How does your workplace environment affect you?
- August 1, 2010
- Categories: Wellness
Many of us spend 40 hours or more a week in our workplace, and we are very fortunate indeed, if our place of employment is a place that we enjoy. For those of us who own our own businesses, it is important to understand how the sensory stimulus of your workplace affects both employees and customers. A beautiful, orderly and comfortable workplace will attract loyal patrons. Happy, comfortable, productive employees further the success of the business. Below are some tips for helping you evaluate your workplace, and ideas for different sights, sounds and smells that will help maximize its potential.
Take a minute to visualize the space where you work. Is it organized and orderly, or is it cluttered? How much natural light comes in? What do you see when you look out the windows? Does your workspace use florescent lighting?
Cluttered and untidy workspaces can reduce productivity. It can be very distracting to work around needless clutter. If there is a lot of dust lurking in corners and on shelves, it is a sign of old stagnant energy that needs to be cleared out. Dirty work spaces communicate a lack of attention to detail to the customer, and sometimes much worse. For example, if a restaurant serves food on dirty dishes, the customer might display a fear of contamination.
Lighting can affect attitudes and behaviors of the people working or visiting that space. Natural sunlight is essential for all humans. Natural light is not only beautiful, but it helps people working in a particular space to feel awake and alert. According to studies, florescent lighting causes anxiety in some people. Studies also show that Long term exposure to florescent lighting slows Vitamin A production, affecting a person’s eye sight. Lighting that is too dim can cause fatigue. Colored lights are an excellent way to energize spaces. It is important to create a balance of colors that will stimulate activity, without over-stimulating. See the list of colors below for ideas about lighting, or paint colors that will help create the desired atmosphere at work.
Fresh flowers and beautiful artwork make your workspace feel like a special place to be. Avoid artificial flowers or dead flowers that collect dust. Be sure to clean the glass on all windows and mirrors regularly to encourage natural light.
How noisy is your workspace? Can you hear traffic outside? Are there many phones ringing at once in your workspace? Is there loud machinery nearby? Is there more than one radio on at the same time? Are the music choices appropriate to the atmosphere you intend to create?
Loud noises, or an overabundance of too many sounds, affect attention span and mood in the work place. Be sure that any music played in the workspace is appropriate to the time of day and the atmosphere you seek to create. Loud, abrasive music would not be appropriate in a day spa, for example. If your employees enjoy the radio, consider satellite radio, which is commercial free, reducing auditory distraction. There are also instrumental albums that utilize sound frequency to stimulate brain waves, improving concentration and focus. Create a separate space for any noisy tasks, ideally where some of the sound can be blocked by a heavy door, or other means of creating a quiet space that patrons and employees can enjoy.
How does your workspace smell? Especially in industries related to health. Fresh, clean smells clearly communicate that the space is one committed to wellness. Essential oil diffusers and lamps are a natural way to neutralize unpleasant odors, and energize or relax those within the space. Some oils even have disinfectant properties, reducing air born pathogens during cold and flu season. Rosemary is stimulating to the mind and clarifies thoughts. Sage relieves mental exhaustion and improves memory and concentration. Eucalyptus and Tee Tree oil are purifying and disinfecting.
The comfort and energy of a work space will keep employees happy to be at work, and patrons returning again and again. If your patrons must wait to be serviced, be sure that there are plenty of comfortable seats for them. Make sure to provide comfortable desk chairs and resting spaces for your employees, it will help them to stay consistently energized throughout the day. If you have computers in your office or workspace, place smoky quartz crystals near the machines, to neutralize some of their radiation. Again, staying well organized will save you and your fellow work mates a lot of time and energy. Be committed to combating clutter and finding a logical place for everything. Not only will it show your patrons that you value excellent service, you will also reduce stress and irritation because you will find everything in its place.
A tidy, beautiful, calm and sweet smelling space is one we all enjoy. Go the extra mile to ensure that your place of business instills high standards of ambiance, and you will open your office door to greater abundance all around.
Color therapy for the workplace:
Red: Increases courage, vitality, ambition, alertness and confidence.
Too much red may result in impatience, aggression, hostility and irritability.
Orange: Increases sociability, success and happiness.
Too much orange may cause irritability, frustration and increased appetite.
Yellow: Increases mental clarity, optimism, improves memory and concentration, helps with anxiety, energetic, aids in discernment and decision making.
Too much yellow may cause superficiality and hyperactivity.
Green: Instills peace, Renewal, hope, balance, harmony, self control and stress reduction. Too much green may cause laziness
Blue: Increases communication, creativity, personal expression, calm, decisiveness and health. Too much blue may cause insecurity, pessimism, fatigue and depression.
Violet: Spurs inspiration, creativity, beauty, calms nerves, selfless service and generosity. Too much violet may cause depression, insecurity and a stagnant of suppressed emotions.
- Gardener, Joy The New Healing Yourself, Natural Remedies for Adults and Children, The Crossing Press, California, 1989.
- Afua, Queen, Sacred Woman, Ballantine Publishing Group, New York, 2000
- Cornelio, Marie Williams, Gemstones and Color for Better Health Healing Happiness, Triad Publishing Co, Connecticut, 1985