The first half of this experiment is almost over, so we thought it might be a good time for a little update. We’ve been subjected to plants, birdsong - and plants and birdsong - and felt bereft when they left! The birdsong did take a little getting used to at first but after a crafty cutting of the more irksome sounding birds from the playlist, (who knew pheasants could be so annoying, and don’t even get me started on the nightjar.) everyone began to get along with it and tune it out until it became peaceful background ambiance. The birds also dictated what music we listened to in the office, we thought about creating a playlist with band names containing bird names, but of course the internet had already done the hard work for us and we listened to a Bands Named After Birds playlist in the first week we had the birdsong.
Air quality monitors have also been installed in the office, and as they have a light indicator on them we can see at a glance what the air quality is like. Everyone has experienced a stuffy office in the past, but according to the monitor we can see that the quality is dropping before it’s ever reaching the stifling stage. Opening the window for a blast of February air to try to return the air quality indicator back to normal has been refreshing!
The inter-office competitiveness has eased a little, but it’s been replaced by inter-test subject competitiveness - some of our cohabiting guinea pigs Urban Foresight have set up a activity group for The Core on Fitbit so we’ve got even more stats to compare. It’s not anything to do with the experiment with Newcastle University so if any other Core-dwellers have fitbits and would like to join please do!
This week the plants are back, there have been some casualties on the way to coming back to our office, turns out dead plants definitely don’t give off a good wellbeing vibe, but it’s an altogether welcome return. The plants popping up and disappearing again have got our floor talking, a lot of people wondering what what’s going on, and some of our visitors have found it very strange.
Whether or not this is having an effect on our general well being is yet to be apparent. We can see ourselves when our heart rates are at their lowest but they don’t seem to be tying in with any of the “treatments” as yet. There’s still another six weeks to go though so we’ll just wait to see what the data uncovers at the end.