Monthly Archives: March 2017

Lab Working Conditions and the Hawthorne Effect

InvestTrying to figure out the exact equation for what will make your lab environment the safest it can be, while maintaining productivity and team morale can be a real challenge.

Investing in quality, dedicated lab furniture helps to improve lab working conditions in multiple ways. First, our IonBenches are specifically designed to meet the safety and organizational needs of the modern laboratory environment. Second, simply taking the steps to improve the working conditions of your lab will be noticed by personnel, causing morale to skyrocket. Rest assured productivity will follow suit.

The second point is supported by a curious cause and effect—better known as The Hawthorne Effect.

The Hawthorne Effect

This fascinating phenomenon was first discovered by researchers at the Hawthorne Works in Cicero, Illinois in the early twentieth century. Researchers were seeking to discover if changes in lighting, working hours, break times, etc. would make a difference in employee productivity at the Hawthorne plant. What they found was that both morale and productivity improved over the course of the study, but returned to their original levels once the study was over.

Researchers concluded that the employees responded to the observation by increasing their productivity. What’s more, morale increased because workers realized management was expressing concern about their working conditions. The Hawthorne Effect has been replicated in a variety of studies since then. It occurs when employees feel that their needs are being addressed.

Involving Lab Personnel in Assessing Lab Working Conditions

While we firmly believe that improvements in lab safety do make a difference, it’s also true that simply taking steps to improve lab working conditions can have positive effects as personnel recognizes interest is being taken in their wellbeing.

What does this mean for lab management? It doesn’t mean you should frequently run lighting or temperature experiments—that could be disastrous. Instead, we believe it means involving lab personnel in discussions about how to provide the safest and most efficient work environment.

Ask staff about what changes could improve their day-to-day operations and you might be surprised by their responses. You might even bring about the Hawthorne Effect.

Some suggestions that we have for improving lab working conditions include the following:

These are just a few starters. We imagine your lab personnel will have more suggestions. When you take their suggestions seriously and follow through, you will gain employee loyalty as well as increased productivity and morale.

Show your techs you care about making their lives easier by taking steps toward improving safety and organization in your lab. If dedicated lab furniture is in order, contact us today to learn more.

A Mass Spec User’s Guide to Pittcon 2017

LearnedThis year’s Pittcon, in Chicago IL, looks to be every bit as successful and informative as last year’s. With hundreds of experts gathered to share innovative news about biospectroscopy, liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry and more, the event is always an amazing opportunity for folks in the lab industry to step up their game and find solutions for all their lab challenges. Needless to say, we’re thrilled to be attending.

As a reader of this blog, you know we believe a safe lab environment increases productivity—and being informed is the best way to maintain that safe environment. That’s why we’re constantly trying to educate ourselves and our clients on the latest lab and mass spec technology. And Pittcon, besides being a great meeting of the minds, has tons of educational opportunities to offer. We’ve put together some highlights below.

Pittcon’s Greatest Mass Spec Offerings

  • 100 skill-building short courses – These courses are available to help you brush up in your areas of expertise. There are many categories to choose from—but here’s a few that we think are most beneficial:
  • Analytical Organic Mass Spectrometry
  • Highly Successful Strategies for LC/MS Quantitation: Current Applications and Emerging Technologies
  • An Introduction to Mass Spectrometry including Biomolecule Applications
  • Live Expo Demos – These 20-minute sessions feature new product demonstrations by leading companies—a perfect way to learn about innovative solutions to your unique lab challenges. It’s also a rare chance to engage in real time conversation with industry experts. Check out the complete live expo schedule to see what’s being shared.
  • The Magnificent Mile – In between live expos and workshops, make your way to The Magnificent Mile to unwind. No, we’re not talking about the famous Chicago shopping district, this one is in the middle of the exposition floor. It’s a great place to grab a bite to eat or even a relaxing massage. Here, attendees are finding tons of interactive displays that will engage the senses and stimulate the mind. Check out the Giant iPad, the Lab Gauntlet challenge, LEGO® Gravity Car racing and more!

Share Your Experiences!

We’re having a great time learning about all the new instrumentation, data management, lab equipment and research the leaders in the lab community have had up their sleeves. And we want to hear from you about what products or research you’re finding to be most intriguing at this year’s Pittcon.

Get in touch with us and let us know about any cool new mass spectrometry products or technology you’ve come across this year. And if you’re contemplating investing in a new piece of equipment, we’ll gladly help you select the right kind of dedicated lab furniture to help preserve and protect it.