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.

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.