We love beautiful things. It is an innate part of our being. Good design and beautiful surroundings seems to be a universal quality in humans. And, in a culture where we spend a large portion of our lives working, the design and layout of an office space, down to the chair we sit in, can have an impact on productivity and well-being.
Of course, we’d all love to be Richard Branson, who counts his private island as his office, but that just isn't reality. So how does this love of beautiful things and design apply to the office setting? According to the New York Times, brain scan studies have revealed that the sight of an attractive product triggers parts of the brain; beauty literally moves us. And, when applied to the office, certain changes can make a difference.
Take color. German researchers found that simply glancing at shades of green can boost creativity and motivation. In terms of office design, windows where workers can see outside, even if there are just a few trees, can help productivity in the workplace. One study of a call center found that worker who could see the outdoors completed tasks 6-7 percent more efficiently than those who couldn't That worked out to a savings of almost $3,000 per employee. This finding has also been found to aid in patient recovery and classroom learning as well.
Consider the adverse effects of bad design in the office. Poorly designed chairs can cause pain, and even headaches and eye strain. Poorly designed computers can injure wrists. Unnecessarily bright lights can strain eyes that are already drained from analyzing computer screens. Not good for worker productivity.
So in the end, office design and ergonomics might be more beneficial than we think. It can have a positive impact not only in employees’ well-being but in overall productivity, benefiting both the company and the individual.
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