Better office spaces in 5 easy steps

office spaceEnvironmental psychologists know that sensory experiences impact the way we work. Here’s what they say:

1.  Keep red to a minimum. Re­­searcher Andrew Elliot found that people don’t work as well when they see red. Too reminiscent of a teacher’s red pencil, perhaps?

2.  Grow a leafy green. Plants make us work better.

3.  Face the entryway. Humans feel uncomfortable when their backs are exposed to passersby.

4.  Make small adjustments for comfort. Add a small light, tweak your desk chair, buy a glare screen or bring in a small fan. Feeling in control of your environment leads to higher job satisfaction.

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5.  Declutter but not too much. We do our best work with moderate levels of visual noise. Large, messy piles should be tamed. But a bare-bones workspace could benefit from a painting or photo. Tip: Images of nature boost cognitive performance.

— Adapted from “Make Your Cubicle a Better Place to Work,” Sally Augustin, Harvard Business Review blog.