We experience the world with our senses, which let us see, feel, hear and taste everything in our lives. An office is a place where we spend most of the working day, so it should influence our senses as well – it should inspire employees with its eye-catching design, stimulate them with a pleasant scent or calm them down with relaxing music.
Interior design and arrangement have a huge influence on what we think about a space. In aesthetically pleasing and well-arranged offices, we feel good and it is easier for us to concentrate on our tasks. Ample daylight, properly chosen colours, organic shapes and beautiful forms – all this can influence the well-being and efficiency of people using a space.
It takes only 7 seconds to make a first impression. Potential employees and clients can assess company’s office within this short period of time; an interestingly arranged space with eye-catching accessories can help your company be perceived as a professional business partner and good employer. According to research, 65% of employees from the business service sector say a modern office space can prompt them to choose a company that offers this kind of workspace above others that do not.1 This can be a huge competitive advantage in the fight for talent.
Two of the most important skills employers require from their employees nowadays are the ability to multitask on the one hand, and the ability to concentrate on a certain activity on the other. Being bombarded with a huge number of stimuli, sounds and distracting factors, people find it difficult to concentrate on a particular task. As research shows, 22% of people who want to work more efficiently choose a quiet secluded place.2 It is therefore worth designing silent rooms in every office.
Acoustic panels and sound-absorbing materials combined with the right office space arrangement can be used to create an employee-friendly work environment with a lowered noise level. Having the right number of meeting rooms or freestanding furniture pieces for spontaneous consultations, which depends on a company’s work style, helps reduce the amount of conversation in the open space that could disturb other employees while performing tasks that require concentration.
Living in a vibrant and dynamic city, we miss nature. People are often looking for solutions that will allow them to bring some elements of nature into their homes and offices. Analysis of research on biophilic design shows that people are more productive when they are surrounded with natural materials and greenery. Moreover, their well-being is increased by 15% and their efficiency level is 6% higher.3 Upholsteries that are pleasing to the touch, soft sofas and cushions, natural wood and plants introduce a home-like character into the office. They also help us feel free and perform professional duties in a pleasant atmosphere.
75% of people’s emotions are caused by different smells. Alongside sight, smell is the strongest human sense. Scents accompany us all the time – they can evoke nice memories, motivate people to take action, and help them relax or cheer up. People are paying increasing attention to the quality of air in the office. It has been noted that badly working air conditioning and bad air circulation can result in employees suffering from backaches, watering eyes and upper respiratory tract infections. Good ventilation and office space aromatisation can reduce stress, increase employees’ efficiency and evoke positive feelings in visitors.
70% of employee interactions take place in the office, and not in meeting rooms.4 The canteen is a very important place in every office – it is there where employees meet with each other, discuss different issues and exchange information over a cup of coffee. Work performed in interiors full of flavours can be much
more pleasant. Using the sense of taste in unique spaces allows people to create a certain atmosphere, regenerate or have a moment of relaxation.
An article originally published in the "Up^Stream" magazine (02/2018).
 Skanska, JLL (2015). BPO & Shared Service Centres: Employees speak out on workplace. | Skanska, JLL (2015). BPO i Centra Usług Wspólnych: Pracownicy sektora zabierają głos w sprawie swojego miejsca pracy.
 Taormina, R. J., & Law, C. M. (2000). Approaches to preventing burnout: the effects of personal stress management and organizational socialization. “Journal Of Nursing Management,” 8(2).
 Humanspaces (2015). Biophilic Design in the Workplace.
 Springer, T. (1992). Improving Productivity in the Workplace: Reports from the Field. St. Charles, IL: Springer Associates.