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Tech Talk: The Power of Proximity to Coworkers: Training for Tomorrow or Productivity Today? [Hybrid Seminar May 25th, 2023]

  • 1.  Tech Talk: The Power of Proximity to Coworkers: Training for Tomorrow or Productivity Today? [Hybrid Seminar May 25th, 2023]

    Posted 22 May, 2023 15:30
    Edited by Matthew Galles 22 May, 2023 15:33
    Dear HRS Members,
    I invite you to join us for a pizza lecture/technical talk from Dr. Natalia Emanuel, a visiting researcher for a seminar based on her white paper titled "Power of Proximity". This seminar should be a particularly interesting one because the presentation touches on the possible impacts of the physical proximity of colleagues on feedback, employment retainment, and work productivity. 
    Additionally, we are scheduling time before the talk for discussions on the subject. If interested, please reach out to me.

    Here are the flyer details:

    AIAA Hampton Roads Section, LEAP, and A2W Present
    2022-2023 Pizza Lecture Series

    The Power of Proximity to Coworkers: Training for Tomorrow or Productivity Today?

    Dr. Natalia Emanuel

    DATE & TIME: May 25th, 2023
    Pizza at 11:00 am
    Talk from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm
    Request pizza by May 24th, 3:30 pm Buy Pizza!

    LOCATION: NACA Room, B2102
    Our AV system has had some failures so attending the event in person is highly encouraged.
    Virtual via AIAA Zoom –
    Zoom Registration

    Contact Matt Galles at aiaa.hrs.vicechair@gmail.com with any questions.

    Abstract: In an increasingly digital world, how does sitting near coworkers affect collaboration, on-the-job training, and output? We study software engineers at a Fortune 500 firm, whose main campus has two buildings several blocks apart. When offices were open, engineers working in the same building as all their teammates received 23 percent more online feedback on their computer code than engineers with distant teammates. After offices closed for COVID-19, this advantage shrank by 17 percentage points. Sitting near coworkers increases how much junior engineers learn from their senior colleagues — not only in person but also online. Proximity particularly increases feedback to female engineers and young engineers, who are more likely to quit the firm when proximity is lost. However, sitting together reduces senior engineers’ programming output, suggesting a trade-off between short-term productivity and long-run human-capital development. Even pre-COVID, gaining one distant teammate reduced online feedback among coworkers sitting together: thus, remote-work policies may impact even workers who choose to go into the office.<o:p></o:p>

    Biography: Dr. Natalia Emanuel is a research economist at New York Federal Reserve Bank. She received her PhD in economics from Harvard in 2021, after which she completed a postdoc at Princeton's Industrial Relations Section. Prior to doctoral study, she received a BA in economics at Yale and an MSC in Evidence-Based Social Policy from Oxford, where she studied as a Marshall Scholar. Her research focuses on workplace policies that help firms and workers thrive, and governmental policies such as child welfare and criminal justice policies. <o:p></o:p>

    Discussion opportunity!

    This seminar is being cohosted with NASA’s LEAP and A2W employee resource groups. Dr. Emanuel has available time slots for discussions on Thursday morning before 10 am. If you are interested in participating in discussions regarding her and her colleague’s work on the white paper “The Power of Proximity”, please email aiaa.hrs.vicechair@gmail.com.

    Matthew Galles
    NASA Langley Research Center
    Hampton VA