Windows 8, the most radical redesign of Microsoft’s flagship operating system, is often said to be schizophrenic. On the one hand, the user interface that first greets users is beautiful: a fun, playful grid of colorful tiles, based on Microsoft’s well-received Metro design language, that offers access to apps and content. On the other hand, hidden beneath this Metro-enhanced surface is the same desktop-based UI we’ve known for decades, still riddled with taskbars, toolbars, and drop-down menus.
Today, Microsoft unveiled a preview of its latest version of Office, and like Windows 8, the newest iterations of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are just as split-minded. With roughly one billion users worldwide, Microsoft faced the same issues designing Office as it did Windows: How do you re-imagine a ubiquitous piece of software without alienating your global user base? While Microsoft designed this latest release for mobile, engineering the experience for touch-screen devices, and infusing elements of Metro’s design language into the program, Office 15 still feels slightly dated—bogged down by decades of legacy.
Kelly and Moen—who published their work this week in The Journal of Health and Social Behavior—found that employees who switched to ROWE took better care of themselves. Not only did they get an extra 52 minutes of sleep before workdays on average, they were also less likely to feel obligated to work when sick and more likely to see a doctor when they needed to. And the turnover rate among employees that switched to ROWE was only 6%, compared to 11% with the control group. In addition, their increased sense of schedule control and reduced work-family conflict led to increased self-reported energy levels and decreased psychological distress.