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Exploring How Brain Health Strategy Training Informs the Future of Work

Young professionals work in a sunlit communal office space with large windows and plants.

Frontiers in Psychology

Jennifer Zientz, Jeffrey S. Spence, Susan Sung Eun Chung, Upali Nanda and Sandra Bond Chapman

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Inspired by prior research showing significant, individual performance gains following engagement in Strategic Memory Enhanced Reasoning Tactics (SMART™) brain training, this workplace study explores micro-delivery of online tactical brain health strategies, and days worked in office, to investigate measures of brain health and components of burnout.Over a six-month period, as teams transitioned to new post-pandemic work practices, researchers engaged staff across HKS (the award-winning global architecture, interior design, planning and advisory firm) in brain training, individualized coaching and practical exercises to enhance brain health at work and at home. The BrainHealth Index, an evidenced-based measure of brain health components, was used to quantify participants' brain health, while components of burnout were measured using the Maslach Burnout Inventory Human Services Survey. Regression analysis was then used to evaluate relationships between components of brain health (clarity, connectedness, emotional balance) and burnout. Findings from this new study show a correlation between holistic gains on the BrainHealth Index and engagement in core SMART training. In addition, participants who increased remote work more often showed signs of gains in clarity, while those who worked more days on site showed stronger signs of connectedness and emotional balance. Results suggest the potential for brain health capacity-building training to benefit employee brain performance and also mental health – efforts such as Brainomics™ (which includes economic, societal, and individual benefits) are currently underway to help communities boost collective brain capital across their workforce.

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Jennifer Zientz, MS, CCC-SLP

Director of Programs and Head of Clinical Services Center for BrainHealth

Jeffrey S. Spence, PhD

Director of Biostatistics

Sandra Bond Chapman, PhD

Chief Director Dee Wyly Distinguished Professor, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences Co-Leader, The BrainHealth Project

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