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How can we be well at work?

Posted 14 Jul

MOD. at UniSA
Untitled design

The Open Lab is our newest space and provides researchers with an opportunity to engage the public in their research. Our most recent resident, Aprille Chua, is a PhD Candidate at UniSA Creative. She is investigating the use of environmental graphic design (EGD) and  augmented reality (AR) to boost employee wellbeing.

Can these technologies work? Can they help us to be happier and healthier people? Over to Aprille.

So, how can we be well at work?

Most people spend a third of their time at work, around 90,000 hours over a lifetime. Given this, our work environments are very important for our wellbeing. This research investigates if applying a digitally augmented environmental graphic design can improve employees’ work experience and wellbeing in a healthcare work environment. EGD includes posters, wall art and murals, and even signage that sometimes appears on flooring and ceilings. AR involves layering digital information onto a physical space.

A series of small drawings on a beige background. The first are two busts of people in green uniform. The second is an outline of a head with a heart shaped flower in the centre. The final one is a hospital.

Research has shown that EGD and AR technologies can improve patient experience in hospitals and other healthcare environments. Previously, no studies have explored how these elements might be used together to enhance the wellbeing of healthcare employees working in these environments. The prototype showcase simulated three different work contexts, combining EGD and AR approaches to boost employee wellbeing and work experience. A wellbeing message is embedded into these simulated workplace environments through three prototypes.

Prototype A investigates how employees respond to icons near their workstations, using handheld device to view the AR content. Prototype B investigates how employees respond to projected content on everyday objects. And finally, prototype C explores how employees react to a wall-size graphic that comes to life using AR projection to convey a wellbeing message.

So far, the preliminary findings suggest that combining environmental graphics with animated digital content in transitional office areas, such as a lobby or kitchen, could be used to gain attention and provoke thoughts around employee wellbeing.

 

Aprille Chua is a third year PhD candidate at the University of South Australia (UniSA Creative). She is passionate and self-driven towards her current research work, themed ‘Designing for health and wellbeing’. Her educational background in interior design and work experience as a design educator led to her great interest in exploring how visual design that incorporates use of augmented reality can help improve individuals’ wellbeing within the workplace environment.

Before devoting her time to research, Aprille has been dedicated to her teaching and mentoring roles for more than 8 years. As ‘no man is an island’, she believes in working harmoniously as a team where everyone achieves more together.

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