Industry

October 3, 2023

The 5 Human Senses in the Modern Workplace

Office design influences us every day

Workplace design silently shapes the way we work and interact. Beyond the apparent physical setup, it can influence our behaviours, productivity, and overall well-being. This blog is an exploration of the profound impact of workplace design on human behaviour, emphasizing the practical aspects that affect our day-to-day professional lives.

Common problems that arise from workplace design and how to solve them

Let’s approach this table to understand better how workplace design can impact us and what you can do to solve this:

Problem: Dim lighting strain

Issue: Inadequate lighting strains eyes and reduces focus.

Solution: Well-lit spaces with natural light enhance mood and productivity, mitigating eye strain.

Problem: Chaotic open layout

Issue: Open layouts may lead to noise and distractions.

Solution: Balanced design with collaboration zones and quiet corners promotes teamwork and focused tasks.

Problem: Uncomfortable seating

Issue: Poorly designed chairs cause discomfort and health issues.

Solution: Ergonomic furniture supports natural movements, reducing strain for a healthier workspace.

Do you and your employees face these problems at work every day? Let’s understand how this can impact all five human senses and what you can do to turn it around in your favour!

Glorifying the Vision

Letting the sunshine in!

Natural light is a cornerstone of thoughtful workplace design and transcends mere aesthetics. It enhances the well-being and productivity of employees. Exposure to daylight has been linked to elevated moods, enhanced health, and a nurtured creative spirit.

In a world often confined behind screens, the call to let sunshine into our workspaces becomes more than just a design choice; it becomes a catalyst for a more creative mind and a healthier body!

Artificial lighting joins the bandwagon

Research indicates that exposure to natural light during the day, coupled with dimmer and warmer lighting in the evening, enhances sleep quality. This is crucial as insufficient or poor-quality sleep is linked to various health issues and decreased productivity.

Dynamic lighting systems can be fine-tuned to align with different work tasks and activities. For instance, cooler and brighter lights may be programmed to promote alertness and focus during morning meetings, while warmer tones in the afternoon can foster a more relaxed atmosphere, supporting creativity and collaboration.

The magic of colour psychology in the workplace

Colours, meticulously chosen, are not just a visual spectacle. They strategically contribute to a compelling workplace experience. Consider the meeting room, adorned in sophisticated blue hues known for their calming and focus-inducing properties. Contrast this with collaborative spaces bathed in green shades, a deliberate choice to promote relaxation and creativity. Similarly, neutral tones like white, black and grey are great for balance and good choices for individual workstations.

The ABCs of Acoustics

Collaborating effectively with open-plan spaces

Open-plan spaces are designated zones in workplaces that are good for collaborative efforts. Include them in your workplace design for successful brainstorming sessions!

Conquer acoustics with Absorb, Block and Cover

Understanding the ABCs—Absorb, Block, Cover—becomes essential in crafting an auditory environment that fosters productivity. From sound-absorbing materials in meeting rooms to electronic sound masking in open spaces, the nuances of acoustics play a pivotal role in creating a harmonious and distraction-free auditory landscape.

Deep-focus music leads to increased productivity

Consider also the implementation of deep-focus music, a tool not just for ambience but for boosting productivity during tasks requiring prolonged concentration.

Is breathable air a luxury?

Priority #1: Indoor air quality

Indoor air quality (IAQ) isn’t a mere luxury. It’s a fundamental component of a healthy and productive workspace. The strategies for achieving optimal IAQ need a multifaceted approach.

First and foremost, enhanced ventilation is key, achieved by increasing the intake of outdoor air to dilute indoor pollutants effectively, a strategy adaptable to changing pollutant levels.

Concurrently, effective source control is imperative, involving measures such as HVAC systems, spatial planning, and meticulous pollutant management. To ensure sustained high indoor air quality, a proactive approach to HVAC equipment maintenance, structured within preventive maintenance programs, becomes paramount. This comprehensive strategy is pivotal for creating and maintaining a healthy and productive indoor environment.

Rose and lavender for your office!

Incorporating natural floral-like scents, like rose or lavender, into the workplace environment has many benefits. Firstly, these scents are renowned for their calming properties, creating a more serene and stress-free atmosphere.

Secondly, such scents can contribute to enhanced focus and concentration among employees. Lastly, they have mood-uplifting effects, fostering a positive and enjoyable work environment. The intentional introduction of these scents can significantly contribute to the overall well-being and productivity of individuals within the workplace.

Good ergonomics + perfect temperature + touchless access = 3-ingredient recipe for success!

Brr! Is your office too cold?
🥶

Effective workplace temperature management is pivotal for sustained productivity. Extremes in temperature can disrupt focus and efficiency. Providing adjustable thermostats, encouraging layered clothing options, and offering warm beverages contribute to a comfortable environment. Striking the right balance between warmth and coolness caters to diverse preferences, fostering overall well-being and heightened productivity.

Good office ergonomics for great posture

Investing in ergonomic furniture, particularly chairs with lumbar and back support, is an investment in the physical health and well-being of employees. Such furniture reduces the risk of neck and lower back strains mitigates discomfort and promotes a healthier posture. A well-supported body translates to a happier and more content mind, positively impacting overall job satisfaction.

Enhancing employee experience with touchless access

Integrating touchless access technology not only elevates the employee experience but also ensures a hygienic and secure workplace. This advanced technology allows employees to move seamlessly through doors without physical contact, enhancing convenience. It also contributes to heightened security measures, aligning with modern workplace trends and emphasizing the commitment to employee well-being.

Yummy munchies can make your employees’ day!

The psychology of reward mechanisms

Using rewards in the workplace is a potent motivator. Treating oneself to a favourite snack, like cheesecake, upon hitting milestones taps into the brain’s reward mechanisms, fostering a sense of achievement. Encouraging such celebrations, even with small treats, contributes to a positive work culture.

Snacking smart for long-term projects

Encouraging long-term thinking in workplace snacking promotes sustained energy. Opting for nutritional treats like nuts or berries ensures a healthful and steady energy supply, supporting focus and productivity during extended projects.

Invest in a pantry area

Investing in a well-stocked pantry area where employees can access their favourite snacks throughout the day promotes sustained energy levels and morale. A thoughtfully curated pantry, with various options catering to different tastes and dietary preferences, can encourage employees to come to the office often!

Vending machines help with active movement!

Strategic placement of vending machines in open spaces, away from workstations, serves a dual purpose. It provides convenient access to snacks and encourages employees to take short breaks, move around, and stretch. These active breaks contribute to physical well-being and reduce sedentary behaviour.

Tying it All Together: The Sixth Sense

While the intricacies of the five senses shaping our workplace are not any less important, we must recognize the existence of a sixth sense—the holistic employee experience. Unifying the workspace involves a journey guided by intuition, creating an environment that accommodates and enhances the natural flow of work.

Upcoming: Stay tuned for our next few blogs, which will encompass the themes of workplace unification!

5 HUMAN SENSES AT WORKENGAGING HUMAN SENSES TO IMPROVE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE

‘Work the talk’ is an initiative by Veris that empowers businesses to co-create workplaces of the future. In this podcast series, we talk with industry leaders to gain insights about the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities impacting workplaces across industries.