You're sat on a sun lounger on the beach, the sun is hot (but blocked out enough by the snazzy umbrella you've got up behind you, so it's not too hot). You've got a cocktail (your choice) in one hand, an enjoyable book in the other and you've just popped your head up to watch the crystal-blue sea gently break into the beach before ebbing away again.

Not really, you're actually sat at work with a ton of paperwork to get through. Don't stress though, as imagining such scenes can make existing in your office design worthwhile. This is what's known as attention restoration theory.

Attention restoration theory: What is it and how does it relate to office design?

Attention Restoration Theory (ART) says that we can concentrate better after we spend time with nature, or even just by looking at or imagining such scenes. It works on the concept that in times of stress, our minds tend to concentrate on one thing; the negative aspect that is causing the stress.

As humans, we have a natural inclination towards nature; and nature has 'soft fascinations' in which a person can reflect upon, using less effort to do so. For example, how easy is it to imagine waves breaking and ebbing on a beach? The sun shining? The breeze blowing? You with your feet up swigging a cocktail. Not difficult, is it?

If we look at what causes stress, it's usually a very complicated thing, otherwise, it wouldn't be stressful if a solution was easy to come by. ART works to refocus the mind away from what is causing stress and instead allows it to reconnect with nature, to think about the simple things in order to bring calm and restoration to the rest of the body.

The main benefit of ART in office design is that it allows for us to rebuild our concentration levels, which can so often be shattered at any point during the working day. By allowing your concentration to build back up by thinking (or being around) natural elements (which don't require much thought, remember) it's likely you'll return to work with more vigour, ready to tackle whatever it was that made you stressed in the first place.

The workplace is so often a soulless environment; for a good reason, don't get us wrong – the workplace needs to be a professional environment that informs everyone present of that fact. But does that line need to be so bold? Soulless equals bleak, characterless and unwelcoming; are these feelings we want our workplaces to reflect? We need them to be inspiring, stimulating and welcoming. ART can help to make that line slightly more passable for these positive feelings.

How can I introduce ART into the workplace?

ART can be brought into the average office design in a number of ways; from introducing live plants, placing up photos, creating large windows or simply allowing for employees to take time to refocus or spend time outside. Nature is all around us (or should be), so let's embrace it.

Here are three ways you can help your employees to feel inspired and to refocus:

  • Biophilic design is the concept of introducing more natural elements into the workplace; it refers to the idea that humans love to exist in a natural environment. This can be introduced into the office with anything from plant displays (real or not), making better use of natural light, as well as using 'natural colours' such as blues, greens and yellows in the decor of the working areas.
  • Quiet rooms to allow employees to meditate are quickly becoming an office design They help to get the person away from a stressful (or noisy) work arena and instead allow them to get on with their work or to refocus without being disturbed. Introducing meditation techniques will go a long way in helping them to de-stress. Make sure you put up a few pictures concerning nature too.
  • Outdoor working can be achieved with ease nowadays thanks to the flexible technology we have. There's no dragging cables outdoors involved, with Wi-Fi, you can give your employees the option of working outside, spending it in nature instead of a stuffy office. Perhaps you have a garden or a yard you can make use of? Maybe you're situated in a bustling town centre or near a park? With so much flexibility it would be amiss if we did not take advantage, combining the need to work with the need to spend more time in nature.

Achieve your perfect office design with Oaktree Interiors

Regardless of your particular requirements, your location, industry or limitations of your building, if you are looking to create an office design that will help to inspire and motivate your employees, the team here at Oaktree are on hand to help.

For over 30 years, we have been creating bespoke offices that have taken advantage of the latest trends and technology to give our clients the ideal base from which to cater for future success. As part of our service, we are able to offer a FREE no obligation consultation service that will take all of your requirements and turn them into a 2-D/3-D representation of what your ideal office design will look like. Why not get in touch with us today to learn more?

Give us a call on 0345 21 86955 or send an e-mail to hello@oaktreeoffice.com

Leave a Comment
Are you our next client? Get in touch!
Simply fill out the form below, or call us on 0345 21 86955

* Required Fields