No matter what situation or environment we may be in, information about it will quickly stream into our minds, giving us a sense of if we like it, or not. What can I see? Do I like the taste? What is that I hear? How does it smell? How does it feel? Our senses sum up our feelings and present us with information on what to do next. They can work to affect our moods, our thinking, how we behave – aspects that can directly affect our working day. This is why it's important to consider the intricacies of multisensory office design when thinking about setting your perfect working environment.

What Exactly Is Multisensory Office Design?

The idea behind multisensory design is that the office design takes into account all of our senses, not just ones that you'll normally expect/are applicable to a certain environment. For example, it can be easy to overlook senses like smell and taste, in favour of sight, sound and touch when thinking about redesigning an office's interior. With the need to make an office space comfortable, attractive and functional, it's understandable if other aspects are overlooked. In reality, every environment that we're present in will make use of all our senses and it's only when they're all satisfied, that we feel satisfied and comfortable – helping to increase our happiness at work. Ultimately, Multisensory design is an understanding of the experiences that we feel and how we react as a result – be that in a subtle or obvious way, or even in a conscious or unconscious manner.

During the working day, employees will face many different demands that are placed upon them. By paying attention to the different aspects of multisensory design can we make the office a calmer space for them in which to operate, as well as increasing their mental and physical well-being. As a result, there will likely be an increase in productivity and quality of work.

Here, we'll break down each of our five senses to see how they can be catered for in an office design:

  • Sight. Considered as the paramount sense when it comes to understanding the design of an office, sight relays the information that is presented by the makeup of an office space, as the environment it offers can be summed up on first glance. This is why any business needs to pin down the aesthetic look and branding ideals of their office. Having an office that is spacious and uncluttered will make for a productive, healthy environment to work in – and will display that the businesses is organised, neat and tidy. The colours and materials that are used in decorating the office can have a significant effect on employees too - with many different items having a positive effect on productivity, satisfaction, health and comfort. The inclusion of natural elements – such as plants and the usage of natural light can both make the office look and feel comfortable too.
  • Touch. In regards to the workplace, touch can be renamed 'comfort' and mainly applied to any seating areas. If employees have to work at desks for long periods of time, then placing in seating that is comfortable is an obvious must. If you have any break rooms, then using seating that is similarly comfortable but made from different materials will help to reinforce to an employees' subconscious that they are indeed on a break from their working area and that they are safe to relax and recharge.
  • Taste. Speaking of taking breaks, for many of us that includes relaxing with lunch and especially, having a tea or coffee. By providing relaxing facilities and great-tasting drinks and snacks, can a business truly help employees to relax and recharge. Not only is creating an area for people to take a break helpful for health reasons, but it can also increase collaboration between co-workers as they are able to have informal meetings away from the pressure cooker of their workstations. Not only that but these facilities will show talented employees that you value them and they'll be more likely to be retained and committed to making the business a success.
  • Sound. Whilst we're at work, sound plays a massive factor in creating a suitable environment for us to be able to concentrate. Whilst for many businesses and their employees, sitting in silence isn't conducive to creating a collaborative environment, neither is the constant noise that can be generated from outside of the office building, (as well as inside). Finding a balance in an open office design can be achieved by using sound masking techniques such as installing soundproofing materials or even playing music at a low volume; not loud enough to be a distraction but enough to mask any noise from the outside.
  • Smell. No matter the natural aroma of a building, the smell that emanates around the office can be manipulated to create a warmer, more homely experience for everyone present. Using scents to give the office a less clinical or industrial feel will go a long way in creating a pleasant multisensory office space for all.

High-Quality Office Design From Oaktree Interiors.

No matter your requirements, you can be rest assured that here at Oaktree Interiors, we can create an office design that will take into account each and every aspect you have in mind. No matter if you're looking to create a multisensory office or one that is intended to perform specific functions, you can feel rest assured that our experience and skills will be able to meet every request you have.

If you would like to learn more about how we can create your perfect office design, why not get in touch with one of our experts today? You can give us a call on 0845 474 3556 or alternatively, you can send an e-mail to hello@oaktreeoffice.com.

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