In today’s world, we would do almost anything to get the most out of every moment in the day.
Especially in designing public spaces, it’s crucial that we recognize the importance of providing support to our patrons’ productivity, no matter what they need to be working on.
Multiple studies show that the spaces we work in, live in, and spend our time in can directly impact our mood, focus, and well-being. So today, we are sharing 5 ways to boost productivity in your space that will help whether you are waiting for your flight, trying to get some studying done, or finishing a work project.
Let’s jump in:
1) Add color to your space.
Color has the ability to affect our mood and focus. According to Kathie Engelbrecht, Assoc. IIDA, in The Impact of Color on Learning, “Humans were also found to turn inward in monotone environments, which may induce feelings of anxiety, fear, and distress resulting from under-stimulation. This lack of stimulation further creates a sense of restlessness, excessive emotional response, difficulty in concentration, and irritation.”
If you want to boost your mood and increase your productivity, color is a great option for your space!
2) Increase the feeling of safety.
If you are constantly hearing doors opening and closing, loud voices, or your back is to the door, you likely won’t feel very secure in your environment. When you are on edge, constantly scanning your environment, innate human behavior makes it hard for us to focus on anything else besides potential danger.
In recent years, studies have shown that in order to focus we need to have a sense of refuge and prospect to observe our environment. This creates a calming effect that improves productivity and reduces stress.
You can create this by offering seating where someone’s back is covered and ensuring that users of furniture are not blocked from having a clear view across a space.
3) Curves over angular shapes.
In Ingrid Fetell Lee’s TED Talk on joy, she points out how we associate angular shapes with danger, whereas curves tend to set us at ease. You can see an example of this concept in the Sandy Hook Elementary School remodel. The designers used wavy lines and cheerful colors to help put students at ease.
You can see another example of this in the Reversible Destiny Lofts in Mitaka. The building’s artist believes that the architecture of the building and living space, full of colors and curves, had a direct impact on our well-being and health.
While that building may be a bit overstimulating to some, these are core reasons why we’ve implemented curves in many of our designs here at Agati.
4) Options and changes of scenery.
Variety is the name of the game for public spaces today. We are providing for a more complex and vast amount of needs in our spaces. On a furniture level, this is a major reason why a variety of furniture types is crucial to an effective space. On a facility level, variation in the types of spaces available can be a game-changer for people who are utilizing your space for long periods of time.
There are times when we need to focus and seek out quiet, private environments. Other times, we need the stimulation of sounds and collaboration with others. If we are feeling stuck or can’t seem to find motivation, changing our scenery can shift our mood greatly.
Whether we’re thinking about public spaces serving millions or a home office serving one, having a variety of settings to work in will help boost productivity.
5) Embrace the opportunity for breaks.
In the hit show Mad Men, the main character Don Draper famously mentions the importance of “letting our creatives be unproductive until they are.”
Well, turns out he’s right.
When trying to focus on a task, your brain has to resist distractions to stay focused on the task at hand. The longer you attempt to focus, the harder it gets. According to the University of North Carolina, effective breaks can actually help to reduce your stress levels so that you’re ready to re-focus when you return to your work.
Having a space to take effective breaks is vital to productivity. These effective breaks may include creative activities, moving your body, nourishing your body and mind, or socializing.
How can you naturally incorporate opportunities for breaks into the flow of your space?
Crafting your space in an intentional way allows you to support your patrons’ productivity and mood while they utilize what’s available to them. And you don’t have to do it alone! If you want to talk about the design of your space, reach out to one of our experts.
We’d love to talk with you!