Watch: When Neuroscience Meets Office Optimization

Employers are looking for any advantage, including office design, as competition for employees and ideas grows. Major companies such as Amazon, Google and Samsung are turning to neuroscience experts to learn more about how design affects human biology, and how to maximize comfort and productivity with attention to details such as diet and color theories. Here’s a look at how offices could make people more productive in the future.

Sound Sensitivity

The human voice is a provokes the strongest emotional response out of the sounds we hear. Voices in excess of 55 decibels, (the volume of the average phone call) can be the source of stress. Conversations that only include one half can be even more distracting, forcing the brain to fill in the gaps in the dialogue.

An environment with multiple sound environments like outdoor gardens, soundproof spaces, quiet rooms and phone booths can help alleviate this problem. Nature sounds, such as the waterfall in Amazon Sphere’s, can offer more focus with soothing white noise.

Plants can also help improve focus as well, making people less prone to emotional outbursts by projecting a soothing effect, even in pictures. Some plants even give off antiviral, immune-boosting chemicals called phytoncides that improve health.