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Productivity Archives - Ideas for Leaders

Typical Air Quality in Offices Hurts Cognitive Function

Over a period of six days, a team of researchers recreated a variety of air quality conditions, and simultaneously conducted cognitive tests of volunteers under the various conditions to determine whether poor or even average air quality impacts our cognitive abilities. Manipulating in a laboratory setting the amount of airborne Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which […]

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Lean Manufacturing More Effective in Collectivist Cultures

Developed in Japan, lean manufacturing introduced tools, processes and a mindset that eliminated waste and ensured the smooth flow of production without sacrificing quality. Kanban, a system that sounds the alert when a component in the production process is running low, and TPM, a proactive approach to equipment maintenance, are just two examples of lean […]

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The Overlooked Productivity Costs of Collaboration

Collaboration, either formal or discretionary (informally approaching others for guidance, information or assistance), is considered a virtue in today’s workplace. The advantages of collaboration are many, ranging from creativity and knowledge sharing, to teamwork, employee engagement and improved long-term results. However, an in-depth study of the interaction of physicians and health care personnel in one […]

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Does Work/Life Balance Help or Hurt Productivity?

Work-life balance issues bring out the optimist in some, the pessimist in others. For pessimists, the work-life balance concerns of employees will be undermined when a firm faces increased competition — and ‘improves’ its management practices in response to that competition. Examples of improved management practices include: the introduction of lean manufacturing techniques; better tracking […]

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Bad Weather Means Better Productivity

Seasonal depression is well-known and has traditionally been easy to recognize: difficulty concentrating, low levels of energy, etc. — all related to bleak winter weather conditions. So naturally, it follows that we assume the opposite in weather conditions leads to positive outcomes. Indeed, some previous studies have found this link to be true, linking good […]

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Fast Fashion Retailing – Transforming Operations Management

The apparel industry (which includes clothing, footwear, accessories, etc.) is one of the world’s largest, due partly to the relatively low barriers to entry. According to Euromonitor International, there were more than 1,400 retail brands at the start of 2013. All of these brands are concerned about meeting growing demands and getting their collections out […]

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Severe Weather: Moderating Its Impact on Productivity

Does bad weather reduce productivity within factories and other workplaces? This is the question that the latest research from Marcelo Olivares of the Columbia Business School and Gérard Cachon and Santiago Gallino of Wharton addresses. The researchers used inventories and productivity statistics covering 10 years for 64 US automobile assembly plants, and matched them to […]

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