Dr. Thalma Lobel is an internationally recognized psychologist and professor at Tel Aviv University. She has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Tufts, The University of California at San Diego, and New York University and divides her time between Tel Aviv and Southern California. She is the author of Sensation: The New Science of Physical Intelligence, currently available wherever books are sold.
We all want our workplace to be comfortable and pleasant, but you might not realize that everything from office temperature to the color of our pens has the power to influence the workplace atmosphere. Recent studies have shown the surprising effects of these physical sensations on our decisions, behavior, performance and creativity.
Armed with these findings, here are five small changes to make to the office that will have a major impact on your productivity and success:
Utilize Visuals Creatively
Hang photos that portray open spaces or depict logos and symbols associated with enhanced creativity (such as a photo of a light bulb or a symbol of a company known for its creativity). Studies have shown that these cues do indeed boost creativity.
Related: Five Healthy Foods For Your Brain
Be Attuned to Temperature
Make sure that the temperature of the room is comfortable, neither too cold nor too warm. This is not only a question of comfort, since studies have proven the association between cold and feelings of loneliness.
Go for the Soft Touch
Soft or hard chairs will influence your negotiations and the way you perceive others and vice versa. Holding something soft like a pillow will also do the trick. When people hold soft objects or sit on soft chairs, they tend to be softer negotiators, i.e., they will be more flexible and more often change their initial offer. Holding something soft also influences the way we perceive our environment and has a positive effect on negotiations, whereas sitting in a more stiff chair or holding a hard object, like a book, will make you a less flexible negotiator or leader.
Bright colors are associated with positivity while dark colors are associated with negativity. So make sure the room is well lit and that walls are not painted in dark colors. Another reason to ensure that the room is bright is that people tend to be dishonest more often in a darker room than in a bright room.
It’s Not Good to “See Red”
Do not use the color red to write out instructions, nor should the cover of a notebook you regularly write on be red. Studies have revealed the negative influence of red in the performance of cognitive tasks.