Office Wellness: Sights, Sounds and Smells Make a Difference
May 4, 2022
In the wake of the pandemic, employee engagement has become a front-burner topic for nearly every employer. As companies navigate the return to working in person to varying degrees, they’re devoting more and more attention to keeping team members safe, happy and engaged.
What role can the workspace environment play in office wellness? A big one, in ways both good and bad. In fact, employers need to factor in at least four of the five senses in office design considerations (probably not taste, unless you’re providing lunch). Let’s take a look:
Everyone considers colors when designing an office space, but perhaps not their potential effects on the people in it. There is science behind the psychology of colors and the emotions they can elicit. To greatly oversimplify, green is associated with creativity; blue with security, confidence and analytical thinking. Red promotes productivity in physical work (but may hinder analytical thinking), and too much white leads to boredom. Yellow? Well, people just don’t seem to like it. Use yellow sparingly. Check out the red pops of color at Fireline Corp. here.
Too often an afterthought in office design, the acoustical properties of a space are vital to productivity and keeping team members happy. We’ve seen many very attractive spaces that are difficult to work in, especially in the age of the open office plan. This might be because workers are too close together or because the space is designed with hard surfaces that cause every sound to reverberate. It’s often easy to fix the latter situation with strategically-applied acoustical panels to deaden the space. Ensure workers have private, quiet spaces available in an open office plan. Make sure to approach office design with not only your eyes but your ears. Check out 3form Edge ceiling features here.
Our sense of smell is tied directly to our memories, and is another factor in work productivity. Employers walk a difficult line right now: Spaces need to be cleaned and sanitized regularly, but the aromas of bleach, ammonia or other harsh cleaners can have a negative effect on productivity. These strong smells may also cause headaches or even allergic reactions. Consider cleaning products carefully and look for agreeable scents. Beyond that, you might consider enhancing office wellness with smells: Lemon is known to be good for creativity, and lavender is calming, to name just two examples. But again, you need to be mindful of potential allergies.
No one’s going to be very productive, or very happy, if they spend their days working in an uncomfortable chair or at a desk that’s not an appropriate height. There’s such a wide selection of ergonomic office furnishings from so many manufacturers that there’s really no reason not to get this right. In general, consider adjustability: Desks that allow standing or sitting, chairs that adjust to multiple positions. Check out more office spaces at Visit Baltimore here.