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WORKER EMOTIONS IN VISUAL INSPECTION PhD Monthly Report Student : Lawrence Farrugia Supervisor : Prof. Jonathan C. Borg Date: 31.12.2013

CONCURRENT ENGINEERING RESEARCH UNIT

Report Number

UNIVERSITY OF MALTA

EMPD – LF02/2013


PhD – December 2013

Contents List of Figures ....................................................................................................................... 2 List of Tables ........................................................................................................................ 2 1.0 Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 3 2.0 Interviews ........................................................................................................................ 3 2.1 Interviewee #1 ............................................................................................................. 3 2.1.1 Affective Quality of the Process............................................................................. 3 2.1.2 Affective Quality of the Product ............................................................................. 4 2.1.3 Affective Quality of the Environment...................................................................... 4 2.2 Interviewee #2 ............................................................................................................. 5 2.2.1 Affective Quality of the Process............................................................................. 5 2.2.2 Affective Quality of the Product ............................................................................. 6 2.2.3 Affective Quality of the Environment...................................................................... 6 2.3 Interviewee #3 ............................................................................................................. 7 2.3.1 Affective Quality of the Process............................................................................. 7 2.3.2 Affective Quality of the Product ............................................................................. 7 2.3.2 Affective Quality of the Work Environment ............................................................ 7 2.4 Interviewee #4 ............................................................................................................. 8 2.4.1 Affective Quality of the Process............................................................................. 8 2.4.2 Affective Quality of the Product ............................................................................. 9 2.4.3 Affective Quality of the Environment...................................................................... 9 2.5 Interviewee #5 ........................................................................................................... 10 2.5.1 Affective Quality of the Process........................................................................... 10 2.5.2 Affective Quality of the Product ........................................................................... 10 2.5.2 Affective Quality of the Environment.................................................................... 10 2.6 Interviewee #6 ........................................................................................................... 11 2.6.1 Affective Quality of the Process........................................................................... 11 2.6.2 Affective Quality of the Product ........................................................................... 11 2.6.3 Affective Quality of the Environment.................................................................... 12 3.0 Discussion..................................................................................................................... 12 4.0 Conclusion .................................................................................................................... 14

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PhD – December 2013

List of Figures Figure 1 - Primary vs. secondary worker concerns .............................................................. 15 Figure 2 – The effect of product attributes on workers and customers ................................ 16

List of Tables Table 1 .................................................................................................................................. 3 Table 2 .................................................................................................................................. 4 Table 3 .................................................................................................................................. 5 Table 4 .................................................................................................................................. 6 Table 5 .................................................................................................................................. 7 Table 6 .................................................................................................................................. 8 Table 7 .................................................................................................................................. 8 Table 8 .................................................................................................................................. 9 Table 9 ................................................................................................................................ 10 Table 10 .............................................................................................................................. 11 Table 11 .............................................................................................................................. 12 Table 12 .............................................................................................................................. 13

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PhD – December 2013

1.0 Introduction This document presents the outcome of a 6 semi-structured interviews carried out among operators working at Toly Products Malta. These interviews were all carried out on the 17th December 2013. The subjects who were interviewed were responsible for conducting visual inspection on manufactured goods prior to packaging. The subjects were required to visually inspect the outer shell of the product for any scratches and other cosmetic defects. The scope of these semi-structured interviews was to better understand the impact, if any, which the product, process and the physical and organisational environment has on the emotions of the subjects. The subsequent section of this document will report the comments of each interviewer. The last section of this report will present a general discussion followed by the main conclusions derived from this study.

2.0 Interviews This section will present the comments received from each subject during the interview. This section will report answers and comments which were received as a result of both direct and indirect questions in the questionnaire.

2.1 Interviewee #1 At first the interviewee was unwilling to express preference towards a particular process and was exhibiting symptoms of satisficing, by responding in a manner which appears satisfactory to the interviewer. Table 1

Gender Age Bracket Job Nationality

Female 30-40 Final Stage Packaging Maltese

2.1.1 Affective Quality of the Process When asked which is the favourite process, the interview was hesitant to respond to this question and her initial response was that she enjoys each and every process in the exact same manner. However when further questioned the interviewee stated that she enjoys the final stages of packaging where the finished products are packaged for shipping. The interviewee enjoys the packaging operation because she can interact with a finished product which is aesthetically pleasant. One of the things that evident during the interview was the noises in the shopfloor; in fact very often the operators had to shout in order to communicate among each other. Many of the operators claimed that they are used to working with such noises, and are not consciously aware of the sheer amount of noise in the shop floor. However, given the opportunity they would choose equipment which reduces the noise. Page 3 of 17


PhD – December 2013 The products manufactured at Toly are in most part artefacts to contain cosmetic products. This interviewee stated that the smell of perfume does irritate her, particularly during the early hours of the day. The provision of proper illumination is a major concern of many workers; this is due to the fact that part of the task is to check for surface defects prior to packaging. Proper illumination is a tool necessary to execute this task. 2.1.2 Affective Quality of the Product During the interview the subjects were questioned in relation to the product characteristics which they deem to be affective. Aesthetically pleasing products were deemed to be important in preferring one operation over another. In addition from a practical point of view the colour of the product on which work is being performed can in fact change the degree of difficulty of the task at hand. This is due to the fact that surface defects such as scratches are more evident on darker shades when compared to lighter shades. 2.1.3 Affective Quality of the Environment The interviewee did not express any particular concerns in relation to the physical or organisational environment. Her only concern was , once again, the importance of proper illumination in order to be able to execute the task at hand. The table below (Table 2) provides a summary of the product, process and environment characteristics which were deemed to have an affective quality to them. This table provides a brief explanation as to how these characteristic were considered to elicit feelings from the interviewees. Table 2

Affective Qualities Type of products involved in the process/ Product aesthetics.

Noise Levels

Comment The interviewee prefers the final stages of packaging because she can enjoy interacting with aesthetically pleasing completed products. The aesthetic appeal of the finished product can be of concern not only to the external customers, but also to the internal customers. In fact interviewee (an internal customer) expressed a strong preference towards the packaging process, simply because it involves an interaction with an aesthetically pleasing finish. The noise levels in the shop floor were substantially high. In fact the operators in the shop floor had to shout in order to communicate with each other. When the interviewee was asked about the noise levels, she claimed to have become accustomed to these levels. However, the same interviewee claimed that she would prefer a more quite working environment.

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PhD – December 2013 Table 2 (continued)

Illumination

Odors

Product aesthetics Colour combinations

The illumination is a critical requirement, this is because part of the task involves the inspection of components for surface defects prior to shipping. Without the appropriate illumination the task would be rendered more difficult if not impossible. It follows that inappropriate illumination would render the task more frustrating. While there are not odours which are directly attributed to the process. The smell of strong perfume can be quite unpleasant, particularly during the early morning. As it was outlined earlier the interviewee preferred to work on products which are aesthetically appealing. Although colours are part of the aesthetics of the product, this element was particularly relevant to the interviewee. This is due to the fact that surface defects tend to be more evident on products which have dark shades, hence higher rejection rates. This implies that inspecting products which are have darker shades tends to lead to a higher frustration due to a higher rejection rate. On the contrary, defects are less evident on products which have lighter shades, this means that these product lead to less negative emotions.

2.2 Interviewee #2 The second in interviewee was a young female between 20 and 30 years of age. The subject was also responsible for the final stage packaging. Table 3

Gender Age Bracket Job Nationality

Female 20-30 Final Stage Packaging Maltese

2.2.1 Affective Quality of the Process The interviewee is responsible for inspecting the final product for surface defects and packaging the inspected product. The comments made by the interviewee in this regard were very interesting. The subject stated that it is a job which shoulders significant responsibility, this is due to the fact that the she has to carry the last inspection before the product is shipped to the customer. The subject was very aware that any defective products which slip by inspection will eventually end up to the customer. However although the job requires due diligence, the subject noted that the inspection and packaging station is still her favourite. This is due to the fact that she takes enjoys and takes pride in seeing the product complete. Once again, due to the fact that the job requires visual inspection, the provision of proper illumination plays a very important role. The fact that the operator has to repeat a task over Page 5 of 17


PhD – December 2013 and over again can also be frustrating. However it was pointed out that the workers are allowed to switch between different tasks. 2.2.2 Affective Quality of the Product In relation to the product, the only comment made by the subject was that dark colours make the defects more evident through visual inspection. This means that when working on dark coloured products the rejection rate tends to be higher, rendering the task more frustrating. 2.2.3 Affective Quality of the Environment This is an area which the subject felt very strongly about. In fact in her own words, she stated that given the opportunity she would change everything. One of the characteristics of the workplace which tend to make the work less enjoyable is the temperature. In fact the interviewee noted that in some parts the factory feels to cold. This aspect was pointed out by other subjects during subsequent interviews. The interviewee also pointed out that she would change the colour of the décor from white to something more ‘lively’, her personal choice would be pink. Another point that was mentioned and was very evident during this visit is the amount of clutter on the factory floor. Apart from the clutter of boxes, the operator felt that a cleaner factory would make her work environment more pleasurable. Although the subject claimed to be used to the ambient noises of the machines, in reality she would reduce the noise. The subject pointed out that she realizes that a machine breaks down in the factory floor from the reduction in the noise. The subject also pointed out that the workstation was typically crammed with 2 or 3 people working on one machine. It would be more desirable if the workers were spaced more evenly from each other. The cramming of multiple workers about one machine can sometimes be frustrating. The list of affective qualities of the environment, product and process as pointed out by the subject are described in Table 4. Table 4

Affective Qualities Type of process/operation

Comment Although the final inspection requires the operator to shoulder a significant responsibility, this disadvantage is overshadowed by the satisfaction of seeing a completed product ready to be sent to the customer.

The fact that an operator is provided with such a daunting task is not always perceived negatively. This is a case were a potentially negative experience (being responsible for a highly critical job) leads to positive emotions e.g. satisfaction. Ergonomics / Layout of The layout of workers that are crammed around one workers unique machine tends to be frustrating, leading to negative emotions. Colour combination Certain colours contribute to higher rejection rates than others. This is due to the fact that darker colours make the defects more evident through visual inspection.

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PhD – December 2013 Table 4 (continued)

Illumination

The illumination is very important, this is because it is a resource necessary to execute the expected tasks correctly. Ambient temperature The uneven distribution temperature tends to make the work experience more uncomfortable. Layout of non-human The clutter of piles of boxes all around the shop floor elements (e.g. layout of renders the work environment more claustrophobic and machines) disorganized. The boxes tend to be an eyesore, which are not enjoyed by the interviewee. Cleanliness The lack of cleanliness in the shop floor renders the workplace less attractive. Thus the workers might be less willing to go to work or work in certain areas of the factory. Ambient noise The ambient noise is not desirable and given a choice the interviewee would perform work in a more quite work environment. Ambient colours The fact that the floor, walls and ceiling are all painted in the similar colours was outlined by the subject. Given a choice the interviewee would re-paint the factory to her favourite colour pink.

2.3 Interviewee #3 The third subject was a male who is between 40 to 50 years of age. More information about this interviewee is shown in Table 5. Table 5

Gender Age Bracket Job Nationality

Male 40-50 Final Stage Packaging Maltese

2.3.1 Affective Quality of the Process Unlike the interviewee #2, this subject preferred to perform work which is not critical to the appearance of the product. In essence this operator enjoyed performing tasks such as plastic welding which, unlike visual inspection, does not influence directly the aesthetics of the product. 2.3.2 Affective Quality of the Product In this regard the subject pointed out that he enjoys the tactile feeling of the product. However this was the only comment made with regards to the affective quality of the product itself. 2.3.2 Affective Quality of the Work Environment One of the aspects which was pointed out is the fact that very often multiple operators are crammed around on particular machine. This can be very frustrating, particularly when this state has to be sustained over extended hours.

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PhD – December 2013 Apart from the crammed conditions, the subject pointed out that the chairs used to support the users do not offer proper lumbar support, leading to pain in the lower back. Another characteristics of the work environment that was deemed undesirable is the fact that layout of the factory floor is filled with piles of boxes. The interviewee pointed out that this can be hazardous, particularly due to the fact that some of the boxes are sometimes situated in the path used by operators to move from one location to another. Theses boxes render the use of trolleys and pallet jacks difficult to manoeuvre around due to a lack of space. Although accepted, the interviewee also mentioned that work pressure (particularly during the end of the week) can result in frustration. The work pressure is caused by the need to ready complete certain tasks within by a certain date. However in their view, this is accepted as part of the job. The The affective qualities of the product, process and environment as outlined by the interviewee #3 are summarized in Table 6. Table 6

Affective Qualities Type of process/operation

Comment Unlike interviewee #2 this subject expressed to feel more comfortable performing operation which do not directly impact the final appearance of the product.

Ergonomics / Layout of The layout of workers that are crammed around one workers unique machine tends to be frustrating, leading to negative emotions. In addition to provision of chairs with inappropriate lumbar support results in back pain. Layout of non-human The clutter is not only an eyesore, but has also practical elements (e.g. layout of implications. This is due to the fact that the clutter machines) render the operation of pallet jacks and trolleys difficult. Tactile feeling The smooth texture of the makeup cases was considered as an enjoyable experience, even for a male internal customer.

2.4 Interviewee #4 The fourth interviewee was a male between the ages of 40 to 50 as described in Table 7. Table 7

Gender Age Bracket Job Nationality

Male 40-50 Final Stage Packaging Maltese

2.4.1 Affective Quality of the Process The subject expresses preference towards particular processes over other due to the fact that those preferred tend to involve tools and machines that are more reliable. In fact the interviewee claimed to become very frustrated when ‘his’ (sense of ownership) machine breaks down. Page 8 of 17


PhD – December 2013 In addition an operation can be rendered more or less frustrating if proper illumination is provided. This is due to the fact that the illumination is required for the purpose of conducting visual inspection on the component that are assembled. 2.4.2 Affective Quality of the Product The only characteristic of the product which elicits positive or negative emotions is the colour of the product. As stated by many others, defects become more visible to the naked eye when certain colour combinations are used. 2.4.3 Affective Quality of the Environment This interviewee was the only one to make mention of interpersonal relationship. The source of negative emotions in this case is caused by the fact that, according to the subject, certain individuals do not shoulder their responsibility when they have to. In these cases the subject feels angry and upset. The interviewee also noted the constant ambient noise to be somewhat tedious. The fact that multiple workers are crammed together around one machine without appropriate working space for extended periods, was also identified as a source of negative feeling. In addition the boxes laid out all over the factory floor were considered undesirable. Table 8

Affective Qualities Comment Reliability of the machines The subject prefers to operate certain processes simply and tools because in his view certain machines are more reliable than others. Using ‘his’ machine gives the subject a sense of reassurance. The subject prefers to work on one (his) machine rather than different machines. (It should be noted that in this factory, the workers switch from one operation to another in order to alleviate the tediousness of the work) Proper illumination A critical resource for proper operation. Colour combinations Contribution to making a visual defects more or less visible Interrelationships When others do not shoulder their responsibility , leads to anger. Ambient noise Used to the noise yet undesirable Layout of workers The lack of appropriate working space can be upsetting Layout of non-human Cluttered factory floor does not contribute to a positive elements feeling. It would be more desirable to see an organized floor.

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PhD – December 2013

2.5 Interviewee #5 The interview was a young female aged between 20 to 30 years. Table 9

Gender Age Bracket Job Nationality

Female 20-30 Final Stage Packaging Maltese

2.5.1 Affective Quality of the Process The noise emanating from the machines involved in the packaging operation were considered to be somewhat frustrating. As a result, given the choice, the operator would choose machines which emanate less noise. In addition to the noises generated by the equipment, the complexity of a task was considered to be somewhat effective in eliciting positive or negative emotions. The subject pointed out that early stages of the learning process, the complexity of an operation can significantly contribute in eliciting positive or negative emotion. In this case having proper support and tuition can help to alleviate these negative feelings e.g. frustration, anger and despair. The subject pointed out that once one goes through the learning process, the job at hand become much easier. During the interview it was evident that the subject feels very anxious when set to a new task. This may be a personal trait, where the subject is unwilling to experience change. 2.5.2 Affective Quality of the Product The colour combinations of product and the tactile feeling of the objects are two product characteristic which were pointed to possess an affective quality. 2.5.2 Affective Quality of the Environment All the things mentioned by the interviewee were related to the characteristics of the physical environment. The first characteristic was related to the appearance of the physical environment, which was considered to be undesirable and ugly. One particular aesthetic characteristic was the choice of colours, which were considered to be bland. Given the opportunity the subject would have chosen warmer colours. The lack of cleanliness within the factory floor was also related to negative and undesirable feelings. Apart from the aesthetics of the physical work environment, the uneven distribution of temperature over the factory floor was mentioned. The pointed out that certain areas of the factory feel colder than others, thus rendering the work environment less comfortable and less attractive to work in.

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PhD – December 2013

Table 10

Affective Qualities Noises emanating machines

Comment from The constant loud noises generated by machines tend to be tedious.

Complexity of a New The complexity of a process can greatly influence the process and support during emotions elicited, particularly if the process/task is a the learning process new one and needs to be learned. In this context the provision of proper training and tuition were considered to help diminish any negative feelings such as frustration.

Tactile feeling Colour combinations Temperature

Colours of environment Cleanliness

the

During the interview it was evident that the subject feels very anxious when set to a new task. This may be a personal trait, where the subject is unwilling to experience change The smooth feeling of plastic components is desirable The colours of product can facilitate or impede the execution of tasks. Cold areas do not provide the required comfort. The inappropriate temperature renders the work experience less attractive. work The bland colours render the physical work environment unattractive. The subject stated that she would feel better and more at ease if the work environment was cleaner.

2.6 Interviewee #6 The last interviewee of this session was a male between 20 and 30 years of age. Gender Age Bracket Job Nationality

Male 20-30 Final Stage Packaging Maltese

2.6.1 Affective Quality of the Process The subject pointed out that being exposed to the constant, repetitive loud noises of the machinery and tools for extended hours can in fact be tedious. In addition, the interviewee pointed out that the reliability of the machines or tools used to perform work can in fact influence substantially the moods and emotions. In addition being unfamiliar with a new task or process can result in anxiety and a general negative feeling. 2.6.2 Affective Quality of the Product As far as the product is concerned the colour combinations are in fact effective at rendering the work easier and therefore less frustrating. In addition the subject pointed out that he enjoys the tactile (smooth) feeling of the artefacts. Another physical characteristics that was considered to have an affective quality is the size and shape of the products. Products which are easy to handle due to their size and shape can contribute to facilitate the work hence resulting in the elicitation of positive emotions. Page 11 of 17


PhD – December 2013 2.6.3 Affective Quality of the Environment The fact that several workers are typically crammed together around one machine for extended hours can be somewhat frustrating. The interviewee pointed out that having more ample space between each other could render the work environment more comfortable. Another characteristic of the physical work environment that was pointed out was the fact that the factory floor was cluttered with boxes. In addition to the boxes the layout of the factory is in such a way that the space between one cell to another is not sufficient. This implies that very often the maintenance personnel has to squeeze him/her self between two production cells in order to perform the required maintenance. This is both uncomfortable and potentially hazardous. Table 11

Affective Qualities Noises emanating machines

Comment from The constant loud noises generated by machines tend to be tedious.

Overall reliability machines and tools Tactile feeling Colour combinations

of An unreliable machine with frequent downtime or erroneous operation can be very frustrating. The smooth feeling of plastic components is desirable The colours of product can facilitate or impede the execution of tasks. Size and shape of the An artefact/component which is easier to handle is more products being handled desirable. Basically this implies that, a component which has been designed with DfA (manual) in mind result in positive emotions. Layout of workers When workers do not have ample working space it can be very frustrating. Layout of non-human The inadequate layout of WIP and machines renders elements (e.g. WIP and the work place unattractive and potentially hazardous. machines)

3.0 Discussion The responses recorded throughout these semi-structured interviews have been summarized in Table 12. The most frequently cited characteristics were the noise levels of the working environment and the colour combinations of the product. One of the reasons why the product colour combinations were identified by so many as a elicitors of emotions is due to the fact that the colour of a product can greatly influence the degree of difficulty in performing a task. It is also worth mentioning is that the colours of the product is a visual attribute intended to attract customers and elicit positive human emotions from the end customers. Hence this is clearly a case where a product attribute that was originally intended at eliciting positive emotions from the end customers, is in fact also considered to have an affective quality by the workers who are performing tasks on the product. Unlike to use of colour combination, the noise level is not attributed to the product itself (at least not directly) but to the processes being employed in the synthesis of the product. However the reason why a particular (noise emitting) machine is being employed might still be attributed to the product or at least to the requirements/expectations se by the user. Page 12 of 17


PhD – December 2013 Table 12

Affective Qualities

Comment

# Of Participants (Percentage %)

Ambient noise levels

The constant loud noises can be 5 (83) tedious and frustrating. Product colours The colour of the product can facilitate or impede the task of visual 5 (83) inspection. Ergonomics - Layout of Workers who are not provided with workers ample working space feel frustrated, particularly if this state has to be sustained over an extended period of time. 4 (67) Another issue was the provision of chairs which do not offer proper lumbar support. Layout of non-human The cluttering of the factory floor with elements e.g. machines renders the physical environment : and WIP a. Unappealing 4 (67) b. Potentially hazardous c. Impractical to work in. Illumination The illumination is a critical resource necessary to execute the task of visual inspection. Without appropriate 3 (50) illumination the task would be very difficult. Tactile feeling Type of process – the process presents the user with the opportunity/threat to execute an important/critical task.

Overall reliability machines and tools

The subject prefers a certain product 3 (50) because of its tactile feeling The subject prefers a particular process simply because she feels important in executing such an important task. The shouldering of responsibility is not perceived as a threat but rather as an opportunity. 2 (33)

On the other hand, there were individuals who preferred certain processes simply because these allow them to shoulder minimum responsibility. of Unreliable machines and tools tend to 2 (33) make the operators upset and angry.

What all this means is that while the stimulus of a negative or positive emotion may not be attributed to a product but rather to a machine, in reality the reason why the machine is being employed to contribute in the creation of the product and its requirements. This means that the (affective) requirements which the users aim to fulfil while engaging with their products (e.g. a product which feels good to the touch or a product which looks good) are indirectly dictating which machines, processes and tasks to be used. The latter have a direct impact on the worker emotions. Page 13 of 17


PhD – December 2013 Table 12 (continued)

Affective Qualities

Comment

Ambient temperature

Excessively cold temperatures make the workers feel uncomfortable. Workers located in hot regions cannot switch on cooling systems because of workers in colder regions and vs. A cleaner environment renders the work environment more attractive. In addition the subjects feel more comfortable working in a clean environment. An aesthetically appealing work improves their experience while at work. The use of warmer colours was identified as a potential way of creating aesthetically appealing environment which makes the workers feel ‘at home’. The individual expressed a strong preference towards a process simply because the artefacts involved were aesthetically appealing.

Cleanliness

Aesthetics of the Physical Env. - Colours

Type of process – the process involves work to be executed on products that are aesthetically appealing. Type of process – degree The subject expressed a preference of completion of a towards a process because of the product. emotion of satisfaction which is elicited on completing a product Odors emanating from the The smell of cosmetic products can products (perfume) be somewhat irritating Size and shape of The physical characteristics e.g. components components which are easily gripped can render the work task less frustrating. DfA  Positive Emotions

# Of Participants (Percentage %)

2 (33)

2 (33)

2 (33)

1 (17)

1 (17)

1 (17)

1 (17)

4.0 Conclusion This report has outlined an investigation into worker emotions. The following may be concluded from this study. The characteristics pertaining to the work environment, the product or the process that were perceived to elicit emotions are those which pose a primary concern to the human worker. In this study the operators interviewed were responsible for conducting visual inspection on manufactured artefacts prior to shipping. The characteristics which were considered to have the highest influence in eliciting emotions were the ambient noise levels, the product colours and the physical layout of human worker and WIP. According to appraisal theory these characteristics do elicit strong emotions due to the fact that they influence, in a very direct manner, the concern of the human worker. Page 14 of 17


PhD – December 2013 In essence this means that the presence of excessive ambient noise and the inadequate layout of factory workers and WIP were appraised by the interviewees to threaten their ability to execute the expected tasks. For instance, the excessive ambient noise was considered frustrating simply because it can render the communication among workers difficult. In addition this may lead the workers to lose focus on the tasks at hand. Apart from the noise, the physical layout of workers was also considered to elicit negative emotions. This is due to the fact that workers need adequate space in order to be able to visually inspect the product. On the other hand the physical layout of the worker was considered to be a source of emotions elicitation for two reasons. The first, and most important, reason is that the unorganized layout of WIP renders the work environment impractical to work in. For example, the clutter of WIP material renders it difficult for workers operating palletizers to transfer material from one location to another. It follows that the clutter of WIP presents a direct threat to the primary concern of the worker i.e. it threatens the execution of tasks. The second reason is that the cluttered factory floor presents and eye sore. The results obtained from this study indicate that workers tend to prioritize their concerns. This ranking of the concerns determines which characteristics of the work environment, process and product elicit strong emotions. Based on this study this research describes workers as having two main concerns: primary concerns and secondary concerns as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1 - Primary vs. secondary worker concerns

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PhD – December 2013 The primary concern has to do with the execution of the expected tasks, and any characteristics which facilitates or threatens this concern, will elicit very strong emotions. Thus the provision of adequate working space, the reduction of ambient noise and the provision of work critical resources will contribute to elicit strong emotions as these influence in a very direct manner the concerns of the workers. On the other hand there are secondary concerns that are important but not critical. For example one of the concerns of some workers was to have an aesthetically pleasing work environment. The aesthetics of the work environment is considered to be a desirable but not critical. Hence while eliciting some emotions the aesthetics of the work environment will not elicit emotions that are as strong as those elicited by the primary concerns. Another interesting conclusion that emanated from this study was the appraisal of the product colour by human workers responsible for inspection elicited very strong negative emotions. This is an interesting case as the product colour is one of the product attributes which can be employed in order to elicit positive emotions from the customers. Thus, while the choice of a the product colour would have been made to elicit strong positive emotions from the product end-customer, the same design decision elicits opposite emotions from the workers who interact with the artefact as shown in Figure 2. The reason why the choice of colour was considered to elicit negative emotions from the human worker was that it rendered the identification of scratches and other surface defects more difficult. This was considered to pose a threat to the primary concern of the worker which is that to execute the expected tasks correctly.

Figure 2 – The effect of product attributes on workers and customers

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PhD – December 2013 While colour was a product attribute that in this case was considered to elicit opposing emotions from the customers and human workers, other product attributes were considered to elicit similar emotions from the external customer and the worker. For example a minority of the interviewed subject pointed out that they enjoy performing work on certain workstations simply because they are provided with the opportunity to enjoy the tactile feeling and the aesthetics of the product. This is a case where unlike the product colour, surface texture and form are attributes considered to elicit positive emotions from both the end customer and the human workers. The study indicates that early design decisions pertaining to the product, can effectively influence the emotions elicited not only from the end-customers but also from the human workers who interact with the evolving artefact. In addition the emotions elicited by the human worker are not only dependent on the product. The results in this study indicate that the interaction with technical resources and the work environment can also contribute in a strong manner, in eliciting worker emotions.

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Phd monthly report december 2013