The same advances in computers and telecommunications that have brought about tremendous gains in productivity have also made the work lives of professionals a misery. Think about all the emails sitting in your inbox and the text messages.
But what if, instead of creating stress, technology made people enjoy life more? Engineering happiness is not as radical as it sounds, according to an article by sensor expert Kazuo Yano, psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky and grad student Joseph Chancellor in the December 2012 issue of IEEE Spectrum.
Engineers, computer scientists, psychologists and other researchers have shown that by monitoring and analyzing a person's sleep patterns, exercise and dietary habits, body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate, they can pinpoint trouble spots in the person's daily routine and then suggest modifications that immeasurably improve that individual's outlook and well-being.
A range of commercial products now let you try those things at home, with the ultimate goal of making you healthier and happier. The same kind of technology that's helping people improve their personal lives can yield positive results in the workplace: better communication, better teamwork and greater job satisfaction.
Perhaps most intriguing, it can help workers achieve that satisfying feeling of being fully immersed in, energized by and happy about whatever they are doing.
Interestingly, this parallels conversations MPI researchers had with experts outside of the industry for its future of meetings research. These experts predict that, relatively soon, meeting professionals will be able to use neural technology to obtain delegate emotional feedback. They can then change content and context, even space, onsite to better fit the educational and physical needs of their delegates. Pretty cool stuff. Download the meeting design and technology paper here.