As winter approaches, online searches for seasonal affective disorder (SAD) have skyrocketed by a staggering 500%. This increase not only highlights the significance of SAD but also underscores the challenges many face in maintaining productivity during the colder months. With winter’s potential impact on work performance, experts have come together to shed light on top office features that can help boost productivity. Recognising this, Savoy Stewart has collaborated with experts at Brainworks Neurotherapy and Hillary’s to offer insights on top office features that can elevate productivity during winter.
The power of colour
Colours play a pivotal role in shaping our moods and decisions. However, many offices are painted in neutral shades of white and grey. Yvonne Keal, representing Hillary’s home store, emphasises the benefits of introducing light pastel shades such as pinks, dusty yellow, lilacs, and mint greens into office spaces. These colours not only induce calmness but also stimulate creativity. By incorporating bright colours, serotonin levels in the brain are activated, leading to increased energy.
The benefits of greenery
Incorporating plants into office decor has numerous advantages. They can reduce stress, boost productivity, purify the air, and mitigate allergens. Specifically, the Bamboo Palm is known for its air-purifying qualities, promoting clear thinking, while the Golden Pothos can eliminate unwanted odours, ensuring a distraction-free environment.
Personal touches matter
Whether you’re working from a home office or a corporate environment, personalising your workspace with items reflecting your interests can enhance focus and relaxation. Coupled with this, taking short breaks during the day has been shown to boost performance and overall well-being.
The role of art
An often-underestimated aspect of office decor is artwork. Personal artwork can evoke positive emotions and rejuvenate mental energy. Nature-themed images, in particular, have been found to alleviate work-related frustrations, while personal photographs or pieces from favourite artists can foster a sense of connection.
Rethinking office layout
James Roy from Brainworks Neurotherapy emphasises the importance of exposure to natural light for supporting our hormonal system. Light exposure impacts the production of hormones such as serotonin, melatonin, and cortisol, which are crucial for mood and sleep regulation. This holds true even in overcast conditions, as light can penetrate clouds.
Senior product manager, Yvonne Keal, advises on the importance of maintaining a clutter-free workspace. She remarked: “A cluttered physical space equals a cluttered mental space.” She also highlights the adverse effects of dim lighting, which can lead to fatigue, lack of focus, and headaches. To maximise natural light, she recommends positioning desks perpendicular to windows.
The onset of winter can present challenges in maintaining productivity. But by considering factors such as colour, decor, and office layout, it’s possible to create an environment conducive to high performance and wellbeing.