What’s your design mindset? Can you freely articulate the thought processes and psychology that went into designing your space? We’ve surveyed recent psychology and neuroscience findings on the topic of workplace design and its impact on performance. Here’s a quick recap of the simple, yet effective steps you can take enhance productivity in the workplace.
1. COLOR, LIGHT & SPACE
Selecting the right color and lighting plan for your workplace is one of the simplest, and oftentimes one of the most cost-effective ways you can create an environment that will bolster worker productivity. Studies have shown that blue and green hues enhance the process of generating ideas, while exposure to red has been linked to exceptional performance on tasks which require a sustained attention to detail. Even simple adjustments to light intensity impacts performance: dimmer environments generated superior creativity and ideation, while environments with higher lights enhance critical and analytical thought.*
2. A WINDOW VIEW
The power of natural light in the workplace has been well documented in psychology and neuroscience journals alike. Most recently, researchers at the Interdepartmental Neuroscience program at Northwestern University in Chicago, reported that the detrimental impact of working in a windowless environment is a universal phenomenon. A new study titled, “Impact of Workplace Daylight Exposure on Sleep, Physical Activity, and Quality of Life,” concludes that there is a strong relationship between workplace daylight exposure and office workers’ sleep, activity and quality of life.** The take away? Designing your workplace around natural light sources is critical to employee success.
We’ll even go further to express the importance of access to natural light and rooms with views. It’s been shown that views of natural landscapes recharges minds. Of course, views of natural landscapes are not a possibility in downtown city centers, however even access to views of unique architectural design and/or having quick access to urban parks has proven to provide restorative benefit.*
3. PERSONAL TOUCHES
Simply giving employees the power to organize and make customizations their workspaces makes workers feel more connected and vested in the overall success of the company. Another recent study by the University of Exeter found that workers who were able to reconfigure their cubicles exhibited the most positive outcomes. They reported improved concentration, ambiance, organization, and productivity.***
It goes without saying that how our workspaces are arranged impact us psychologically. Ensuring that your space is comfortable, familiar, offers freedom of movement and access to natural light is key to our overall well-being both in and outside – of our workplaces.
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* Christian Jarrett, Behance **Christopher Bergland, Psychology Today, *** Tara Mastroeni Freshome’s Very Best