Sensory design in offices and its benefits for users

14/05/2021

Sensory design in offices and its benefits for users

Humans relate with the environment through senses. Our organs capture impressions that are transmitted to the brain where they are converted in sensations. The use of human senses has been applied to other disciplines such as architecture. This trend results in techniques like Sensory design that creates spaces in which users feel comfortable.

In this week’s post we will explain how to improve office’s spaces through our senses and the benefits from this technique.

5 senses applied to office’s design

First, we will start with sight. It’s important to use windows that allow the natural light inside the office. Thanks to the inclusion of these elements, users can benefit from a visually healthy space and are in contact with the exterior environment. This sense is also present in shapes, therefore, the materials used during the construction and interior decoration are very important when creating sensations. For instance, a wooden table will create a warmth and wellness sensation while an iron one will generate a sense of coldness and distance. Colours are another important factor that will influence humans in different ways according to its temperature and tonality.

The second sense is hearing. Noise and silence can affect directly to concentration that’s why when creating offices, it’s highly recommended to create private spaces such as meeting booths. Users can use these spaces to make calls, organize meetings or take advantage of the silence to concentrate. Another option so that workers can interact without annoying other users is to create spaces where workers can speak and share their ideas and projects. If someone wants to listen to music, it’s advisable to use headphones. Not everyone concentrates with music and it also depends on style and individual taste.

When it comes to smell, scents influence concentration, memory, and interpersonal relationships. According to the ILO report, smells are associated to the hygiene and cleanliness in work environment. The comfort and wellness that users perceive through smell are indirectly related to their tolerance to work-related fatigue. Therefore, having a personal scent in offices can become an option and solution for waiting rooms, costumer service areas, and operative or administrative spaces. These smells release a freshness and pureness sensation that has an impact on the client’s and worker’s experience. 

Regarding tase, it’s important to include resting areas that allow users to relax and enjoy swich-off moments encouraging healthy habits when eating breakfast or lunch. On the other hand, companies can offer healthy food such as fruit or incorporate machines that sell healthy snacks that allow better digestions and a good nutrition.

Finally, touch is the sense most used in office environments. For instance, when we write. How should companies use it to foster wellness? Through textures. It’s recommended to avoid rough textures and opt for ones that are pleasant and smooth to achieve a sense of calm and concentration while working.

As we were saying, health and wellness is a fundamental issue for companies. Attracting user’s senses in working spaces helps create a comfortable, relaxed, and healthy atmosphere while making workers happy. Sensory design is another example of how office design can be a solution for current wellness and comfort needs.

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