Around the world, companies are preparing to bring employees back into the workplace. As people head back to the office, some are feeling heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
Our senses determine our experiences and feelings towards our environment. In addition to interpreting each sense, our brains also combine them into a multi-sensory experience that elicits human emotions. These inputs also work to influence our mood, our behavior, and ultimately our well-being in any given space, which is why the office design concept is important for a Post-COVID office.
How can we ensure that employees feel safe and are stress-free so they can be productive at work?
By embracing a multi-sensory approach to workplace design, organizations can help people feel more relaxed in their surroundings. This approach to office design shows how people react to their surroundings, which is often triggered by their senses and how they feel relaxed and peaceful.
What is Multi-Sensory Office Design?
A multi-sensory office design approach is based around the concept that our perceptions are built on multiple senses, and people will react and experience the material environment in a number of different ways.
Typically, in order to create a high-performing, inspiring place to work, office designers would focus their efforts largely on the aesthetics of a building; what it looks like, and how this will affect the people in it, with much less attention paid to the remaining four senses.
By paying attention to the different aspects of the multi-sensory design can we make the office a calmer space, as well as increasing their mental and physical well-being.
Why is Multi-sensory office design important now?
While many guidelines and protocols are focusing on the safety of employees and reducing any potential exposure to the virus, it’s also important that leaders take some time to consider how returning to the office will impact workers’ mental health. It is important to include workplace design elements to help ensure that people feel comfortable and safe once they walk into the workplace.
Paying attention to the multi-sensory aspects of the design can make it a less stressful place and increase productivity, as well as physical and mental well-being. Multi-sensory design, if it is used thoughtfully, can dramatically increase the desirability of the workplace. Employees who feel comfortable, healthy, and connected in their workplace will feel safer coming to the office. Healthier employees are likely to experience less stress in the office, take fewer sick days, and generally feel better, both physically and mentally.