all just take the day off to go see a football game.....

0
0
FAIL

I notice that the monitor is off in the picture- must be very productive then ;)

0
0
Pint

optional

@Andrew 98

you sir, owe me my first new keyboard of the year

0
0
Trollface

someone is getting ripped off.

you could do that with common electronics for much less than 1000 euro per sq metre. now i have an excuse to make a disco ceiling!

0
0
Bronze badge

Don't we have a solution like that?

It is called Windows. Or in rare circumstances the later invention called a SKYLIGHT.

No, I'm sorry Microsoft doesn't make them and it doesn't need to be licensed.

0
0
zb

ssssh

or someone will patent them.

0
0

@Daniel Evans

Good spot. The blue sky is darker than the clouds, so when the cloud cover increases it gets brighter.

I foresee productivity reduced at any place that employs pedants.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

When the boss walks in...

... do the clouds turn black, accompanied by a low rumbling of thunder?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Once had a...

...ahem.. smoking room with blacklights, and flourescent stars on the ceiling. The blacklights made the blinds glow a nice pale blue, and made the room look like it was in perpetual "dawn" mode.

The only problem with the room was that you'd never get sleepy in there. You'd look at the clock and it'd be time for work the next morning (and it wasn't because of what was being smoked).

0
0
Bronze badge

kippers?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Blimey!

Just opened the blinds a bit more - hoping for a massive improvement over close-to-zero here...

Surely this is an example of blue-sky thinking?

(The no-sex place I work at has intense neon lighting and red-hot radiators and filthy keyboards so I am in a permanent state of stress, thinking about disease, overheated and squinting. Plus the coffee is either awful or too expensive. Also everypermyone is working their notice and the place is full of Indians sucking their knowledge away to Mumbai. The canteen is poor and the toilet smelly. I've been here two months and still not been given any Unix logins, have nothing to do but look busy and offer some advice once or twice a week. To be honest, not one of my best contracts.)

0
1

Now that is what I call cloudcomputing :-)

Now that is what I call cloudcomputing :-)

0
0
Silver badge

My company thought it was a great idea years ago

they've installed the sprinklers already.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.