Ambient factors in workplace design: How the setting influences our work
What does it take to design a space that allows people to work creatively, with laser-like focus and a minimum of stress? In a new meta study entitled "Environmental Psychology for a New World of Work", Fraunhofer IAO has presented a systematic synopsis of the results of various empirical studies that explore the effect and design of spaces in the workplace.
Our working world is becoming more and more malleable. Working on the go or from home is standard practice and indispensable to many companies. More and more people are going to embrace such flexible work arrangements in the future. With good reason: Their positive effect on motivation and performance makes them equally appealing to the organization and its workforce. These developments give rise to several questions: Will the physical office play any role at all in the future? What qualitative aspects will its design have to fulfil in order to act positively on the performance of office and knowledge workers? The Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO has addressed these questions in "Environmental Psychology for a New World of Work," a new meta study that serves up some surprising insights about how the importance of the setting is often neglected. This study shows that the support workers need from their physical environment can be narrowed down to three key factors. It has to:
- promote communication
- reinforce the individual's ability to focus and underpin creative processes
- facilitate relaxation and recovery so people can quickly bounce back from
Settings to foster focus and creativity
The study found that lighting, the noise level and the height of the room figure prominently in creative processes. Most people prefer dimmer light for creative activities. The reason for this could be that excessively bright light tends to inhibit the feeling of freedom that fosters creativity. Midlevel noise causes a disconnect in human thought processes that actually encourages abstract thinking and, in turn, creativity. And high ceilings prompt people to think more freely. Ceiling height is not the only environmental factor; temperature also has an effect on inventiveness at work. The study showed that a temperature of around 26 degrees Celsius to 27 degrees Celsius lends itself best to creative tasks. Other aspects of environmental psychology can reinforce a person's power to concentrate. Whereas high ceilings promote imaginative thought, standard-height and low ceilings enhance the worker's ability to focus. In these settings, employees are better able to perform concrete and intricate tasks that require a high level of concentration.
The right scent influences our work
Fragrances are key environmental elements that have a powerful impact on well-being, work performance and stress levels. According to the study, a cinnamon-vanilla scent is particularly conducive to creative activities. Citrus scents enhance the ability to focus. A peppermint scent can help ward off fatigue. Explaining how scents can be made to work in the workplace, the author of the study, Yue Pan from Fraunhofer IAO, says, "Fragrances can be used selectively in an office environment - for example, in individual rooms, the foyer or in a lounge - to distinguish rooms and promote a certain type of performance. However, areas in which employees dwell for longer periods are best kept odorless." In contrast to the importance of natural and artificial lighting, the relationship between scents and performance is largely unexplored.
Tomorrow's working environment - where will the journey take us?
What is tomorrow's office going to look like? This study makes a strong point that office designers will have to adapt spaces to the individual needs of each employee. Digital technologies can help with that. This study sketches out a picture of what the future could hold in store. A connected ecosystem that links IT tools with workplace and personal sensors could serve to collect data on performance, well-being, stress, job tasks and the prevailing environmental conditions. This data could then be analyzed anonymously for the feedback to be funneled to employees. In time, this ecosystem could get better acquainted with its users and their individual parameters. It could then recommend or prompt the room's environmental controls to make adjustments to provide the optimum setting for the tasks and situation at hand.
Phone +49 711 970-5452
ABOUT FRAUNHOFER IAO
Digital technologies are transforming our working world with profound effects on business and society. Digitalization modernizes and revolutionizes long-established practices and processes in the blink of an eye. The Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO works together with companies and public-sector bodies and institutions to develop strategies, business models and solutions for digital transformation.
This release was published on openPR.
Permanent link to this press release:
Please set a link in the press area of your homepage to this press release on openPR. openPR disclaims liability for any content contained in this release.
You can edit or delete your press release Ambient factors in workplace design: How the setting influences our work here
News-ID: 1943990 • Views: 460
More Releases from Fraunhofer IAO
Getting non-profit organizations fit for the digital transformation
Fraunhofer IAO develops and tests digital solutions for NPOs in its digital laboratory Most non-profit organizations (NPOs), such as associations, foundations and trade unions, have limited resources and scope for innovation that would allow them to exploit the potential of the digital transformation. In the “Digital laboratory for non-profit organizations 4.0” project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Fraunhofer IAO is collaborating with additional partners to
Catalyst for sustainable cities and regions
The Fraunhofer Morgenstadt initiative highlights strategic measures that aim to achieve broad implementation of digital and sustainable urban development Cities are some of the biggest emitters of CO2 – and that makes them a powerful lever in the fight against global warming. The team behind the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s Morgenstadt initiative recently published a position paper that aims to help German municipalities fast-track the implementation of sustainable urban development and digitalization. The goal
Envisioning tomorrow’s transportation in Germany and the USA
2049: Zeitreise Mobilität – Fraunhofer IAO and HR bring the future to life with VR Aug 1, 2019 Scientists, businesses, and policymakers worldwide are striving toward sustainable transportation solutions that will transform urban life. Fraunhofer IAO and Hessischer Rundfunk (HR), a German regional broadcaster, have joined forces in a cross-media project to envision the future of urban transportation in both countries. Part of Deutschlandjahr USA (an initiative to promote German-American friendship), this
Fraunhofer IAO and TU Berlin establish “Transfer Science”, a new academic di …
In order to make research results visible and exploitable for industry, politics and society, new ways of sharing knowledge and new technologies need to be found. In the joint research project “Transfer Science”, set up in June 2019 with funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and coordinated by the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Fraunhofer IAO and Technische Universität Berlin are looking at ways to organize
More Releases for Work
Coronavirus' Remote Work Nightmare
Since being discovered in late 2019, COVID-19 has sadly killed thousands and disrupted much of the world economy. Northern Italy is in lockdown, SXSW and other major world events are cancelled, and a slew of large companies are increasingly telling their employees to "stay home". Yet as more workers operate remotely, Orange County cybersecurity startup, Active Cypher, sees IT departments struggling to ensure the same levels of cybersecurity as provided
Work exchange platform Work For Lodgings launched
Announcing the launch of Work For Lodgings (www.workforlodgings.com), a new platform that caters for the exchange of work for accommodation. Work For Lodgings is a new work exchange platform connecting hosts from all over the world with guest-workers who are happy to work in exchange for food and accommodation. Work For Lodgings is all about direct exchange, gaining new experiences, making new friends and enabling alternative ways of living. “I created Work
Temporary Work Permit
While recruiting, i.e. matchmaking between employer and employee, is not subject to restrictions, temporary work employers needs to apply for a permit (§1 I 1AÜG). Until your company has this permission, it is fully permissible to provide recruiting services. When operating prior to having received permission, be very sure that you are not engaging in temporary work. Authorities are very cautious about illegal temporary work and will often conduct spontaneous inspections
Work As A Bookkeeper
So, you’ve studied hard and passed all of the accountancy and bookkeeping qualifications that you can find. You may or may not have found work… and now, you want to take the next step … which is to live the dream and branch out on your own, and to work for yourself… but where do you start? Having recently attended a focus group for those who were self employed bookkeepers and
How Companies Work
Markus Reitzig puts theories of organisation to the test. In a research project funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF the economist compares well-proven and novel organisational approaches and explores issues of authority and self-selection. The last twenty years have seen, alongside companies organised in the traditional manner, the emergence of new forms of organisation which are mainly driven by developments in information technology (IT). Examples include open-source projects such
Real work from home business
Hi, I'm Blaise Broderwick president and founder of Liberty Marketing Partners. I would like to invite you to take a look at our fantastic work from home business opportunity. This is as real as it gets. You do not have to sell products, recruit your friends or family, and no one has to spend a dime with you in order for you to get paid. Take a look here: