Affording Glumac’s employees a high degree of control over light levels was another priority. Windows with adjustable transparency regulate the amount of daylight that floods into the office. Dimmable led desk lights, which project ambient light upward and direct light downward, provide optimal lighting conditions, while reducing electricity use. By varying the intensities of light to reflect the conditions that occur in nature, the lighting strategy ensures that employees remain comfortable, engaged and focused.
Research undertaken by Gensler indicates that 30% to 40% of a person’s day involves “solo work” and concludes that, in fact, those who are able to focus are also more able to collaborate, learn and socialize than those who are not. When focus is compromised, neither works well. Diane Hoskins, co-ceo of Gensler, interviewed in Fast Company, notes that, “There has to be a space where [the] individual can sit down, really crank things out, really focus, and not have a million distractions…They have to have enough space to do what they need and the resources to do it.”
With quiet being a rare commodity at work, it is imperative to equip employees with the right tools and the right sort of environment, one that enables people to achieve focus and flow. Few of us will do our best work in a noisy room lacking any way to block sound and/or signal that we are not available for interruption. Most of us feel at least somewhat stressed in such conditions, which in turn can result in reduced productivity. Among the design factors that can influence and enable focus:
- Position individual workstations at a distance from noisy communal areas.
- Cool neutrals or a balance of warm/cool neutrals serve as a “quiet” envelope for focused work.
- Add cool accent colors: blues, greens and purples, as well as deep and pale gray and silver tones.
- Rather than using color for contrast, select colors that are close in value and hue, thereby providing balance and allowing the eye to rest