How Does Environmental Psychology Affect Office Design?

According to Bell (2001), environmental psychology is “the study of the molar relationships between behavior and experience and the built environment.”

People react in many different ways to the environment that they find themselves in. Small details within the workplace such as lighting, levels of noise, furniture arrangements and levels of privacy can all affect human behavior, and have either a positive or negative effect on performance in the workplace. Many people consider the field of psychology as irrelevant, however it is worth considering that we spend most of our time in man-made environments, both indoors and outdoors. If we could better understand how human beings are affected by the environment, and how we use space, then we would be in a better position to appreciate how these spaces can be improved.

Environmental psychology offers a framework from which we can further study the human features of affordance, control, stress, privacy, personal space, environmental perception and cognition. It enables the designer to create space and products that maximize spatial and social comfort.

Research has shown that in workplaces where the work of environmental psychologists has been included with the intention of maximizing a specific function it has resulted in an increase in productivity within the workplace.

Before looking at an office fit-out it is vital that a workplace expert is engaged who will be able to offer professional guidance in the form of policies or research based on people’s attitudes and behaviors in order to ensure that your workplace is as efficient as possible.

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