Since the Industrial Revolution, workplace design has seemingly gone in circles. First emphasizing open and then closed work plans in the 20th century, to preferring open and then more private offices already in the 21st. So how do we know what we're designing for employees and employers actually works?
Today, data-based technologies that provide insights into employee behavior and preferences are being combined with neuroscience research that explains human evolution to think about workplace design in radically new ways. For example, we now know that office noise about 55 decibels cause stress levels to soar which has a detrimental effect on productivity and concentration. We also know that a person's problem-solving ability can spike by up to 50% after they are exposed to nature for a 72 hour period.
So what does all this mean for the future of workplace design, and will it help us to finally put the tiresome "open vs. closed office" debate to rest for good? We propose a discussion on the power of data and scientific research in the creation of new offices, with the ultimate goal of encouraging a happier, healthier and more productive workforce.