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Standing During Meetings May Get Creative Juices Flowing

Study found teams that met in rooms without chairs shared more ideas

FRIDAY, June 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Need to get more out of routine office meetings? Getting colleagues to stand up during those gatherings might help, new research suggests.

The new study included teams who were given 30 minutes to develop and record a university recruitment video. Some groups did this in rooms with chairs around a table while others had no chairs.

People in the standing teams were more excited about the creative process and more willing to offer ideas, which resulted in more information-sharing and better videos, according to the findings published online June 12 in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

"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," study co-author Andrew Knight, of the Olin Business School at Washington University, said in a journal news release.

"Our study shows that even a small tweak to a physical space can alter how people work with one another," he added.

Removing chairs and adding whiteboards are inexpensive ways for organizations to encourage staff to brainstorm and collaborate, according to Knight.

The researchers now want to study the effects of different room designs in the real world.

"Working in the field, with real organizations, will help us to examine the longer-term effects of physical space manipulations," Knight said.

More information

The U.S. Department of Labor has more about teamwork (http://www.dol.gov/dol/media/webcast/20121015-softskills/20121015-softskills-2-Teamwork.htm ).

SOURCE: Social Psychological and Personality Science, news release, June 12, 2014