Human Spaces

Spaces designed with the human in mind

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Human Spaces Global Report

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Appendix

Appendix One Summary of Global Findings

Impact of Office Colors

  • Colors with a significant impact on workers’ MOTIVATION: blue, green and white
  • Colors with a significant impact on workers’ PRODUCTIVITY: blue, green, yellow, and white
  • Colors with a significant impact on INSPIRING workers: yellow, green and white
  • Colors with a significant impact on HAPPINESS in the workplace: green, blue , brown and white
  • Colors that significantly impacted workers’ CREATIVITY: yellow, green and white
  • Colors that significantly impacted workers’ ENTHUSIASM: green, blue and white
  • Colors that significantly impacted feelings of STRESS: gray only*

*Predominantly “gray” offices were reported as uninspiring and were associated with lower levels of enthusiasm, creativity and productivity.

Impact of Window Views

  • People who had no window view reportedly spent significantly fewer hours per week at the office. In contrast, those with windows that afforded
    views of greenery spent significantly more hours per week in the office.
  • Having no window view was significantly linked to greater levels of stress whereas those with views of trees and water outside were significantly
    less stressed.
  • Viewing nature regularly through a window in the office significantly impacted levels of worker productivity.
  • Having no window view also had a negative impact on workers’ creativity.
  • Window scenes of nature, such as countryside views, natural landmarks and wildlife, all positively impacted creativity and productivity.

Impact of Natural Elements within the Office

  • Those who worked in offices that provided natural light, live plants, and indoor and outdoor green space reported significantly higher levels of
    productivity across the globe.
  • Greenery in the office, such as plants and green walls, was associated with higher levels of creativity.
  • An absence of greenery both within the workspace and in the immediate outdoor environment was associated with higher levels of employee
    stress.
  • Workspaces where individuals had no natural light or greenery report higher levels of sickness absence.

Impact of a Light and Spacious Work Environment

  • Those who reported working in environments that were light and spacious had higher levels of well-being, motivation, productivity and creativity.

Appendix Two Cross Country Findings

Happiness

Australia
Having window views of trees, whether natural or purposely planted was associated with greater levels of happiness.

Brazil
The use of blue and white colors in the office was linked to greater happiness at work, as well as viewing wildlife regularly.

Canada
The availability of external green space was linked to greater happiness at work. Also, the color purple was predictive of employee happiness.

China
The availability of natural light was important for workers’ happiness and so were window views of natural trees and landmarks. Also, the color brown used within the office was associated with greater employee happiness.

Denmark
The availability of natural light and green space within the office environment was associated with greater levels of happiness among staff.

UAE
Natural light and window views of closed water, such as lakes, were positively associated with levels of happiness at work.

France
Views that portray wildlife and open water (e.g. sea) were associated with greater levels of happiness. In contrast, window views of roads were associated with lower levels of happiness at work.

Germany
Having no window view in the office had a negative impact on levels of happiness.

India
Having no window view negatively impacted people’s happiness at work.

Indonesia
Using stone elements in the office, as well as having views of the countryside, were linked to greater levels of happiness.

Netherlands
Natural light and external green space were associated with higher levels of staff happiness. Also, views of trees had a positive impact on reported happiness at work.

Philippines
Viewing natural trees from inside the office was linked to employees’ happiness.

Spain
Workers’ levels of happiness were positively impacted by external green space and natural light.

Sweden
Natural light had a positive impact on levels of happiness at work. The use of gray colors in the office was significantly related to greater levels of stress among workers.

UK
Natural elements of light, wood and stone had a positive impact on levels of happiness. Plain white offices were also associated with happiness at work.

United States
Window views of trees were predictive of greater levels of workplace happiness.

Creativity

Australia
Window views of trees were linked to greater creativity among office workers. The use of green office colors was also linked to higher levels of creativity.

Brazil
Views of lakes and other areas with closed water were predictive of greater levels of creativity. Also having water elements present in the office environment.

Canada
Window views of trees were associated with greater levels of creativity.

China
Having natural light in the office was the strongest predictor of creativity among office workers.

Denmark
Natural elements within the individuals’ workspace were associated with greater creativity. In addition, window views of nature, and the color blue in particular, were also associated with high creativity.

UAE
Natural light was positively associated with creativity.

France
The use of wood within the office design was positively associated with creativity. Also, views of manmade landmarks were positively linked to creativity.

Germany
Providing internal green space had a positive effect on creativity. Additionally, water and wood elements positively impacted levels of creativity.

India
Incorporating the color red within the office design was strongly linked to greater levels of creativity, as was having a window that afforded views of wildlife.

Indonesia
Having no window view had a negative effect on creativity.

Netherlands
Yellow, blue and white office colors were associated with greater levels of creativity. Also a non-natural window view (e.g., construction site) had a negative impact on workers’ levels of creativity.

Philippines
The availability of natural light, elements of water and also the color blue in offices were all associated with greater levels of creativity.

Spain
The presence of live plants had a positive impact on workers’ creativity.

Sweden
Window views of the countryside had a positive impact on creativity.

UK
The use of purple and green colors within the office was associated with higher levels of creativity.

United States
Having no window view had a negative effect on creativity. There is also a need for natural elements in the office.

Productivity

Australia
The use of wood elements in the office, as well as the use of blue colors, was associated with greater worker productivity.

Brazil
Predominantly dull, gray offices had a negative impact on productivity. However, the view of the countryside had a positive effect.

Canada
Having live plants in the office was linked to greater levels of productivity among workers.

China
Window views of wildlife, natural landmarks and the countryside were all predictors of high worker productivity.

Denmark
The use of the color blue within the office was predictive of greater levels of productivity.

UAE
Neither office color nor the presence of natural elements had a direct impact on productivity.

France
The use of orange colors within the office significantly predicted higher levels of productivity.

Germany
Natural light and elements of natural stone predicted greater productivity, and regular views of nature outside also positively impacted productivity.

India
Green office colors were linked to productivity but by far the strongest predictor of productivity was having natural light in the office.

Indonesia
Green office colors, as well as, having green window views (trees, countryside etc.) were both strong predictors of greater levels of employee productivity.

Netherlands
Natural light and living indoor plants had a positive impact on productivity.

Philippines
The presence of live plants was linked to greater levels of productivity.

Spain
Blue colors within the office had a significant positive impact on levels of productivity.

Sweden
Natural light and views of nature positively impacted productivity.

UK
Live plants and natural light within the office space positively impacted creativity.

United States
Having no window view had a significantly negative effect on productivity, and orange and green colors were good for productivity.

Appendix Three Reference List

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4. Luttik, J. (2000). The value of trees, water and open space as reflected by house prices in the Netherlands. Landscape and Urban Planning, 48, 161–167.

5. Van den Berg, A. E., Hartig, T., & Staats, H. (2007). Preference for nature in urbanized societies: Stress, restoration, and the pursuit of sustainability. Journal of Social Issues, 63(1), 79-96.

6. World Resources Institute – The Guardian. (2009). Percentage of global population living in cities, by continent. Retrieved September 30, 2014, from http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2009/aug/18/percentage-population-living-cities

7. Kellert, S. R., Heerwagen, J., & Mador, M. (2011). Biophilic design: the theory, science and practice of bringing buildings to life. John Wiley & Sons.

8. Kellert, S. R. (2012). Building for life: Designing and understanding the human-nature connection. Island Press.

9. Grinde, B., & Patil, G. G. (2009). Biophilia: does visual contact with nature impact on health and wellbeing?. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 6(9), 2332-2343.

10. Backhaus, K., & Tikoo, S. (2004). Conceptualizing and researching employer branding. Career Development International, 9(5), 501-517.

11. Earle, H. A. (2003). Building a workplace of choice: Using the work environment to attract and retain top talent. Journal of Facilities Management, 2(3), 244-257.

12. Hardy, Q. (2014). The monuments of tech. New York Times.

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14. Appleton, J. (1975). The experience of landscape. London: Wiley.

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31. Nieuwenhuis, M., Knight, C., Postmes, T., & Haslam, S. A. (2014). The relative benefits of green versus lean office space: Three field experiments. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 20(3), 199.

32. American Housing Survey for the United States. (2007). US Department of Housing and Urban Development and US Department of Commerce.

33. Randall, K., Shoemaker, C. A., Relf, D., & Geller, E. S. (1992). Effects of plantscapes in an office environment on worker satisfaction. The Role of Horticulture in Human Well-Being and Social Development, 106-109

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37. Ceylan, C., Dul, J., & Aytac, S. (2008). Can the office environment stimulate a manager’s creativity? Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing & Service Industries, 18(6), 589-602.

38. Lichtenfeld, S., Elliot, A. J., Maier, M. A., & Pekrun, R. (2012). Fertile Green Green Facilitates Creative Performance. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38(6), 784-797.

39. Palmer, S., & Schloss, K. (2010). An ecological valence theory of human color preference. PNAS, 107 (19), 8877–8882.

40. Kaufman, A., & Lohr, V. (2004). Does plant color affect emotional and physiological responses to landscapes?. In D. Relf (Eds.), Proc. XXVI IHC – Horticulture, Human Well-Being and Life Quality. Acta Hort. 639, 229-233.

41. Sadek, M., Sayaka, S., Fujii, E., Koriesh, E., Moghazy, E., & El Fatah, Y. (2013). Human emotional and psycho-physiological responses to plant color stimuli. Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment, 11(3&4), 1584-1591.

42. Hatta, T., Yoshida, H., Kawakmi, A., & Okamoto, M. (2002). Color of computer display frame in work performance, mood and physiological response. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 94, 39-46.

43. Mehta, R., & Zhu, R. (2009). Blue or red? Exploring the effect of color on cognitive task performances. Science, 323, 1226–1229..

44. Elliot, A., & Aart, H. (2011). Perception of the color red enhances force and velocity of motor output. Emotion, 445-449.

45. Harkonen, B., Hokeness, K., Kalupa, N., & Rahgozar, K. (2012). Physiological response to color variation as measured through Galvanic skin response, electrocardiography and electroencephalography. University of Wisconsin – Madison: Department of Physiology, Human Physiology 435, Laboratory 603, Group 16.

46. Kjellgren, A., & Buhrkall, H. (2010). A comparison of the restorative effect of a natural environment with that of a simulated natural environment. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 30(4), 464-472.

47. Browning, W.D., Ryan, C.O., Clancy, J.O. (2014). 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design. New York: Terrapin Bright Green, LLC.

48. Alvarsson, J. J., Wiens, S., & Nilsson, M. E. (2010). Stress recovery during exposure to nature sound and environmental noise. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 7(3), 1036-1046.

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