The Psychology of Design: 10 Elements for a Happier Workplace
Lots of Light
“The Office” used satire to portray the draining elements of a traditional American workspace, and more often than not, they hit the nail on the head. The show’s staging even contained humming fluorescent overhead lights. Unlike the show’s set designers, we now know that these buzzing beasts are better replaced by offering different artificial wattages used in conjunction with natural light. In fact, a study by scientist Mirjam Muench reveals that people who were exposed to natural light were significantly more alert than those who worked exclusively with artificial light. Additionally, Muench proved that dim or artificial lighting reduces levels of cortisol in the body, causing workers to feel more stressed and anxious. Look for an office with lots of windows and gentle artificial lighting options.
Titan Offices, Inc.
Monthly Team Office #11
1055 West 7th Street, 33rd Floor
Los, Angeles, California, 90017
The key to employee productivity is striking a balance between focus and collaboration. This means working in a sizable office in which team members have their own area where they can concentrate, but also free flowing spaces that allow for impromptu meetings and brainstorming sessions. This thinking is supported by studies done by the University of Sydney, which found that workers were unhappy when limited to cubicles, but also dissatisfied in a truly open floor plan with no partitions.
Space 530 NYC Midtown – Times Square
Fashion Ave Private Office
530 7th Avenue, Mezzanine Level
New York, New York 10018
From music playing throughout the office to the sound of your desk mate chewing a wad of gum, noise in the office can be unpredictable and disruptive. The debate rages on as to what the ideal level of noise is for productivity, but many researchers believe that a moderate level of ambient noise is the workplace sweet spot. Studies suggest that some noise can enhance creative performance and improve focus. The research shows that noise levels of about 70 decibels is ideal. This could include streaming music or even the hustle and bustle of a café.
Private Boston Office/ Studio
162 Boylston St., #61
Boston, MA 02116
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, and stocking up on brain food is a surefire way to optimize productivity. Make sure to always have something to munch on at hand. Of course, this is easier if you’re working in a space that has a kitchen or mini-fridge. Foods that are known to bolster brain power include nuts, blueberries, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, whole grains, and fish. Our friends at BeHealthy also put together a list of 10 brain-boosting foods – check it out here.
Pacific Workplaces – Pleasant Hill
The Coworking Corner
3748 Bushkirk Avenue, Suite 1000
Pleasant Hill, California 945236
Believe it or not, there’s an optimal temperature for workplace productivity. Studies find that workers are most productive when working in an environment that’s 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Monitoring your office’s temperature to that degree might be too much for you, but try to make yourself comfortable. If you get cold in the mornings, leave a jacket or blanket at your desk. If you’re someone who runs hot, work in a space with reliable air conditioning, ceiling fans, or lots of windows to open at your discretion.
Connections San Francisco
Club Living Room
424 Clay St.
San Francisco, California 94111
Most of us carry a favorite color with us from childhood. Some people prefer red, others blue, but we rarely stop to think about why we like the colors we do. Colors are created by light wavelengths, and those wavelengths hit the human eye in different ways. These rays of light are then interpreted by our brain, causing different colors to have various effects on our overall mood. Research suggests that blue is the best color for productivity, yellow enhances creativity, red stimulates physicality, and green helps us feel balanced and calm in an office environment.
Daily Coworking Member
220 Davidson Ave., Suite 100 Floor 1
Somerset, New Jersey 08873
Having personal items with you while you work can benefit your mental state, especially when you share an office. By bringing in things like photographs, plants, or other personal mementos, you will feel more control over your space and be able to focus better on the work at hand. Additionally, having personal items is thought to calm you and help you to cope better during moments of emotional stress. If you’re unable to tote around a bag full of personal items, consider setting your computer background to a favorite personal picture or bringing your favorite portable mug to work.
Private Office #9
1630 Lombard Street, Suite 9
San Francisco, California 94123
One roundup of studies by Forbes reveals the importance of art in an office. Having art around the office can inspire employees to get more creative in their everyday role, and is known to help clients feel more at ease when visiting. Pro tip: Use office artwork that ties into your branding.
WorkHouse NYC | Midtown –Grand Central
Coworking – 12th Floor
21 West 46th Street, 16th Floor
New York, New York 10036
Space to Unwind
You’re a lean, mean working machine, but even well-oiled equipment needs a break now and then. Back in the day, it was believed that the more hours put in, the better. This still holds true to an extent, but experts now say that taking regular breaks is necessary for workplace productivity. After focusing on one task for an extended period of time, your attention wanes, leaving you unable to give your work your all. Find a space where you have access to a common area, lounge, or can easily step outside to take a stroll through the neighborhood to clear your mind.
Carr Workplaces 200 Park Ave
Monthly Work Access
200 Park Avenue, 1700
New York, New York 10166
A Cluttered Mind
Josh Wesley was right when he said cleanliness is next to godliness. Well, half of the time anyway. It’s true that having a clutter-free work space helps you stay focused. However, embracing messiness may help lead to more creative work. Working in a slightly disorganized environment helps you to not only come up with creative new ideas, but to improve upon existing ones. Even if you’re in a temporary workspace, don’t be afraid to make yourself at home by spreading out your materials and getting cozy.
Desk at TRNK – Sunny Greenpoint Loft
Greenpoint Loft Office Desk
67 West Street, Suite 712
Brooklyn, New York 11222
There are many elements to consider when selecting your next office. As we’ve learned at our agency, it’s best to find an environment that benefits your entire team and allows for future growth. With so many available options at LiquidSpace, the possibilities for productivity are endless.
Editor’s Notes: PACIFIC is a full-service digital marketing agency headquartered in San Diego, California. The agency offers editorial, SEO, creative, content marketing, and social media services to more than 20 enterprise-level clients. Looking for more information on the company? Find out what PACIFIC is up to at http://www.meetpacific.com/.