5 ways office design can make you happier at work

5 ways office design can make you happier at work

February 22nd, 2023

Office design can have a significant impact on our happiness and productivity at work, as brain science and design principles come together to create more engaging and enjoyable work environments. By using neuroaesthetics, a design approach that aims to improve the human experience of our built environment, offices can be made to be more productive and efficient. There are five ways to achieve this:

  1. Reducing Distractions: Many offices fail to provide spaces that allow for different types of tasks to be completed effectively, with open office spaces often creating too much noise and distractions. To address this, offices should be designed with better separation between focused work areas and places where people can collaborate or have impromptu meetings. To achieve this, movable walls and furniture can be used to adapt spaces affordably.
  2. Creating Physical Transitions between Spaces: Physical structures and forms can be used to help people understand how different areas of an office are used for different purposes. For instance, a hallway from an open area can gradually funnel down to more private meeting space or quiet areas, creating a change in atmosphere as people move through different spaces. Walking through differently shaped spaces can trigger brain activity and boost energy and cognition.
  3. Connecting with Nature: Being connected to nature can have a restorative effect on people's mood and health. This can be achieved by bringing nature indoors through biophilic design, which involves adding plenty of office plants and creating a green environment that offers the benefits of nature without the distractions of whatever is happening outside the window.
  4. Softening the Edges: From the shapes of rooms to the types of furniture in those rooms to the decorative patterns on floors and walls, sharp-edge patterns can trigger stress hormones and are seen as threatening by the brain. People prefer curvy architecture more than hard edges and right angles.
  5. Softening the Art: Careful consideration should be given to the art that is placed on office walls. Overly jarring or detailed images can be distracting and even triggering for some people, particularly those with different levels of neurodiversity conditions. Being thoughtful about the impact of design decisions can help companies create more productive spaces, and flexibility is key to evolving experiments until desired results are achieved.

Overall, designing office spaces that reflect an understanding of how the human brain works and responds to different stimuli can significantly enhance our well-being, productivity, and happiness at work.


  1. https://www.fastcompany.com/90833567/5-ways-office-design-can-make-you-happier-at-work